What is a Web Biometrics Server?
A Web Biometrics Server is the Computer where the main Web Biometric Application is Installed, Hosted and Served to Client Computers from. In some Web Biometrics Authentication setups, t is also where the Biometrics Database is installed.
A Web Biometrics Server is a special back-end Computer where a couple of Biometrics functions take place like Biometrics Authentication and Biometrics Data Storage.
To further understand a Web Biometrics Server in details, it is essential to be well versed with the particulars that entail Good qualities of a Web Biometric Server.
The following items come into focus when identifying what goes for a good Web Biometric Server;
- Operating System
- Processor Type and Speeds
- Hard Disk
- Ethernet Ports
- Web Server
- Network Security
1. Operating System:
In order to get the best out of your Web Biometric Server, plan to install an Operating System that will help you achieve what you want to do with your Biometrics Server.
The Operating System you choose to use should be one that has ongoing support from its Software Company. For example, to install Microsoft XP operating system for your Web Biometric Server would be a dumb thing to do circa 2019.
There are no Security Patches released for Microsoft XP nowadays and Microsoft no longer supports this operating system. Not unless your mission is Suicide, to prefer Microsoft XP against e.g. Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2019 for your Web Biometrics Server would set you up on a path to Failure.
Similarly, installing Linux Servers with Linux versions that run old Kernels of Linux to your Web Biometrics Server is disastrous as these too like their Windows counter parts will not have been patched against recent security threats that are potentially able to dog them.
Even if you have the latest Operating System, you should always update it with the current Security Patches released by your Operating System vendor.
As you may have determined by now, you cannot be planning to implement a Web Biometric Security solution then slack on security updates of the Operating System where you will install your Biometric solution.
So what is an Ideal Operating System for a Web Biometrics Server?
Ideal Features of a Web Biometric Server’s Operating System.
- Operating System should be a 64 bit Server. A 64 bit Server unlike a 32 bit Server will make it possible for your Operating System to use more than the 3.5Gb of RAM,. If you have for instance 8Gb RAM in your Server and your Operating System is 32 bit, it will only use 3.5Gb and the remaining 4.5 Gb will be wasted as the 32 bit Operating System will not allocate it System Resources of your Biometric Server.
- Regular release of OS Security Patches by Software Vendor. The vendor of your Operating System should frequently release service packs to update security features that help secure your platform against adversarial attacks.
- Reliable OS Support by Software Vendor. Establish if the support provided by the vendor is agreeable to your type of business model. You can subscribe for premium software support from your OS vendor to make it easy and quick to enlist for a helping hand when your platforms breaks down.
- Easy to update online. There are various ways of updating operating system but the most convenient one is where you can connect a server to the internet, click update button and the OS is automatically updated.
- Has a Good Reputation as a Stable OS for a Production Server. Scour tech forums and blog posts to see what the tech community has to say about the operating system you want to use. Is it troublesome? Is it stable? Does it crash often in production? Is it easy to maintain and install other software on it? How many big companies in the service line industry are using it? If you get positive responses to questions like these you will be able to assess its reliability.
Web Biometric Authentication requires lots of memory to run at optimum speeds. It is even more resource intensive if the activity being carried out is Bioemetrics Identification (1:N) where a single fingerprint is being matched against several thousands of other fingerprints to narrow down to an individual.
This is the more reason why it is recommended by Jomutech Systems to prospective clients to have at least 16Gb of RAM or more in their Web Biometrics Server for optimum Biometrics Authentication speeds.
As a rule of thumb, if you are struggling to procure a Server with higher RAM because of cost implications then Biometrics is not for you. Find some other alternative security solution to implement but not Biometrics.
As mentioned earlier, stashing more memory RAM sticks on a Server with a 32 bit architecture or on a Server running a 32 bit Operating System is an exercise in futility. Ensure that you have a 64 bit Server / Operating System before embarking on upgrading the RAM to meet at least 16Gb of RAM.
3. Processor Type and Speed:
A Web Biometric Server needs super speeds to perform Biometric Authentication very fast otherwise you will have a lagging server that processes Biometric Authentication requests at snail speeds.
Those who get Web Biometric Servers with fast Several Core Processors realize Higher speeds for Biometric Authentication Speeds.
Most Servers will have 4 or more Core Processors. The more they are the more your Server can break down Biometric Authentication process into several thread processes and independently work on every one of them thus lowering the time taken to perform Biometric Authentication.
If you are cash strapped or the notion of having a procuring a Server with multiple core processors sounds like an extra cost for you, abandon the thought of implementing / integrating your Software Application with Biometrics. There is no need of waiting for 10 minutes for results of a Single Fingerprint Biometric Authentication process because you do not want to spend money on buying a Server with multiple core high speed processors then pretend to not know that Biometrics Applications require high speed processors to be responsive and fast.
A slow Web Biometric Application because of slow processor speeds and few core processors to help with multithreading will ultimately annoy those operating client computers running your Web Biometrics Application and their customers as well. The end loser will be you when they transition to a provider who offers an infrastructure with high speed processors with multiple core processing units onboard.
4. Hard Disk:
Biometric Data significantly occupies large data space in a Server and for this, you need to arrange to have enough space on your disk farm before implementing your Web Biometrics solution on any Server.
If you have several disk containers, configure RAID on them before installing Operating System. The Operating System will access the RAID configured disk containers as a single Hard Disk Resource.
The minimum size of Hard Disk space for an SME should be 1 Terabyte (Tb). The more space you have the better because a single Fingerprint Template or Blob field in the Database could occupy 312Kb or more depending on the preferred data type for archiving subjects’ Biometric data.
To get the best bargain for a Hard Disk (Disk containers), you can negotiate for better prices when buying a complete Server unlike buying single units of Hard Disks (Disk containers).
If you are just setting about to procure a Server for your Web Biometrics project, ask your hardware provider to give you a catalogue of Servers with 4, 8 or more core processors for you to choose from. The higher the number of core processor the better.
5. Ethernet (eth) Ports:
A Web Biometric Server will need to be connected to the network, internet, LAN, WAN for it to be accessible by Client Computers that will make remote calls to it for Biometric Authentication or for archiving of enrolled Biometrics Data.
To achieve a connection between Web Biometric Server and Client Computers, network ports popularly known as Ethernet ports will need to be present on the server.
You will need 4 or more Ethernet ports for your server.
If you are wondering why 4 Ethernet ports, first Ethernet cards do not cost an arm and a leg. They are among the cheapest peripherals that sub units that make up a Server. Now that we are past the cost hurdle, having at least 4 Ethernet ports will come in handy if you connect to several Routers and Switches to connect your Server to several Client computers.
Also, sometimes you need to block a particular network for maintenance and you do not want your Web Biometric Server to be offline for other partitions of your entire network so in this case having more Ethernet ports equips you to handle things amicably in a big network.
Lastly, if you have configured and connected your server to several failover Routers by procuring network connection services from multiple service providers, in the unfortunate event that one service provider experiences a down time, the availability of your Web Biometric Server to remote client computers is not affected. This is only possible if you have several Ethernet ports to juggle with.
6. Web Server:
To serve a Web Application over the network to client computers a Web Server is required.
What is a Web Server?
A Web server facilitates the provision, interpretation and processing of data requests from client computers.
You will need to install software applications that provider Web Server instances on your Web Biometrics Server.
Web Server Software Applications you could install on your Web Biometrics Server include the following;
A PHP Web Biometrics Application would require an Apache, Nginx or IIS Web Server to process requests on the Web Bioemetric Server.
An ASPNET Web Biometric Application would require an IIS Web Server to process requests on the Web Biometric Server
A NodeJS Web Biometric Application could require ExpressJS Server to be installed at the Web Biometric Server for it to work.
Whichever Web Server you choose to use for your Web Biometric Server implementation, make sure that you use the latest Web Serve and also make sure that the Web Server is a Stable release and not a beta release.
To archive Biometric Data in a Web Biometric Server you need a dedicated container for this. You could think of this as a special folder or a Software System for saving Biometric Data. This is what you call a Biometric Database.
There are several databases you could choose to use for archiving your Biometric Data.
Below is a list of Databases you can install in your Web Biometric Server for saving Biometric Data. They are;
MSSQL is a Microsoft product and you will need to buy it before you could use it.
Nowadays there is MSSQL for Linux as well unlike in the past where MSSQL would only run on Windows hosts only.
For your Biometrics Database, try and get the stable and latest Database version of the Database currently available so that you can be assured that you are running your Biometrics Database on a secure Database and also get the benefit of using the latest Database management tools the current Database offers which are not available on previous Database versions.
8. Network Security:
One other thing you are going to have to make sure you get it right from the very beginning while setting up your Web Biometrics Server is Network Security.
Your Web Biometric Server should be secure and trusted by other nodes in the network.
The client computers should be assured that they are accessing a secure Web Server on your Web Biometric Server.
Modern Web Browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome have been designed and developed with Security in mind. They will raise an alert and complain that the Network connection they are about to remit data thru is not safe after evaluating the authenticity of the Network connection.
To secure the connection between your Web Biometrics Server and client computers running the Web Biometrics application you will need to install an updated SSL Certificate on the Web Biometric Server.
Initially this was not a must but nowadays you have no option but to install one.
This is the only way you can secure your connection and give credibility to client web browsers that they are running a safe Web Application from your Web Biometrics Server.
Clients who are keen on matters security will call you and notify you when you are no longer serving secured web applications to their client computers.
An SSL secured web application will run on a client web browser with a preceding https:// at the address bar. Take note that for a SSL secured connection it will be https:// and not http://
Your SSL secured web link served by your Web Biometric Server should be something like the following
https://WebBiometericServer/WebBiometricAuthenticationPage/ for Biometric Authentication web page or
https://WebBiometricServer/WebBiometricEnrollmentPage/ for Web Biometric Enrollment web page.
There is https:// at the beginning of each of the URLs. and not a http://
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Learn more about what I do and what my asking rates are for those interested in engaging my expertise in developing and implementing identity access management solutions in their Software based Projects using Biometrics from here About Section of Joseph Mwema’s Vlog