Many organizations share their spatial layers as map services. ESRI has a product called ArcGIS Server which is used to deliver map services to websites and desktop applications that are connected to the Internet.
GeoServer is a free and open source software (FOSS) that exposes your data as geospatial web services. If you want to share your data as web services, GeoServer could be a cheap, but robust alternative to ArcGIS Server.
- Running GeooServer in a production environment
- Walkthrough. Setting up GeoServer
- More installation notes
- Installing GeoServer on WebFaction
- GeoServer QuickStart