Archive for April, 2012


Back to Basics #13: Basic DNS Zone Editing

DNS is one of the most important features of your server. It is what connects your server’s true identity, its IP address, to its human-readable name, also known as its domain name. In order to add domains, sub-domains, or mail server addresses, you need to edit DNS zone entries for your domains. Using a web-based […]

Back to the Basics #12: Hosting Automation

Hosting Automation refers to software that makes web hosting as easy as clicking buttons on a graphical interface. For those who have worked with naked Linux or Unix servers, this is a dramatic contrast from the command line interface to which you may be accustomed. Most hosting automation comes in the form of a web-based […]

Back to the Basics #11: Secure Shell (SSH)

If you are new to dedicated servers, your primary experience with hosting management has probably been from within the comfortable pages of a web-based control panel. Without a doubt, control panels like cPanel/WHM provide system administrators with robust tools to tackle most of the issues they may encounter. Nevertheless, there will still be times when […]

Back to the Basics #10: Web Applications

Web applications, as the name plainly states, are applications that run on the web rather than on a person’s personal computer or laptop. This makes them extremely versatile, since any device capable of connecting to the web can use them. The methods for developing and deploying web apps vary, but the end result is essentially […]

Back to the Basics #9: File Systems

Unix and Linux servers are much more common than Windows servers, so there is a good chance that you will encounter at least one during your time as a system administrator. Therefore, it is a good idea to be familiar with the peculiarities of the file systems, which differ in many ways from Windows desktops.
Since […]

Back to the Basics #8: Application Security

When covering application security, there are three basic application types you should consider:

Standard applications that you install directly on your server’s operating system and run only when you need them
Applications that are run as daemons or services, starting at boot time and continuing to run as long as the server is on
Web applications […]

Back to the Basics #7: OS Security

The security of your operating system can be very complex. It is a large collection of software that has direct access to your hardware. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain an ongoing security policy for protecting your server’s OS.
The following items should be at the top of your server OS security list:

Kernel updates – The […]

Back to the Basics #6: Network Security

In order for a network to be secure, you need to have some type of firewall in place. Firewalls typically protect your server from a wide variety of network attacks, all of which focus on weaknesses or holes in your network. For example, an cyber-criminal may scan your server for an open, unused port and […]

Back to the Basics #5:Other Server Software

Choosing your operating system and web server software is only the beginning. If you need a custom dedicated server built to your specifications, you will need to specify several other types of software, including database system, DNS, mail transfer agent (MTA), scripting languages (PHP, Ruby, Perl, etc.), firewall, virtualization, and more.
DNS – The management of […]

Back to the Basics #4: Web Server Software

As we continue our overview of the very basics of dedicated server hosting, it is appropriate at this time to look at web servers. Dedicated servers have a wide variety of uses, from application hosting to gaming, but web hosting is one of the most prominent. As the entertainment and business worlds become more integrated […]

Back to the Basics #3: Server Operating Systems

In the third part of our “Back to the Basics” series, we will look at the operating systems that power today’s servers. Just as there is a diverse amount of hardware available on the server market, so too are there a great number of operating systems. They are not all equal in all aspects of […]

Back to the Basics #2: Networking

In the second post of our “Back to Basics” series, we will take a look at server networking. Generally speaking, as a system administrator, you will not have to worry about the actual networking infrastructure. If you have an in-house server, your company will likely hire someone to establish connectivity, and if you are renting […]

Back to the Basics #1: Server Hardware

Over the next couple of weeks, Dedicated Server School will post several articles in a series called “Back to the Basics”. Much of this will be a rehash of content we have already published, but it will be provided in a more uniform set of informative posts for those new to dedicated servers.
Part 1: […]

Which Linux Distribution Is Best for Servers?

Recent reports have indicated that Linux continues to gain a larger share of the server market, while Microsoft Windows and variations of Unix continue to lose significant market shares. Linux has become the dominant server OS type of choice, and for web servers in particular, Linux is almost the default.
Nevertheless, to call Linux a single […]