Learning how to manage a server (not for hosting :D)
What is the best way to learn how to administrate a server? I would like to add to that that I am not going to use the server to provide hosting, the server is for a personal project of mine. Of figured out it is way much cheaper to buy a server myself and manage it myself. This way I only need to pay for colocation which is way cheaper than hiring a managed dedicated server .
But to get back to the question, which steps are there to learn how to setup and manage a dedicated server? I don't need to know all of it, just the steps required to get it running en keep it running.
Originally posted by wakkow Do you -need- to have it located in a DC for the bandwidth? Why not have the server at home/work to use as your test box, that way its a lot easier to format/fix/tweak it, as needed.
Eventually it will be located in a DC, but it is indeed a good idea to have it at my home first to test. But still, I need to learn how Linux works on a server environment.
A great way to learn is to get a copy of VMWare, and install virtual servers. The software is pricey at 299.00 but the great thing about it is, you can whip up a new server with any distribution of linux you want and practice on it. I had a lot of fun learning to install Gentoo. You can get a lot of experience this way, and just delete the VM machines when you're done and start over.
Or you might consider a Virtual Dedicated Server like these at cubicware.com. (I'm reselling Hostmania's offerings there, I'd offer a link directly to Hostmania but they are rearranging their site and I'm not sure where the links to the VDS are.) You can get 3GB disc space and 30GB bandwidth for about 20 bucks a month or less. The nice thing about these is that you get root access so you can install any software you want. They are great for learning administering through Webmin or command line. I ended up dropping my dedicated server in favor of one of these because they were just as fast and much cheaper.
Get an old computer and set up shop on that at home. There really is not much of a difference in an old computer and a 1u rackmount server. If you can figure it out correctly, you might even be able to open up port 80 on your ISP if you have a high speed connection and do limited hosting from home.
This is the best way and I highly recommend doing this before buying a server of your own. Assuming you wait 6 months to colocate, you will be able to get the server hardware for near half the price then.
And I'm sure one of your friends or relatives has an old pentium 133 that they would never use again that you can have for free. Or, worst case scenerio, build your own from pricewatch.com for 150 bucks.
Just download Linux ISOs, burn to cds and set it up as a dual boot on your comp if you really need to start playing with it. Later on you can buy a cheap second computer and run it on your home LAN and then finally you can move to a dedicated server at a DC.