Archive for July, 2011


What Windows Users Should Know about Linux Servers

You are likely reading this because you are new to Linux servers, and although it may seem intimidating now, you will soon learn to love your new system.  You may rarely need to touch the Linux command line, as most functions these days can be handled using a web-based control panel like cPanel / WHM. […]

Anti-Virus and Anti-Spam Tools for Linux Servers

Desktop Linux distributions have a distinct advantage over Windows.  They are not plagued by the millions of viruses that circulate the Internet wreaking havoc on unsuspecting PC users.  These viruses are designed for Windows and normally only affect Windows systems.
Despite the apparent immunity Linux enjoys, a Linux server should still have some type of […]

How to Add an APT Repository

APT is a free and open source package management system used by many popular Linux distributions, such as Debian and Ubuntu.  APT provides an easy way to install, update, and remove packages for your server.  By default, APT includes repositories for your installation CD and the default online distribution repositories.  If you want access to […]

Unix Server Permission Safety

Unix and Unix-like servers share a common permissions-based system for users and files.  This allows the system administrator (root) to determine which users are allowed access to specified files and what type of access they get.  Whether your server is running FreeBSD, Debian, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X or any other Unix-like […]

Steps to Take When Your Server Is Unresponsive

The day has finally arrived. You feared it would come and tried to prepare for it, but now that it is here, you are frozen, not sure what to do. That moment when you go to your website and realize it is offline or, even worse, get a call from a client complaining about down […]

A Breakdown of AMD’s Processor Numbering

A while back, we took a look at Intel’s Xeon processor numbering scheme to get a better idea of how their server CPUs are identified.  Intel, however, is not the only server processor manufacturer on the block.  Its direct competitor, AMD, has a server line called Opteron processors.
According to AMD’s specifications, every processor in […]

Fight Brute Force Attacks with DenyHosts

A Brute force attack is a particularly sinister way for those with malicious intent to gain access to your server.  The premise of this type of attack is to ultimately have root access in order to accomplish whatever goal the attacker may have.  To do this, the attacker typically uses software that attempts to guess […]

For Backups Rsync Beats FTP

When you decide to backup your server (hopefully sooner than later), you will need to choose a transfer method.  Unless your backup device is physically attached to your server, that transfer method will involve a network or remote Internet connection.  FTP is a common method of file transfer that many people use for their websites, […]

The Pros and Cons of Cloud Email

Cloud computing has become a very popular option for many businesses hoping to offload some of the expense of maintaining their own mail servers. Cloud email services are easy to setup and use, but there are both advantages and disadvantages to using them.
The Pros

No maintenance – Forget about catching spam and viruses.  Your service provider […]

How Important is Memory on a VPS?

Yesterday, we looked at low end boxes, inexpensive servers with less powerful hardware than your average high-quality dedicated server.  Many low end boxes are actually virtual private servers (VPS), and are, therefore, technically not boxes at all.  With a VPS, you share your server with other tenants, all of whom need to play fairly to […]

Using a Low End Box for Backups

Every system administrator should have a server backup of some form.  For on-premise servers, it may be an external storage device, either physically connected to the server or stored within a network-attached storage (NAS) device.  For remote servers, you can still use a local storage or lease a separate server for backups.
In some cases, your […]

A Look at Varnish Cache Web Application Accelerator

One of the easiest and least expensive ways to speed up your website is to use some form of caching.  You can cache anything that is dynamic on a dedicated server.  A cache is a parcel of information kept in memory or on disk for speedy access.  In the world of dynamic websites, those created […]

WHM Scripts for Easy Server Setup

Web-based control panels like cPanel/WHM are great for simplifying tasks that would normally require you to login to your server via SSH and run programs from the command line.  For batch tasks, however, the command line is often a better choice.  Fortunately, there are numerous WHM command line scripts that you can execute from within […]

Virtual Windows Options on Linux Servers

In most circumstances, you will probably only run a single operating system on your server.  Dual booting makes little sense, as anything that normally runs on the other OS will be off while the current one is running.  For situations where you need two OSes, virtualization is a viable and increasingly popular solution.
On a Linux […]

How to Monitor Linux Server Users in Real Time

Under many scenarios, you may never allow other users to login to your Linux server, and you can still function successfully. In rare cases, however, you might need to give certain users SSH accounts to allow them limited access to command line functions within a chroot jail. In those situations, you need a […]

File and Directory Removal on a Linux Server

Most of us are accustomed to the comforts of a desktop operating system. Deleting files usually involves clicking on their icons and pressing the delete key or dragging them to the trash. Regardless of which OS you use, you probably rarely drop to the command line to do your deleting.
For a Unix or Linux server […]

How to Backup MySQL Databases in cPanel

Dynamic websites often rely on databases to store, retrieve, and save information.  Therefore, it is insufficient to only backup website files, which often only contain scripts and applications, while ignoring the databases, which hold your actual content.
Backing up your files and databases with cPanel/WHM is easy and relatively painless.  With it you can backup individual […]

Dedicated Server Terminology: Part 3

This is a continuation of Dedicated Server Terminology parts 1 and 2.
11. Cache – Caching gives your server a distinct advantage by keeping the most frequently-used data in memory or easily accessible on the disk.  Just as an operating system might cache important application data, you can configure your web server to cache […]

Dedicated Server Terminology Part 2

The following is a continuation of yesterday’s server terminology. These should help you become more familiar with your dedicated server and will also serve as a quick reference guide in the future.
6. Operating system – An operating system is the primary software on a server that interacts with the hardware, network, and […]

Dedicated Server Terminology: Part 1

When you are new to working with dedicated servers or simply a business person trying to understand what your technology consultant is always talking about, much of the terminology associated with dedicated servers can be overwhelming. For that reason, we have put together a multi-part series of posts covering numerous server topics, along with […]