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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    101

    Question Difficulties unmanaged server owner face?

    Hello,

    I'm a skilled programmer with more than 8 years of experience. I know WHM/Cpanel very well and I've worked with SSH and unix a little bit.

    I'm considering talking an unmanaged server… What do you think; will I be able to manage it myself?

    Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    1,692
    Quote Originally Posted by b3b3
    I'm considering talking an unmanaged server… What do you think; will I be able to manage it myself?
    I believe that if you're just asking, it's because you're not sure of what it takes to handle server security/performance properly.

    If you want to learn, then I think you have nothing to lose, but if you intend to put some customers there (shared web hosting) or if you intend to put some sensitive or mission-critical data/application, then I think you better take a managed service or hire someone else to do it for you.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    101
    I'm actually intending to put some customers there (shared web hosting)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    San Jose
    Posts
    902
    Since you are a skilled programmer, unless you can tap a good market, it's very likely that you can earn more money more easily by programming than running a hosting operation. The race to the bottom for hosting prices has created very cheap plans. See servage.net for an example: $7.50/month for up to 1150GB transfer and 110GB of space. They can only offer these plans by massive overselling.

    I know the idea of letting your machines do your work for you sounds good, but the billing, accounting, customer support, security, anti-spam, policing your clients for various illegal activities like warez hosting, spamming, child pornography hosting, etc. will make it so you can't treat a customer as a fire and forget income stream.

    Even if your customer is on the up and up, a vulnerable script or carelessness with his password can open your machine up to defacement or hidden illegal activity.

    Look at side development jobs or creating software people would pay you to use or maintain as a potentially more lucrative way to supplement your salary.
    Specializing in MySQL and website tuning for high traffic sites. cmwsci.com/

  5. #5
    The OP wasn't asking whether he should or not get into web hosting but rather the issue of management. There are a good number of hosting firms that will be able to accomodate different level of management for you as needed. In addition, many have been able to streamline management effectively to automate many tasks that, in the past, required a great deal of manual attention which, of course, would then have been past on to you. So 1.) go with a host who gives you options 2.) realize that its become cheaper for hosts to offer management, so it shouldn't be hard to get a good deal in that regard.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    West Michigan, USA
    Posts
    9,675
    Quote Originally Posted by b3b3
    Hello,

    I'm a skilled programmer with more than 8 years of experience. I know WHM/Cpanel very well and I've worked with SSH and unix a little bit.

    I'm considering talking an unmanaged server… What do you think; will I be able to manage it myself?

    Any help is appreciated.

    Programming, knowledge of whm/cpanel, SSH and a little bit of unix is not enough qualifications to manage a server with paying customers on it. I came up with that conclusion by asking myself if I would hire you to manage my servers...the answer is "NOPE!".

    --Tina
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    Plenty of space and bandwidth to fit your needs!
    www.AEIandYou.com - - (WP Friendly - Premium Reseller Hosting and Cheap Dedicated Servers)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    190
    I know from experience and trust me when i say NO! do not do it on your own i had to get my server managed at platinumservermanagement.com they took 5 hours to install new patches and fill security holes as well as repair the damage.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,779
    Think of this way I can do tune ups and change the oil in my car even change the brake pads, I also have a drivers license.


    Reckon I could build a race car in my garage and win the Daytona 500?

    Get a managed server and slowly learn over time to manage it yourself. Nothing is a better teacher than expereince but you need a pro to lean on to get it right. Don't play with paying customers web sites while you are learning.

  9. #9
    I second what Techark said. Learn over time, there are major differences between programming and server admin.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    237
    At first i'd say that you should get a managed server or hire a 3rd party company to manage ur server, and you can always play with it while you have backup that if anything goes wrong some1 is there to take care of it.

    btw, you can find some good offers for managed servers in the offers section.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    101
    I REALY appreciate your comments guys. I feel you've saved my bussniss

    Ok, I think I'll go with PlatinumServerManagement for now...

    Can you refer me some resources (books, websites, ...) to be an excellent server admin?!

    Thanks again.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    697
    Quote Originally Posted by b3b3
    I REALY appreciate your comments guys. I feel you've saved my bussniss

    Ok, I think I'll go with PlatinumServerManagement for now...

    Can you refer me some resources (books, websites, ...) to be an excellent server admin?!

    Thanks again.

    I would say the best way to become an excellent server admin is to get your feet wet and get some experience in. Although as you can see it is a bit of a catch 22 because it is hard to get real world experience if you have none to begin with. In your case I would say try to mirror your server on a home computer if you have a an old spare computer laying around (it doesn't have to be nice, grab that old 400mhz box you tossed into the closet a few years back). If you can afford to spend the money on a spare control panel license for whatever CP you are using, thats a bonus. Then ask your server management company to notify you of any upgrades performed on your live server, and try to perform the same on your "test" machine.

    Once you get the hang of the administration tasks required when you have a CP installed, the fun begins. Re-image the machine to a default OS and try to get the machine back to operational state without using the CP (install apache, mysql, update the kernel, etc). Once you are able to do all of the above I would say you are skilled enough for a "junior" system admin position. (Note, you're still going to want to be under the wing of a more experienced sys admin for questions you have, and to bail you out in case you do make a mistake). If you want to run your own server at this point I think it would be possible (not ideal) but make sure you at least pay for one of the various server administration companies' minimum plan so that they can swoop in and fix your mistakes when you make them. (And you *will* make them ).

    Anyway, if you have the time / cash for this method I really think it is the best.

  13. #13
    Even when you're on a managed platform, you have root access and the ability to explore, learn, and somewhat understand. Because its a production server, you can't do a lot of things you otherwise would need to do, to really understand how things work and/or how to perform critical administrative tasks in time of need. For things above and beyond understanding the basics, I'd recommend using an old computer or buying one off ebay for a few hundred bucks and going from there.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by b3b3
    Hello,

    I'm a skilled programmer with more than 8 years of experience. I know WHM/Cpanel very well and I've worked with SSH and unix a little bit.

    I'm considering talking an unmanaged server… What do you think; will I be able to manage it myself?

    Any help is appreciated.
    Can you solve or find an answer to almost any problem in five minutes, with the phone ringing beside you, and have you never cared much for a full nights sleep? Those are the only two qualifications left for you to be an incredible success at it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Simferopol
    Posts
    13
    IMHO mpope has given you an excellent advice and I guess you should follow it and you'll succed in your new position. JUst try and see how it'll be. Wish you luck.

  16. #16
    Note: I do not sell anything on my server, it is simply for my own enjoyment.

    That being said, there is so much documentation online, on practically every program or task you can imagine.

    I bought a server a year ago, my first experience with a linux dedicated.
    I had to set up various things, although I did use directadmin.
    But that was a learning process in itself.

    Today, one year later I sit here with FreeBSD and no control panel, and I'm loving it.
    Had to set up /everything/ by myself.

    But fear not for you are not alone should you get your feet wet.
    There is so much documentation online it's hard to get stuck if you follow the directions.

    So, my advice is to yes, if you plan to sell, then obviously go with managed hosting, however if you have a spare computer at home or can get one, install fbsd/linux and mess around with it.
    Learn to secure the system, then give out accounts to friends, see how it is to have users on it.
    Maybe even give them a sparetime webhost off the server.

    Then, in a year or two, you can maybe move on to unmanaged hosting for your business(it will also cost less which means more profit.)

    Good luck.

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