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Re: Debian 6.0 'Squeeze' home server - Installation guide

Another couple of items that I came up with, to follow up to Lee's post. You might want to discuss having bastion hosts, such that each server performs a function. The most obvious (though probably out-of-scope for a home server) would be that it would be a Bad Idea to put a public anonymous ftp server on the same machine as your production database server. Now that example would be overkill for your typical home environment, though it might be valid for a small business. However, in a home environment, a parallel case might be that you wouldn't want your mythtv installation running on your backup server.

In any case, you should discuss bastion hosts vs. all-in-one servers. In this discussion, you could bring up the point that while you can place them on physical boxes, it might be more cost effective to virtualize them. There are a number of options here, including

* openvz
* linux-vserver
* kvm
* xen
* vmware
* virtualbox

All have pros and cons. (I'm still looking for the ultimate solution.) The first two will only support Linux guests, while KVM requires a 64-bit cpu with the virtualization instructions (e.g. VT-x or it's AMD equivalent). Xen is sort of messy to install and vmware...Well, I have real issues with vmware. They only pay lip service to Linux. There is no Linux client to manage it, except for vmware server, and that is its own nightmare...VBox is an option, but really isn't scaled for server-type virtualization.

Personally, most of my VMs are on openvz.

In any case, you should definitely have your firewall on a separate machine, bare metal if possible. I also recommend your backup machine be on a separate bare metal machine. That said, you can probably combine your various web servers, etc.


On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 2:15 PM, lee <lee@yun.yagibdah.de> wrote:
On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 01:59:42PM +0000, Pinguim Ribeiro wrote:
> In a easy to follow way (you can copy and paste all you need) this site will
> guide you step by step through:

There doesn愒 seem to be more than the "before you begin" and
installation part 1 and part 2?

There愀 no mentioning about setting up RAID and reasonably
partitioning the disks in the installation guide. I consider RAID1 as
a minimum requirement to minimally secure your data, and when setting
up servers, it愀 a minimum requirement for reliability. I悲 also
recommend not to use DHCP but --- if provided by some router --- to
turn it off in the router and to do all network configuration in the
LAN manually.

But then, there愀 a decision to make wheather to use a(n external)
router/firewall or not, and since you愉e about setting up a server,
you might want to consider to use the server as a firewall and
router. This would be a topic that could be discussed in the "before
you begin" section so that everyone can make their own decision,
considering the advantages and disadvantages.

On a side note: When you start with a computer and the installer CD
and some sort of internet connection that needs to be established
before it can be used (like pppoe), is that even possible? I扉e never
tried that, but I haven愒 seen a way in the installer to setup a way
to dial-in, like pppoe, to get a working internet connection. If it愀
possible, ppl don愒 need to buy routers if they decide to set up their
server in such a way that it does the routing and firewalling.

There doesn愒 seem to be a section planned about compiling the
kernel. Though it愀 possible to use a kernel out of the box, the
kernel the installer installs is awfully bloated ... Some other topics
that seem to be missing is setting up your nameserver and traffic

One mistake that ppl starting to use Linux often seem to make is
demanding that everything they can think of somehow magically starts
to work all by itself. They have no idea about how much there is to
learn about every aspect, and they don愒 realize that they will have
to do the learning, how time consuming that will be, how much effort
it takes and how annoying it can be. Instead, they get frustrated

Any guide giving even the slightest suggestion that they could easily
and reasonably set up and administrate a server as complex as you
envision would mislead them. Trying to give them an idea of what they
are eventually about to get into and that they need to make one very
small step after another rather than demanding that everything has to
work right now is something I悲 tell them even before the "before you
begin" section.

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