Common Linux Commands You Should Know: Part 2

In our last post, we looked at 5 Linux commands (technically six) that are invaluable to any new system administrator. The following are a few more, some of which are critical to know.
cat – This is a unique program that allows you to combine multiple files or parts into a whole. It can also print […]

Tips for Boosting VPS Performance

In some instances, the performance of a VPS is limited to the hardware and software specifications of the host machine. You have a finite amount of CPU and memory resources at your disposal, and you are not free to change the operating system’s global configurations. Nevertheless, there are a plethora of OS and software parameters […]

Htop: An Advanced Alternative to Top

Top shows you a great deal of information about the top running programs on your server, load averages, memory usage and more. Now imagine Top a little more colorful with some graphical representations of CPU, memory and swap usage, and a full range of shortcuts and functions that can help you manage tasks and find […]

Storing Web Cache on a RAM Disk: Part Two

In part one, you learned how to create a basic RAM disk and how to make it permanent by creating an entry in /etc/fstab. In this section, you will learn how to configure your Apache to send certain files to your RAM drive.
In this example, we will only send images to the RAM drive. Special […]

What is a Load Average?

The more traffic your websites and applications generate, the higher the load your server will have to carry. Over the course of a given amount of time, your server may have a variation of high, medium, and low load. The average of that load over time is called the load average.
Programs like “top” allow […]

5 Benefits of Virtual Server Provisioning

In the old days, when you needed to deploy a new server, there was at least some legwork involved. You would have to find rack space, make sure the rack had enough power for a new server, install an image on the server, and, if the image is not exactly what you needed, customize it […]

Stress Test Your Web Server

It is inevitable that high traffic websites will cause a server stress. CPU and memory loads will rise, and it could affect performance. If you are not careful, it could even bring your server and all of its websites to a halt. Therefore, it is imperative that you have at least a general idea of […]

What to Expect from a VPS Provider

Most web hosting companies offer some form of VPS service, so it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. A virtual private server can be almost anything that uses virtualization, so it is important to know what you are getting and if the services offered fit your needs. These are some […]

Monitor Memory on a Linux Server

Memory is one of the most important features of any server. The more RAM a program uses, the less you will have available for other applications. Therefore, it is important to monitor memory usage on your Linux server to ensure that all programs are playing nice and that nothing wrong is going on.
1. /proc/meminfo […]

How to Monitor Your Server’s Memory Usage

One system resource that can quickly get away from you is memory. Every program needs memory, and some may take more than their fair share. Therefore, it is important to monitor memory usage to make sure your applications are behaving and also help you decide when it might be time to reallocate resources or even […]

Quick-Deploying Cloud VPS Systems

Sometimes you need a dedicated server but do not need the full hardware package. A VPS is great for small server projects that do not require the full power and memory available on the system. Moreover, many cloud companies offer VPS systems that are quick and easily to deploy, charging monthly or even hourly fees […]

How to Troubleshoot Using Dmesg

Linux logs can reveal important information about your server. For system boot messages, the dmesg command provides quick and easy access to critical kernel information. When all is going well, you might not spend much time with dmesg, but when something goes wrong, it is an invaluable troubleshooting tool.
If you need to see boot information […]

Managing Virtual Server Deployment

One of the dangers of hosting virtual private servers is what is known as virtual server sprawl. Like constructing buildings in an area, only so many virtual machines can occupy a single server. High demand for VPS accounts may quickly out pace your ability to create new machines or even deploy new servers to host […]

The Benefits of 64-bit Operating Systems

Most servers come with 64-bit processor architecture. For example, Intel’s Xeon line of processors as well as AMD’s Opteron processors are both capable of 64-bit instructions. Most modern desktop processors are also 64-bit. Nevertheless, there are still some users who might opt for 32-bit operating systems. Is there really a substantial difference and what are […]

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: […]

7 Reasons to Get a Dedicated Server in 2012

2011 came and went, and you still do not have a dedicated server. There are plenty of reasons why you might not be ready for one, and we have covered some of those reasons in previous posts. But inevitably, there are some of you out there who are ready to get a dedicated server, but […]

Do You Need a Dedicated Server for One Website?

If you are new to web hosting or are just getting started with your website, the whole idea of a dedicated server may be foreign to you. At some point, however, you might find yourself in need of one or even several. In many situations, people use dedicated servers for multiple websites, but there are […]

Monitoring Tips Using the ps Command

The ps command is an extremely powerful tool for monitoring processes on a Linux or Unix server.  Processes are the individual instances of a program running on your server.  With ps, you can find out which programs have running processes, how much memory they are using, how much processor power they are consuming, and which […]

How Much RAM / Disk Space / Bandwidth Do I Need?

This is a difficult question to answer.  When you are shopping for a dedicated server, however, it is bound to come up at least once.  RAM (memory), hard disk space, and bandwidth all cost money.  It does not matter if you are purchasing your own dedicated server or using a remotely-hosted solution.  These things cost […]

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. […]

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 […]

Benefits of Running a Database-Only Server

When you first start out in the world of dedicated servers, you may have no other financial option than to run your web server and database server on the same machine.  As your business or non-profit grows, however, it may be necessary to consider other options, such as cloud computing or starting a new server […]

XCache Fast PHP Code Cacher

Earlier this week, we looked at GZIP compression for Apache HTTP Server, which helps reduce the load time on websites and minimize bandwidth usage.  Many websites use some form of server-side scripting to produce on-the-fly dynamic content pages.  PHP is one of the most popular scripting languages of the web, and XCache is a useful […]

How to Increase MySQL Memory Usage Above 2GB

MySQL is a great database server for small, medium, and large websites, but large sites may find that the database alone can consume a great deal of system resources.  Ideally, you should be able to increase resources (i.e. more processors and more memory) in order to get better performance.  In reality, however, there are some […]

When a VPS is not Enough

It is never an easy decision to decide to purchase or lease a dedicated server. The increased cost and responsibility is more than some are willing to take on, unless they absolutely must. Virtual private servers (VPS) are a good way to have the best of both worlds: the autonomy of a dedicated […]

Routine Server Reboots

At one time, it was a common practice of Unix system administrators to reboot their servers regularly, once a month or at another specified interval. This was done to flush the memory, make sure there was nothing wrong with the server, and give it a fresh start.
Nowadays, it seems that many Linux, BSD, and […]

Find out Process Memory Consumption with pmap

On Linux dedicated servers, each instance of any running software is called a process. There can be tens or even hundreds of processes running at any given time, and some processes, such as Apache web server, will spawn child processes. Each process in Linux is assigned an identification number, also known as a […]

Linux Server Memory Usage

If you are mostly familiar with Windows computers, you may find the way your Linux dedicated server uses memory to be odd or even alarming. When I first started using Linux on a server, it was a bit disconcerting to see Linux use up all of the available RAM. This is much different […]

The ps Command on a Linux Server

One of the important tasks you should regularly perform when managing your dedicated server, is to monitor the running processes. While the “top” command will provide you with a glimpse of the most active processes, the “ps” command can give you all of them or the specific ones you want.
As an introduction to ps, […]