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  1. #1

    How hard is it to manage a server?

    I am looking to move to a dedicated server - How hard is it to manage your own server? I have played with LAMP on my basement and it is certainly not bullet proof but I cant afford my own hardcore techy guy and there are so many places out there charging from $0-$200 a month.

    It is really hard to identify the differences even though I am making a matrix.

    So can it be done easily your self or do you need to be a linux genious?

  2. #2
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    Genius helps a bit, but I would say it would be worth a try. If you can't seem to get a handle on it, there are plenty of managed providers that can help you out. Check the offers section
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattrobo View Post
    So can it be done easily your self or do you need to be a linux genious?
    Not that easy IMO if you are not too sure about the technical aspects of server management. No need to be a genius but you should know the stuff very well. Other wise go for managed servers as the other member said.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattrobo View Post
    I am looking to move to a dedicated server - How hard is it to manage your own server? I have played with LAMP on my basement and it is certainly not bullet proof but I cant afford my own hardcore techy guy and there are so many places out there charging from $0-$200 a month.

    It is really hard to identify the differences even though I am making a matrix.

    So can it be done easily your self or do you need to be a linux genious?

    Your best bet if you are unsure about how to manage your server, or are not that well versed in the OS, is to use cPanel. In my experience it pretty much takes all the behind the scenes work out of the terminal and tech guru and puts it in the hand of those proficient with a UI. There is literally nothing you cannot do from the GUI based Front end that you'd otherwise need your "own hardcore tech guy" for. If you get stuck the support and documentation for that product is very good!!!
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  5. #5
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    I think i depends on what are you hosting on that server.
    If you're hosting a very popular website or an high traffic e-commerce is better you don't take the risk and go with a managed support. In any other case, maybe you can try to do it by yourself and ask some support on demand.

  6. #6
    Hi

    Enginenetworks is right

    if ur site not an ecomm site then u can also try software like whm extra

    remember normally servers are not hacked , software are hacked like phpbb,vbullitin hacker can take over them but they cant go under ur server.


    thanks

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattrobo View Post
    I am looking to move to a dedicated server - How hard is it to manage your own server? I have played with LAMP on my basement and it is certainly not bullet proof but I cant afford my own hardcore techy guy and there are so many places out there charging from $0-$200 a month.

    It is really hard to identify the differences even though I am making a matrix.

    So can it be done easily your self or do you need to be a linux genious?
    If you're using a control panel, such as cPanel, on your server, the difficulty of server management will be pretty low. But with a self-managed server, you will be responsible for 99% of things involving your server, its issues and security.

  8. #8
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    Cant you try a VPS and try to manage that? Once you get the hang of it then move to dedicated
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  9. #9
    Thankyou everyone. I might just get a VPS and put my own accounts on it. It still does not prove the whole security from hacking as I have my own LAMP server in the basement  so I know how to get it to work but who knows if there are security holes in it. So thjats why I wondered if I could manage my own “real” servers.

    I am only hosting pretty static HTML style pages for friends, the odd business etc but nothing mission critical – YET. I am looking at expanding.

    @rasputin – what is it that Cpanel can do interms of server management?
    @hivlocity JJ – Same sort of question as above. Does it handle security updates to the kernel? I had a quick look at the user manuals for Cpanel but I am missing something as it amanges the resources and accounts but that's not what “server management” normally means is it?
    Last edited by mattrobo; 11-18-2009 at 05:25 AM. Reason: spelling

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattrobo View Post
    How hard is it to manage your own server?
    It depends what happens.

    Suppose, for example:

    1) you are running a web server, and you get reports from users that occasionally they cannot access the site. What are you going to do?

    2) you are running a web application, and you get reports that every now and then, it seizes up - instead of the normal 2 or 3 seconds, some transactions take 30 seconds or more, and the whole site gets frustratingly slow to use, until all of a sudden, everything is fine again.

    Unfortunately, you may find that even if you have a managed server or a support contract, your support organisation fails to solve intermittent problems like the above.

  11. #11
    Well thats the multi million dollar question -

    1- I have an fsocketopen php service running today that checks this. but I agree. Other than a restart.. looking at DNS issues.. who do I call for help? If I had bought server management from say Platnuim or one of those guys what do they do about it. If it is in the contract they have to solve it cool. If they say out of scope then it is me anyway. so why would I have paid for them?
    2 - if it was me I would be looking in the logs. Do a restart. keep an eye on it. Try to reproduce it... then ask here If it was with Platnium I would hope that its their problem.

    This is my delima/confusion - who has to do what? And is it really worth having external people doing it if they come back and say - not my problem.

    Thats why I am asking you guys. They are 2 good scenarios I should email to their sales departments to hear what they do.

    If there are server manegemtn people here I would like to hear what u would do.

    I am worried I wont get value from them.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rasputin View Post
    Your best bet if you are unsure about how to manage your server, or are not that well versed in the OS, is to use cPanel. In my experience it pretty much takes all the behind the scenes work out of the terminal and tech guru and puts it in the hand of those proficient with a UI. There is literally nothing you cannot do from the GUI based Front end that you'd otherwise need your "own hardcore tech guy" for. If you get stuck the support and documentation for that product is very good!!!
    Are you saying with cPanel you don't need to do anything from a command line?
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobM View Post
    Are you saying with cPanel you don't need to do anything from a command line?
    Yeah that is the question here. Though cpanel/whm will help you to manage server in certain aspects; there are other things which should be done from the back end if you are going to manage the server fully.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by iHubNet-Matt View Post
    Yeah that is the question here. Though cpanel/whm will help you to manage server in certain aspects; there are other things which should be done from the back end if you are going to manage the server fully.
    I know how cPanel works, just pointing out to the poster that there a lot more then just buying cPanel and your good...

    I will agree cPanel is nice and can help, but to be true managed you have to know the backend or hire somebody to keep the backend good.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobM View Post
    I know how cPanel works, just pointing out to the poster that there a lot more then just buying cPanel and your good...

    I will agree cPanel is nice and can help, but to be true managed you have to know the backend or hire somebody to keep the backend good.
    RobM,
    You misunderstood my reply, I was just trying to emphasise what you told in your post. Some Others were saying it is easy if Cpanel is there; but I can't agree fully in that aspect if you want to manage the server fully. We are in the same boat mate .

  16. #16
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    Managing a server can be very easy if your using something like cPanel.
    But when something goes wrong to fix it within a short period of time takes a lot of skill!
    also securing and optimizing takes a great deal of skill to do right.
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  17. #17
    Are you talking manage a server via control panel? Cause thats pretty easy.
    Through command line, gets a bit more complex.
    You may want to consider a semi managed solution.

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  18. #18
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    Managing the server can be very easy even from the command line. You basically secure ssh by disallowing password based access, using a non-standard port and public key encryption.

    Then you setup iptables to drop INPUT packets by default and poke holes for each of the services your going to offer. For example open port 80 and 443 for web access, port 53 for dns etc. Keep unnecessary ports closed. Use sftp for file access and not FTP. Also reduce the number of daemons or services that are running.

    Also use open basedir to keep php scripts confined to the virtual host doc roots.

  19. #19
    Just to clear up some things. Managing the server via CPANEL is not really what I was talking about as it is out of the box and runs itself. There is nothing to it.

    I guess now that we have 10 posts here it would have been better for me to go and cut and paste what is offered by server management companies into bullet points then ask if any of those things are a)really done in Cpanel already b)hard for a normal person to do c) really not relelvant.


    I am trying to work out why some places change you $20 a month and others charge $200 a month… whats the difference and is it really necessary. So could I just do it myself.
    Last edited by mattrobo; 11-19-2009 at 08:16 AM.
    Stop?
    Or Go?

  20. #20
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    I would agree. Using cPanel/WMH does not a system admin make.
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  21. #21
    Choosing the unmanaged dedicated will be your responsibility,

    Managing the server security this would be your responsibility. If you don't do it correctly, and in timely fashion then you may be find yourself at the risk of the security threats.
    You are responsible for the others server in addition of the server updates.
    You will be responsible for figure out what type of software your business needs and installing the software yourself.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattrobo View Post
    I am trying to work out why some places change you $20 a month and others charge $200 a month… whats the difference and is it really necessary.
    You have to compare apples with apples. You've identified two places, find out what they offer for what they charge, although I expect the one charging more will probably do more. The one that charges less will suggest that they do more, but their T&C will be several pages long explaining what they don't do. It's up to you to get past the sales page and evaluate their actual offering. Also, offering does not equal capability.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattrobo View Post
    So could I just do it myself.
    How good a server admin are you?
    Consider the following question:
    How hard is it to fly an aeroplane?
    It's pretty hard if you're sitting in the back seats, and not so hard if you're in the cockpit and properly trained, not only on which buttons to push, but when to do it.

    Unfortunately, in IT, the people in the back seats reckon that with enough time spent watching how the pilot flies, they'll be able to do it too.

    If you have to ask the question, then you probably need to skill up. Either hire someone to do it for you and learn from them, or buy a few books, an inexpensive vps and teach yourself through experimentation, or just pay someone more and make it their problem entirely.

    The importance of the system to you will determine which path you follow. If it's for a business purpose, just pay and have someone's button available to press when necessary. If it's a hobby, do it in your own time, but be warned that getting owned while you do this will likely form part of the learning process.
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