Mirror Site

What is an Mirror Site?

Duplicate copy of a website already in existence, used to increase response time for high-volume sites.

A mirror site is a website or set of files on a computer server that has been copied to another computer server so that the site or files are available from more than one place. A mirror site has its own URL but is otherwise identical to the principal site. Load-balancing devices allow high-volume sites to scale easily, dividing the work between multiple mirror sites.

The mirror site is usually updated frequently to ensure it reflects the contents of the original site. In some cases, the original site may arrange for a mirror site at a larger location with a higher speed connection and, perhaps, a closer proximity to a large audience.

If the original site generates too much traffic, a mirror site can ensure better availability of the website or files. For websites that offer copies or updates of widely used software, they allows the site to handle larger demands and enables the downloaded files to arrive more quickly. Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and other companies have mirror sites from which their browser software can be downloaded.

They are used to make site access faster when the original site may be geographically distant from those accessing it. A mirrored web server is often located on a different continent from the principal site, allowing users close to the mirror site to get faster and more reliable access.

Mirroring a website is a form of data mirroring done for numerous reasons, including:

  • Preserve a website that is about to be closed or discontinued
  • Allow faster downloads from a specific or multiple geographic location
  • Duplicate data in the interest of freedom of information
  • To prevent or discourage censorship of data
  • Increase access to the information for a wider audience for marketing, political, scientific, humanitarian or other purposes
  • To preserve historical content
  • Balance the load between or among several servers being accessed by large audiences
  • Increase download availability for local users

 

 

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