Back in Thing a Day 12, (http://1jj.uk/spthing012) we learned that Web Applications are one of the basic building blocks of a SharePoint on-premise Farm.
Here’s a little more detail for Farm Administrators.
Web Applications are all about your content.
Each Web Application has at least one URL as an entry point to getting at your content.
IIS, the Windows web server, hosts a web site at this URL.
Each Web Application has one or more Content Databases in SQL Server.
You can extend your Web Application into, up to five Zones: Default, Custom, Intranet, Internet, and Extranet.
Each Zone is a separate IIS site, and therefore a separate URL, pointing to the same content. Not a copy – but the same instance.
In the past we would do this to allow HTTP access from inside the firewall, and HTTPS from outside. However, modern best practice is to have HTTPS everywhere.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at how Zones interact with Authentication.