Once you have deployed and booted up your first Linux server, you may suddenly find yourself in an awkward situation where you are unsure what to do next. There are so many options and so many ways to configure it that you might feel overwhelmed. The following tools are essentials for getting started with a new, small dedicated server or VPS. They are not the only options, but they are good ones that can help you get started.
Firewall – APF (Advanced Policy Firewall) – Before you even get started down the road of configuring your server, make sure it is secure. APF has a ton of firewall features, but what makes it great for getting started is that it is easy to use.
Web server – Depending on the server image and OS, you might already have a web server installed. If not, it is obviously essential if you want to host websites, even on your own internal network. The most popular choices are Apache, Nginx, and Lighttpd, all of which are free and open source.
Database – To build any dynamic website, you will need a database solution. This can be something very basic like using XML flat files or SQLite, or it can be a full blown database server like MySQL. There are also big data solutions like Apache Cassandra, MongoDB, and Apache Hadoop. All of these options are open source.
In part two of this series, we will explore even more tools that are essential for getting started with your new server.