HOSTING – EMAIL
First define your component parts:
– Web is essentially anything an internet user can see in a web browser, or more correctly access over HTTP/HTTPS either via web browsers (eg: going to Twitter.com) or through an API (eg: using a Twitter client on their phone). Web is not interent, for example bittorrent and IRC are not “web” (though they can interact with web via APIs).
– Infrastructure is what web runs on. HTTP servers, HTTPS certificates and signatories, database servers, load balancers, content delivery networks and other such things. There is a massive difference in running your own static webpage on a PC in your house and running a constantly-up service like Google/Facebook/Twitter which receives thousands of requests per second from all around the globe.
– Architecture is the act of building something. In this case, the act of assembling all the above infrastructure parts into a service that works well. Once you start getting into the big leauges, the act of optimising your web platform and not creating any dangerous data bottlenecks or single points of failure (sometimes called “hotspots”) becomes very important.
What does optimising mean? One example is that there are people who get paid about $75k/yr to sit and take peoples’ existing database queries and optimise them. Imagine if you have 10 servers which are approaching maximum load, but someone can modify the way you use those servers to reduce their load to half or less. You’ve just saved a massive heap of money as you no longer need to upgrade your server farm, you’ve probably made your servers more reliable as they can now handle a failure of one or more nodes, and have probably provided a faster service to your clients all at the same time.
So, a Web Infrastructure Architect will have knowledge of all the technologies that can be used over the web – including backend programming languages like php/python/perl, database types such as mysql/postgres/oracle, display technologies such as html/css/flash, web acceleration solutions like proxies/compressors/loadbalancers plus many more – and when it is appropriate to use a given technology to achieve the best outcome without introducing additional problems.