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  1. #1

    Question best way to learn to manage a server?

    Hello, I am on my way to rent a dedicated server or vps to host a few sites that I own, they don't get much traffic but I am planning on adding more sites in the future. I have been given the chance to rent a Windows VPS server very cheap but my question is, should I learn server management with a control panel installed or is it best if I learn without it? The reason why I want to learn is for fun and because I do not discard the idea of starting my own hosting business in the future.
    Any comments on this I will appreciate..

    Also, do you think 256 MB of ram is enaugh for this purpose or should I go for 512 ? (I know 512 is probably my best option if I decided to use a control panel such as Plesk)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    England, UK
    If you want to learn more, don't use a control panel. If you want simplicity, use one.

    Either rent a VPS to "play" with, or install an evaluation (or full - if Linux) version of the operating system you intend to manage in a "Virtual PC" (emulated environment).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    as KeiGDP said, don't use a control panel if your goal is to learn more. I am assuming you have a decent familiarity with Windows already.

    If you have any issues I am sure people will help you out to get started. Good luck.
    André Allen | E: aallen(a)
    Linovus Holdings Inc
    Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS, Dedicated Servers & Public Cloud | USA, Canada & UK - 24x7x365 Support

  4. #4
    No Control Panels. Just ask ur questions here and see tutorials first. They are lot of help. Guys here will gladly help ya out!

  5. #5
    I would go for a panel. I use Cpanel for Linux server. You can manage your sites without any hassle, plus it's rich in features, so you can can add parked domains, read mails, view stats on visitors, do backups. If you add fantastico you can also install a lot of free scripts. I see more pluses to it. Though I read in the forum that very proficient users can perfectly do without it knowing linux-based commands.

  6. #6
    earthdance , if you want to learn more and then you want to have your own business you shouldn't start from the complicated things. Just start from the easy then go to more sophisticated. I guess it'll be the best thing here.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Newport Beach, CA
    There's no reason to not get a control panel unless you are planning on running without it once you're familiar.

    control panels make life MUCH easier on people new to the game. When things break you're going to learn to troubleshoot no matter what you do or don't have installed, so why put yourself through more grief? I guess if you wanted to really learn in a sink or swim arena that would work.

    I wouldn't recommend someone trying to learn windows to use dos. it just makes sense (to me) to use a control panel. you'll make a lot less mistakes.

    Of course this is just opinion. other people above have the opposite opinion. Mine doesn't make theirs wrong and vice versa. Just decide what you REALLY want to do, and make a decision based on that.
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  8. #8
    thanks for your replies.
    Would 256mb of ram be ok for a start or am i best with 512mb ?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    New York
    If you just want to learn, then setup your own computer as a server, and have test sites that only you can access. If you're going to be developing web sites, then this is a good practice anyway since you should have a secret 'Test' server before moving sites into the 'Production' live server.

    If you're fairly new at it, but have enough sites that warrant the dedicated server, then I would go for the control panel. Control panels simplify a lot of mundane tasks, but on rare occasion, at the expense of flexibility.

    With a control panel I can setup a new domain, create a mySQL database for that account, add some emails, setup spamassasin and get it online in under a minute. Sure, I can also sit there and do the same thing at the shell prompt, but that's only entertaining the first couple times.

    As time goes on, you will need to either make some improvements, changes, or fix or update something, that the Control Panel doesn't cover. Then you switch to the shell prompt, and learn what you need to learn to get things done ASAP.

    You can make the argument that if you assume responsibility for everything up front, then when you need to fix/update things then you know enough to fix it. And if you work on a Linux box all day, then this might be more attractive to you.

    As to the memory, you probably know that more is better. If you are worried about the price, ask the provider if you can upgrade to more memory later without an additional setup fees. You don't *NEED* 512 meg, but things might work better if you had it. If you have low-traffic, mostly-static sites, then 512 might be overkill.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Buffalo NY
    I think you should go ahead and install a distro you plan on using in the future (Probably CentOS) and just use it. I know that's vague.. but eventually you'll be curious if you can do a simple LAMP setup, so you'll try. You _WILL_ run into problems, which will provoke questions, and so forth.

    Also I recommend the search feature on, it will most likely answer the bulk of your questions. Also check how HowToForge.
    Cody R.
    Hawk Host Inc. Proudly Serving websites since 2004.
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