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  #1  
Old 09-22-2002, 12:33 AM
hisaacs11 hisaacs11 is offline
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The First recommended configuration


I had requested suggestions on setting up a practice site at home. Based on the resources listed at the bottom, a member emailed me and suggested the following configuration for a 3 tier solution. I thought it was cocky, but he dared anyone to make it better without upgrading the hardware. So here is Boyz.

Tier 1
Web Server - AMD Athlon XP 1600 - 384mb PC133 SDRAM
Drive-1 (6.3gb) .NET Standard Server / IIS 6.0 / ISA Server / DNS Server Drive-2 (60gb) Multiple Partitions / Swap File / ISA Cache Database / DNS Database

Tier 2
Application Server - Dual P3 933GHz - 1024mb PC2100 DDR266 Drive-1 (9.1gb) .NET Standard Server /Application Center / Exchange / Domain Controller

Tier 3
Dell - Database Server
Drive-1 (80gb) .NNET Standard Server / Commerce Server / Content Manager / SQL 2000 / BizTalk Drive-2 (80gb) RAID 1 Mirror


*******************
Resources
*******************

Computers:
1- Dell with Intel P4 1.5 CPU – 512mb RDRAM –100BaseT
1- ALR-6400 with Dual Intel P3 933 CPU’s – 1024Mb DDR266 – On Board SCSI Controller– 100BaseT
1- Clone with AMD Athlon XP 1600 CPU – MSI K7T Motherboard - 384Mb SDRAM – 100BaseT

Hard Drives:
1- IBM - DPSS-309170 – Ultra160 SCSI - 9.1Gb - 7200rpm (68 pin)
1- Maxtor – 90680D4 – IDE – 6.8 Gb – 5400rpm
1- Maxtor – 5T060H6 – IDE – 60 Gb – 7200rpm
1- Western Digital – WD200BB – IDE - 20Gb – 7200rpm
2- Western Digital – WD800JB – IDE – 80Gb – 7200rpm

Controller:
1- Adaptec - 1200A – IDE RAID 0 / 1

Software:
1- .NET Standard Server RC-1 (365 day Trial)
1- .NET Enterprise Server RC-1 (365 day Trial)
1- ISA Server 2000 (120 day Trial)
1- SQL Sever 2000 (120 day Trial)
1- Commerce Server 2002 (120 day Trial)
1- Content Management Server 2001 (120 day Trial)
1- Application Center Server 2000 (120 day Trial)
1- Exchange Server
1- BizTalk Server



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  #2  
Old 09-22-2002, 12:53 AM
mind21_98 mind21_98 is offline
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I'd try putting Linux or FreeBSD on those boxes instead of .NET Server. (384MB of RAM is *not* enough for Windows) I'd suggest some other options but that'd involve upgrading the hardware.

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  #3  
Old 09-22-2002, 01:40 AM
hisaacs11 hisaacs11 is offline
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Adding more RAM to the Tier 1 Web Server is a cheap and easy upgrade.

The Open Software solution is an option, but never having worked on a Linux or FreeBSD box, I wouldn't have the slightest idea where to start, or what to do. Add Apache, PHP, MYSQL, and so on, and it's not just a matter of learning one product, but a dozen.

I have to be able to install an intelligent 3 tier solution quickly and start making money immediately. Not in 6 months when I finally learn Linux syntax.

I considered Red Hat 7.3 initially, as it appears to be everyones choice for Linux when it comes to Web Hosting OS. But when I went to their site, I discovered there's nothing Free about it.

I know this goes contrary to what many believe here, but where's the cost benefit? Obviously Red Hat charges, and I'm not even sure which Red Hat product to use. The Advance Server goes for $3000 a year. The Professional Version is $200. Which one do I need?

Feel free to use the hardware resources I listed above, and come up with a similar configuration using Linux /FreeBSD. But when you do, please tell me where I can get the software, and what versions are needed.

Thanks,

Hank-

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  #4  
Old 09-22-2002, 02:29 AM
priyadi priyadi is offline
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Location: Depok, Indonesia
Posts: 986
Free in 'free software' means freedom, not price. Freedom to do anything with the software as long as you don't take others' freedom.

You can start selling almost immediately using RedHat Linux and a control panel (Plesk or Cpanel). If you insist using Windows, you will probably want to use a control panel anyway.

RedHat sells RedHat Linux with support options, so you won't get 'free' products from them. Try buying from linuxcentral.com, you can get RedHat 7.3 for $7. This is the same as offered by RedHat, only it doesn't come with official technical support.

  #5  
Old 09-22-2002, 02:41 AM
x222943 x222943 is offline
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or, download, and burn the iso's from thier ftp pub... which is free... or, you can pay for what you saw, and get those three iso's burned, and in a pretty black cardbord box with three months of support...


redhats ftp url for 7.3 is

ftp://ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/linux/7.3/en/iso/i386/

which is usually very slow...

but i suggest going to

http://linuxiso.org/distro.php?distro=7

which has mirrors... that are much faster...

  #6  
Old 09-22-2002, 02:56 AM
hisaacs11 hisaacs11 is offline
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Not to be argumentitive priyadi, but what freedom are you talking about? It just sounds like a lot of techno-political crap to me. Do you think that for minute that Red Hat is not trying to parlay the "Freedom" software you so covet.

  #7  
Old 09-22-2002, 03:04 AM
hisaacs11 hisaacs11 is offline
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By the way priyadi, thanks for the links. I've started downloading. Sorry, I snapped. I just haven't heard a good argument yet, why I should make my life more difficult for the sake of burying Microsoft.

  #8  
Old 09-22-2002, 03:16 AM
hisaacs11 hisaacs11 is offline
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Can anyone tell me the difference between a 5 cd redhat dist and a 7 cd dist?

also, how com I never here about Mangrake or any of the other dist for Web Hosting?

  #9  
Old 09-22-2002, 03:16 AM
greatbeast greatbeast is offline
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Between you and me...unless you KNOW linux, I would go with the Win solution.

Ive worked with Unix systems in the past (NOT as you might guess as a sysadmin), as well as having used computer LONG before any graphical interface was used on them so I thought I would have not too many problems with using Linux for hosting.

I downloaded and ran Red Hat 7.2 for nearly a year, and found that resources seem difficult to find for linux. YES there are books around, but of the 3 that I own, none are particularly well written.

Web resources are there, but for the most part, since Linux is so customizable, there is NOT necessarily a standard place for all files, since you can put files and directories where you please (with some restrictions).

Asking HELP from anyone in a linux forum or weblist is VERY likely to get you abuse, and repeated orders to "RTFM" (Read The F-ing Manual) or worse. Very few people will be willing to help, or if they DO help, most of the time, their advice is so terse that it's useless. (Then when you ask for MORE help they will likely give you trouble too.)

Yes, linux is open source, but that is only really usefull IF you like to edit source code and recompile things. If you arent a programmer, most of the value of linux will be lost by you.

Basically dealing with Linux can be obscure at times. Be prepared for a lot of work.

(After a linux box blew up and took 4 domains with it when I tried to add a 2nd hard drive to the system I gave up and switched to using Win servers. Tasks are easier to do, resources are all over, and for the price of a license I keep from yanking all my hair out.)

Dont get me wrong....MANY people use Linux every day, very successfully. But unless you have a GOOD background in it I would not advise going production with it UNLESS you have a Great Idea of how to fix the box when something goes wrong Real Fast.)

  #10  
Old 09-22-2002, 03:39 AM
hisaacs11 hisaacs11 is offline
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Thank you greatbeast...

I thought I was going nuts and had missed the boat somehow, with all the Linux being offered by everyone.

By the way, I stopped downloading the redhat. I'm going back to my WIN.

Greatbeast, can you spare a few minutes to point me in the right direction on the WIN configuration I have listed above?

Thanks,
Hank

hisaacs11@earthlink.net

  #11  
Old 09-22-2002, 06:14 AM
priyadi priyadi is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by hisaacs11
Not to be argumentitive priyadi, but what freedom are you talking about? It just sounds like a lot of techno-political crap to me. Do you think that for minute that Red Hat is not trying to parlay the "Freedom" software you so covet.
No, it is not political at all.

Firstmost, if RedHat somehow got broke, you can be sure there are others ready to take its place. Even if there aren't, you have the complete source code, enough to support the software yourself. Even if you don't have the required skill, you can always pay others to support it. This way a company can still survive even if its supplier of software went under.

Having source code is also an advantage. A company will be able to differentiate itself a lot more easily than having no source code at all.

  #12  
Old 09-22-2002, 11:33 AM
Lagniappe-labgeek Lagniappe-labgeek is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by mind21_98
I'd try putting Linux or FreeBSD on those boxes instead of .NET Server. (384MB of RAM is *not* enough for Windows) I'd suggest some other options but that'd involve upgrading the hardware.
I'd rather have a WWW server with 384 than a SQL2K server with only 512. Ours have 2GB and 4GB. And I wish the 2G on a 4way Xeon HP LH6000r (capable of 6way) had more at times.

Preferably both would be upgraded. I personally think you'd do better with a 2 server solution or maybe even a 1 server setup and spend the money on better hardware. If you keep the application architecture tiered, you can always split it later.

  #13  
Old 09-22-2002, 12:15 PM
mind21_98 mind21_98 is offline
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Quote:
Originally posted by hisaacs11
The Open Software solution is an option, but never having worked on a Linux or FreeBSD box, I wouldn't have the slightest idea where to start, or what to do. Add Apache, PHP, MYSQL, and so on, and it's not just a matter of learning one product, but a dozen.

I have to be able to install an intelligent 3 tier solution quickly and start making money immediately. Not in 6 months when I finally learn Linux syntax.
One word: CPanel.

Quote:

I considered Red Hat 7.3 initially, as it appears to be everyones choice for Linux when it comes to Web Hosting OS. But when I went to their site, I discovered there's nothing Free about it.
RedHat isn't the only Linux out there. There's also Debian (http://www.debian.org/), Slackware (http://www.slackware.com/), etc., although CPanel only works with RedHat. And anyways, you can still get the ISO for free from ftp.redhat.com.

Quote:

I know this goes contrary to what many believe here, but where's the cost benefit? Obviously Red Hat charges, and I'm not even sure which Red Hat product to use. The Advance Server goes for $3000 a year. The Professional Version is $200. Which one do I need?
CPanel and Plesk will work with just the Personal Edition. It's basically the same software on the inside, and if there's anything that needs to be installed, CPanel will install it for you.

Quote:
Feel free to use the hardware resources I listed above, and come up with a similar configuration using Linux /FreeBSD. But when you do, please tell me where I can get the software, and what versions are needed.
1. Load Balancing Box:
PIII 1.0GHz
512MB RAM
20GB IDE HDD
2 Ethernet ports (one to outside world, one to the internal Web switch)
RedHat 7.3 (w/o CPanel since only HTTP and SSH is needed). A script in the Apache document root will redirect users to the right web server.

2. 48 port rackmount 10/100MBPS switch (connecting the load balancers with the web servers)

3. Web Server:
PIII 1.0GHz
1GB RAM
3x40GB IDE HDD
3Ware IDE RAID
FreeBSD 4.6.2-RELEASE
2 Ethernet ports (one to internal Web switch, one to database switch)

4. 48 port rackmount 10/100MBPS switch (connecting the Web servers with the database servers)

5. Database Server:
Dual Xeon 2.0GHz
2GB RAM
3x36GB 15000RPM SCSI
Mylex SCSI RAID
RedHat 7.3 (only because FreeBSD's SMP support is slower than Linux's)
PostgreSQL (much more resillent and RDBMS-compliant than MySQL)

I hope this helps, although it's probably overboard unless you expect a few hundred thousand hits a day starting out.

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  #14  
Old 09-22-2002, 01:18 PM
greatbeast greatbeast is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by hisaacs11
Thank you greatbeast...

I thought I was going nuts and had missed the boat somehow, with all the Linux being offered by everyone.

By the way, I stopped downloading the redhat. I'm going back to my WIN.

Greatbeast, can you spare a few minutes to point me in the right direction on the WIN configuration I have listed above?

Thanks,
Hank

hisaacs11@earthlink.net
Well FIRST of all.... Your configurations arent bad at all. They seem quite workable to me.

Tier 1
Web Server - AMD Athlon XP 1600 - 384mb PC133 SDRAM
Drive-1 (6.3gb) .NET Standard Server / IIS 6.0 / ISA Server / DNS Server Drive-2 (60gb) Multiple Partitions / Swap File / ISA Cache Database / DNS Database


PESONALLY I would go with Advanced Server instead of NET server. Yes, .NET sounds like it has some advantages to it. BUT it's too new (Pre-release) for ME to try using it in a production environment.

Make SURE the motherboard you use has hardware monitoring built into the box. any fast chip that has a heatsink fall off will burn up in seconds if the CPU or Motherboard isnt smart enough to either slow itself down to a safe speed or do a hard shutdown.

I would consider using a RAID system on all machines, actually. Even a cheap IDE Raid1 configuration will be worth it if one of your drives decided to drop in it's tracks.


Tier 2
Application Server - Dual P3 933GHz - 1024mb PC2100 DDR266 Drive-1 (9.1gb) .NET Standard Server /Application Center / Exchange / Domain Controller


SERIOUSLY consider DUMPING exchange. Yes Exchange is a standard for many companies...but Exchange, quite frankly, runs like a dog. It WORKS, but I've seen too many instances where one service or another decides that it will hang at "starting" and sit forever, and prevent users from sending/recieving mail.

There are MANY other better Email systems out there, with all the features you need, with a smaller footprint (Exchange is a memory hog), and DONT have all the features you will never use.

(WHEN was the last time you used your ISP or webhosts email system for "Calendaring" functions ? To set meetings? Most likely you used it to grab and send mail, period.)


Tier 3
Dell - Database Server
Drive-1 (80gb) .NNET Standard Server / Commerce Server / Content Manager / SQL 2000 / BizTalk Drive-2 (80gb) RAID 1 Mirror

No issues with this setup as far as I can tell.


ALSO....

Consider getting a GOOD FTP server. The one built into IIS is functional, but thats all that can be said. I had someone trying to send me a CD image on the T1 line where he works (which has always been stable) and it kept dropping repeatedly. Everything would transfer fine, and go right along, and then at some point it would dump, and then the transfer would start over again, from the beginning.

FINALLY we gave up, he put it on his HOME server/PC and I downloaded it from there (using an FTP client) and it worked perfectly. I checked around and MS FTP has the issue of dropping connections.

Again, like email there are plenty of FTP servers out there you can run instead.

CONTROL panels, you will DEFINATELY need. This is NOT a "would be nice to have" thing. You want to automate as much of the process as you can. YES you can do things manually. BUT then small errors will creep in. (Usually permission errors, etc).

Besides, all the things a control panel does are pretty repetative and will get boring really quickly if done by hand, assuming you do them perfectly every time.

(Helm looks great, but its not released yet. H sphere looks ok.)

I would also wonder about your name servers. You would want to have at least 2 DNS servers, preferably more, with at least one on a different network or connection or location. That way in case of problems mail gets delivered, etc.

For backups (needed!) You could go whole hog and get a nice tape drive. In the beginning a CD burner (700 megs) should do ok. (on my box, with 4 domains, I have 13 megs to back up. a completely workable solution is the my trusty CD burner.)

When you get LOTS (Gigs) of stuff to backup, go with a tape drive.

  #15  
Old 09-23-2002, 12:45 AM
hisaacs11 hisaacs11 is offline
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Well I know have a pretty goood idea where to make the changes.

Since this is a practice system, I really do have to try and configure it with what I already have.

Once I've done my due diligence, I will more than likely upgrade the hardware and standardize as much as possible.

I went out and purchased 256mb of PC133 RAM for the Athlon XP machine. That brings the total RAM on that box to 655mb.

I need to check out the Exchange issue greatbeast. It seems to me that I've heard horror stories about that before.

Anybody here have an opinion on Ensigm 3.0 for Win?

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