[thelist] Server Administration

Burhan Khalid thelist at meidomus.com
Mon Jun 27 02:31:01 CDT 2005

Jeff Howden wrote:
> Matthew,
>>From: Matthew Lewis
>>To start with, I'll definitely be using some flavor of
>>Linux, as I wouldn't touch IIS with a ten foot pole
>>after all the bad things I've heard about it.  I've
>>heard that a Linux/Apahce/Cpanel/WHM setup, if 
>>kept patched, is pretty well locked down without the
>>admin needing to know much about server administration.
>>Is this true?
> No.  What's true is that the security of the server and the
> software/applications installed on said server are only as good/bad as the
> administrator administering it.  So, forget everything you've heard, read,
> dreamt, etc. about Linux, Apache, IIS, etc. as it's all rubbish.  Any of the
> software from the big players can be locked down to whatever level of
> real-world security you need.  You just need to get as familiar with the
> software and the various resources online to do it, no matter the vendor.

As always, Jeff is correct here.


   We run around 8 servers using cPanel/WHM for our clients.  I'm not 
part of the server admin staff, but I lend a hand when it comes to 
configuring Apache+Tomcat+MySQL.

   What I can tell you is that WHM makes it very easy to do 
administrative work (creating packages, upgrading users, 
monitoring/restarting services, etc.) so for day-to-day operations its 
quite good.

   From our experience (we tried Plesk) cPanel is easier for our clients 
to understand and use, so that is what we stuck with.  We tried 
everything, but in the end, our clients liked cPanel.  I can't say that 
I like cPanel too much, for one -- depending on the "skin" that you use, 
certain options may be hidden from the end user.

   There will be times when you need to get your hands dirty and ssh 
into your box to do some adminitrative tasks that WHM cannot handle. 
For this and other system-critical tasks (kernel upgrades, etc.) you 
will most definately want to hire someone -- or get a managed plan at 
your provider.  This is *not* something you should do unless you know 
what you are doing.

   cPanel provides a trial for their product (you must have a dedicated 
IP at your server) and I'm sure others do as well.  Try them out and see 
what suits your situation best.  Depending on where you get your server, 
your cost might already include a cPanel, Plesk, or some other control 
panel license.

Good Luck :)

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