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What is IIS Web Server: (Internet Information Services)?

As the most essential element in the implementation and hosting of websites and online applications, web servers play a vital role in the performance and security of the web. In this regard, Microsoft Internet Information Services, or IIS for short, is one of the most popular and powerful web servers in the world, provided by Microsoft. In this article, the IIS web server will be fully introduced, how it works and its benefits.

IIS Server is a free and open-source web server developed by Microsoft. IIS is part of the Windows operating system and can host websites, applications, and other services.

IIS is one of Microsoft’s essential tools for hosting and managing websites and web applications. This robust server comes pre-installed with the Windows operating system and uses critical tools to create, manage and upgrade websites and Internet applications.

One of the prominent features of IIS is support for ASP.NET and NET Framework environments. This server is a powerful tool for running web applications under the .NET framework. Has become. Using advanced technologies and compatibility with various components of Windows, IIS is considered a multipurpose tool for managing websites and applications, the choice of many developers and system administrators.

An IIS web server can be installed on a virtual server to host websites, applications, and other services. A virtual server is a cost-effective way to set up and manage an IIS web server and can be used anywhere with Internet access. If you don’t have a virtual server yet, go to the virtual server purchase page and choose the right plan from our different programs and locations.

Table of Contents

  • What is an IIS web server?
  • What are the uses of the IIS web server?
  • Advantages of using IIS web server
  • IIS web server performance benchmarks
  • ASP.NET Errors and Exceptions
  • IIS web server records
  • How IIS works
  • Features of IIS 10
  • Comparison of IIS web server with Apache


What is an IIS web server?

IIS (Internet Information Services), abbreviated as IIS, is a web server developed by Microsoft that runs on the Windows operating system and is used to exchange static and dynamic web content with Internet users. IIS can host, deploy, and manage web applications using technologies such as ASP.NET and PHP.

What are the Uses of the IIS web server?

IIS web server, with its unique features, is used in various applications:

Website Hosting

As an application server, IIS can host corporate websites, personal websites, and WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) services—about 30% of websites run on IIS.


IIS web server log files provide essential information about the server and websites, including usage patterns, performance issues, etc. Analyzing these logs will help you quickly identify and fix problems.

Request filtering

IIS can scan and filter requests from potentially dangerous clients by providing a request filtering module. You can manage traffic by setting appropriate filtering rules based on parameters such as file extensions, URL length, and maximum string size.

Native support

IIS natively supports the Microsoft .NET framework and libraries. It allows developers to develop and deploy ASP.NET web applications on IIS quickly.

As a result, using IIS, you can easily host complex websites and web applications and take advantage of its features to improve the security and performance of your services.

Advantages of using IIS web server

Strong security

IIS Web Server provides built-in authentication, authorization, and access control features to enhance the security of your web applications. With the possibility of creating system and application management accounts separately, access to different system parts is carefully controlled. Security features include filtering requests for allowlisting/blocklisting, dynamic IP blocking, SSL and TLS encryption, page compression, and FTP-specific security controls.

Application pool

The application pool feature helps you isolate your web applications in IIS for better security and availability. Each application pool contains one or more applications managed by worker processes in IIS. This feature allows you to prevent errors in one application from affecting other applications and maintain each application’s independence so that applications in other pools are not affected.

Scalability and reliability

Using an IIS web farm, you can implement a scalable and reliable web infrastructure. A web farm allows you to host high-traffic websites on multiple IIS web servers with load balancing and application request routing. With a load balancer and advanced algorithms, traffic is pretty distributed between servers, and each request is routed to the best content server. Also, dynamically adding or removing servers allows you to adjust their processing capabilities as your website traffic changes.

IIS web server performance benchmarks

Monitoring the web performance of the IIS web server is crucial to provide a unique experience to the users on the website. Any small error on the server can lead to slow response times and timeouts, causing users to leave your website quickly. Hence, proper server performance monitoring is critical to maintain optimal performance.

You can use HTTP ping checks and performance monitoring software to monitor IIS performance. HTTP ping checks give you basic monitoring capabilities, while performance monitoring software provides more detailed information on server performance.

To determine the performance of IIS, consider some of the critical criteria below:

CPU and memory usage

Continuously monitor all CPU and memory usage by various IIS worker processes. Make sure it stays within the allowed range to avoid memory limitations and insufficient resources that can hurt the performance of your IIS web server.

Response time and loading time

Checking the accessibility of your server or website is very important. To ensure a good user experience, you should check that your server or website is accessible. You can use performance monitoring tools to check IIS access and compare response time against predefined benchmarks to determine if requirements are met!

Here are some tips for monitoring your server or website access:

  • Use performance monitoring tools to check access to your server or website.
  • Compare the response time of your server or website against predefined benchmarks.
  • Fix any problems immediately.

By regularly monitoring the accessibility of your server or website, you can ensure that it is always accessible to users.


Load tracking, or the number of HTTP requests received or processed by a Microsoft IIS server, is critical to detect sudden spikes in traffic. This helps to avoid performance limitations and website lag issues by adequately distributing the load across all servers. This feature is useful when managing multiple websites in IIS.

ASP.NET Errors and Exceptions

The IIS application service can host ASP.NET web applications without problems. NET runtime environment. They are used to process most user requests.

It would help if you continuously tracked ASP.NET exceptions and errors without manipulating the request during the compilation, preprocessing, and execution. Make sure that the number of errors and exceptions remains below the threshold level, as it can affect the performance of your IIS web server.

ASP.NET Processing Efficiency: Check the total number of requests in the application queue for ASP.NET applications. A large number of requests causes a delay in execution, which negatively affects the performance of the IIS web server. Using server monitoring tools, monitor metrics such as number of running requests and request execution time and wait time to identify potential problems.

IIS web server records

IIS logs are a helpful web server monitoring tool because they record comprehensive information about every HTTP request to your web server. You can enable this feature through IIS Manager and save your websites’ critical data in ASCII text-based formats such as Microsoft IIS, NCSA, and W3C. The log files contain several fields with detailed information about each request, including the client’s IP address, the date and time of the request, the server name, and the response time to the request.

The Advanced Logs option in IIS allows you to add or remove fields from log files, change the location of log files, and create policies for moving log files. Analyzing these data archives will help you track key website statistics, including total website views, top visitors, popular pages, and more.

Using automation tools to better collect, analyze, and visualize IIS logs allows you to gain essential insights into the performance of your applications on the server. Also, analyzing IIS error logs will help you identify problems that users encounter while interacting with your website and receive timely alerts. These logs’ detailed and comprehensive information can help you optimize the website’s performance.

How IIS works?

IIS operates using a set of standard languages and protocols. In this process, HTML creates variants such as text buttons, images, and links. The primary communication protocol between servers and users is Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which transfers information between these entities. To increase data security, you can use HyperText Secure Transfer Protocol (HTTPS), which uses the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

In transfers, other protocols as well. For example, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or its secure version (FTPS) transfers files. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) for sending and receiving email and Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) for posting articles on USENET is also available in IIS.

IIS also works with the ASP.NET Core framework. It is a next-generation server-side page (ASP) enablement framework that provides a scripting engine for creating interactive web pages. When a web request arrives at the IIS web server, it forwards it to the ASP.NET Co—indication. This program proccanequest sends intelligentesult to the IIS web server, and the they are using who senlikeequest. Using ASP.NET Core, developers can create intelligent websites and content management systems (CMS).

Using tools like WebDav and Microsoft Visual Studio allows Deily to to create IIS websites and publish more straightforward intent. These tools give developers more capabilitieseveralthe; the process of developing and publishing websites is shorter and more efficient.

Features of IIS 10

IIS 10 has several new features and capabilities added to it.

A notable feature of IIS 10 is support for the HTTP/2 protocol, which uses web resources more efficiently and improves response time to requests compared to HTTP 1.1. This version of IIS can be run on the Nano Server minimal server model introduced in Windows Server 2016, and it provides the possibility to run ASP.NET Core, Apache Tomcat, and PHP workloads in the IIS environment on the Nano Server.

IIS 10 can now run in a container and virtual machine (VM) environment, giving developers and administrators more flexibility in choosing installation and deployment methods and broader support for web applications.

Express version for testing

Microsoft provides a stand-alone version of IIS called IIS Express for developers that allows testing of websites. IIS Express has all the core features of an entire IIS web server but in a more lightweight form without administrative access.


Security is always a critical issue in the web environment. IIS enables companies to enhance the security of their web servers by using the features included in it. These measures can consist of operating system security updates, turning off inappropriate parts, using firewalls, managing access based on IP and domains, using URL permissions, and maintenance to monitor weblogs.

Some ways to enhance Windows IIS security include the following:

Ensure that the Windows operating system is updated with all security updates.

Disable features that are not used in IIS to reduce potential attacks.

Use firewalls so that the server receives only valid packets.

Control which IP addresses and domains can access the web server.

Use URL permissions to apply rules to specific requests, for example, to handle particular URLs. A company can use URL permissions to allow only certain users to view requested pages.

Use logging to see which visitors are accessing the web server.

Set the error page to display only information relevant to a problem. Ensure that the error pages do not show too much information, such as username, password, server IP address, and any other information that hackers can use to exploit the web server.

Comparison of IIS web server with Apache

Differences between IIS and Apache Web Server include the following:

  • IIS comes with Windows, while Apache is free and open source.
  • IIS only runs on Windows, but Apache can run on almost any operating system, including macOS, UNIX, and Linux (but it’s more Linux-friendly).
  • IIS with other Microsoft products, such as. NET. And the ASPX scripting language is integrated.
  • IIS support comes mainly from help desks to manage issues, while Apache support comes from the user community.
  • The security features of IIS make it the best security option over Apache.
  • The technology behind IIS is compatible with the World Wide Web standard interfaces.



By fully introducing the IIS web server and learning how it works, we can conclude that this powerful tool from Microsoft has undergone many improvements to date. Using IIS as the primary web server, especially on Windows systems, improves websites’ and applications’ security, performance, and scalability. Also, IIS’s compatibility with different technologies and the ability to measure performance using advanced features make it an ideal tool for hosting sites. Considering all these advantages and features, using IIS as a web server is a smart choice for developers and system administrators. This tool has put pressure on the competitive web user experience and is considered one of the prominent and leading tools in the digital world.