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Re: Linux server for work but don't know how?

On Fri, Mar 01, 2002 at 10:38:20PM +1300, Alan & Kerry Shrimpton wrote:
> Hi,
> At work we have one file server with NT4 I think as the OS.  One mail server
> firewall running Linux.  (Hence why I am playing around with it at home).
> We have 3 other computers connected to the network running Windows98.  The
> rest of us use laptops (6 off) which we plug in when we are in the office.
> Now work is talking of upgrading their file server.  They have a quote in
> like 10k New Zealand using the old NT software.  I would love the chance to
> put in a Linux file server but don't feel confident enough.

A linux box with Samba sounds like it will do the trick. You don't
mention whether you have the NT box doing authorisation, and serving
home directories and the like. If so, things (might) get slightly more
complicated. (I only have experience with using samba on a file server
with a bunch (now down to 1) of win98 clients, where I didn't use NT
domain stuff). Allegedly, samba can now do NT domain controller stuff,
but that's out of my league.

To build up confidence, have a look at:
    www.samba.org -> [mirror of your choice] -> docs
    the SMB HOWTO : www.linuxdoc.org/HOWTO/SMB-HOWTO.html

> What advice can you give me?  How much knowledge does someone really need to
> know to make this happen and ask work if I can do it?  I can see one hurdle
> and that is our accounting software is windows based.  Maybe even joining
> the mentors list would be appropriate?

If your accounting software is windows based then it's probably best to
keep that on windows :-) One thing at a time allows the things to
be simple.

There would be nothing wrong with keeping your existing fileserver (i.e.
the hardware & software), but moving the duties of file serving to a new
(linux) box. You probably paid for the NT box. Chances are it will come
in handy, (as a backup machine?) until one day you discover that it 
crashed 3 weeks ago and nobody noticed. *Then* you silently remove it or
upgrade it to the OS of your choice.

> I would appreciate some input on this but I think the project is probably
> too big for me.  They do want mirror disks in case a hard drive crashes but
> don't think they need to go the whole hog with raid control.  Then with
> mirror disks do you really need a tape backup?

Yes. You don't have enough backups until you're knee-deep in them. Or at
least ankle-deep.

If you were to suffer a failure on the motherboard, disk controller, 
power supply (or any of the other single-point-of-failures), it a *good
thing* to be able to restore everything on a different machine. (I admit: 
in this case it might be quicker to move one side of the mirror to
another machine).

Besides: If one of your users accidentally deletes a file, then the
mirroring won't help you. You'll have to restore the file from the tape
and "educate" the user

Karl E. Jørgensen
Please study http://www.rfc855.org

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