First time with a server!

By Norehca ·
Ok, ive never made a server before but ive been using windows for the same damn things way too long and i think its time to expand my research in computers further! Im ready to start up a server on what youd call a **itty computer! 400mhz P2 (although i managed to squeeze out 512mb of RAM on what was supposed to be 384MAX!) and a 30GB HDD with the OS(s) an 80GB HDD to store whatever i happen to store on this hopefully soon to be server, and a DSL connection (no idea what the specs ar eon it, its the faster more expensive kind i believe)! So with all these crappy specs i think im set to start up a half-azz server. (By the way this is a seperate computer, my gaming computer is 64-bit with a GB of RAM so dont laugh at me yet!)

My first thought was to set up an ftp server but i can tbecause idont know the password / username to get into my modems settings! (Any ideas of how to get these would be appreciated).

Question #1:
What type of server do you suggest?

Question #2:
What OS should i use? Im currently using Windows XP Pro SP2 but have a copy of Windows Server 2003. If Linux, what distro? Im currently using Ubuntu.

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All Answers

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XP isn't a server per se

by CG IT In reply to First time with a server!

what server? depends on what you want to learn.

Web site hosting and development? Linux

Active Directory or Directory Services based networks? Microsoft and Novell. [Sun Micro Solaris to].

If you want to learn lan and internetworking routing and switching, then get some Cisco Routers and Switches.

Database admin and development? I'd say Windows SQL but others here probably would recommend other DBs like Oracle's stuff.

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As i said.

by Norehca In reply to XP isn't a server per se

The question was asking what server based on my computers specs and internet connection should i use? As a first timer what type of server should i start with?

Thank you though, your post will help as soon as i can find out what server to make :)

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If you read my post

by CG IT In reply to As i said.

if you want to learn web development/design and web hosting use linux. most web sites and developers design for linux servers.

If you want to learn Directory Services [Novell] or Active Directory Services[Windows] use Novell or Windows Servers.

To learn you have to get some books and read, get a test network together and practice what you learned. Try Microsoft Press self paced training books.

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Firewall, Router, DNS, FTP, and HTTP

by stress junkie In reply to First time with a server!

Given that your computer will not be worked very hard you can combine several functions. A firewall would be very useful. An FTP server would also be useful and it would be a way to get some use out of that 80 GB disk.

If you wanted to do all of these things in Windows you would have to purchase a lot of software. You can implement all of these functions for no money if you use Linux. Here is a list of the software that you need to implement each function. Most Linux distributions come with most of these already installed.

Firewall and router is implemented with iptables.

FTP server is implemented with vsftp.

HTTP server is implemented with Apache.

DNS server is implemented with BIND v9.

SMB network file sharing is implemented with Samba.

That should keep you busy for a while. I think that you may have to acquire a faster computer to use Windows Server. It's a shame to waste it because it is so expensive but there isn't all that much that you can do with it unless you purchase more software.

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So you are a server virgin..LMAO! on for Dr. Ruth's methods

by Why Me Worry? In reply to First time with a server!

It's OK, we will guide you on how to have your first pleasant experience with a server without having your heart broken.

A server is like a woman, it needs to be treated gently and with respect, or it will start acting up and malfunctioning. Always make sure your server is properly cared for by providing it with ample memory and hard drive space, as server tend to get very hungry for such resources. Once a month, reboot the server to flush it of old tainted virtual memory because leaving the server with tainted virtual memory will only result in poor server health performance. Also, servers like a cool environment so that they don't overheat and initiate the dreaded thermal shutdown...analogous to a woman on PMS having a bad day. The servers come in many shapes and sizes, just like women, but the one you choose will depend on personal preference as well as how much processing power you want your server to have. The brains of the server, the operating system, will determine how well or how poorly your server will behave under certain situations. It is highly recommended that when you engage in computing operations with your server, you protect yourself and the server from harmful computer viruses by installing an Anti-Virus package of somekind. It is also wise to have a backup strategy in case your server should experience digital amnesia (crashed hard drive) or a complete digital meltdown, also known as fatal hardware error. In situations where you absolutely cannot lose data and require maximum availability and uptime, you can start a cluster club and introduce your server to a friend called a cluster node, which will take over for the buddy server in the event it gets sick or needs to go on vacation.

I hope this informative guide has helped you understand and overcome your shyness about servers and server virgindom

remember, we were all server virgins at some point in our lives, so it is nothing to be ashamed of

once you are fully experienced with handling and taking care of server, you will be qualified to pass on your skills to other server virgins

it has been an honor for me to pass on my knowledge to you

good luck and be well, server virgins of the world

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Gods thats funny

by CG IT In reply to So you are a server virgi ...

I had to print this out and tack on the corkboard. Classic!

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Thank you. It just spontaneously came to me. It's a gift.

by Why Me Worry? In reply to Gods thats funny

Glad you liked it..enjoy. :-)

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by CG IT In reply to Thank you. It just spont ...

I stuck that on our message corkboard in the server room. So far the guys have laughed and added little tidbits about virgins. Most amusing!

thanks for the laugh.

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by Norehca In reply to So you are a server virgi ...
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OK a few options that are available to you

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to First time with a server!

Firstly are you sure that the M'Board can see that 80 GIG HDD?

Most of the old P2 M'Boards had a 60 GIG upper limit hardwired into their BIOS so you'll need either a IDE to PCI Card to allow that 80 GIG Drive to work or some software that tricks the BIOS into believing that you have several smaller drives present.

As for the RAM most of those P2 M'Boards had an upper limit of 256 MEG per RAM Slot but this was all Low Density RAM which may be a bit hard to find even in SD RAM which is what should be present. But if you can find a few 256 MEG Sticks that have IC's on either side of the Stick that's likely to be the right stuff so your upper limit should be 256 MEG by the number of available RAM Slots most often 4 which would give you an upper limit of 1 GIG. Or if there are 3 slots the limit would be 768 MEG. Try to get the same type of RAM if possible as it just works better and is less likely to give you any problems. There was quite a lot of Legend 256 MEG Low Density SDRAM floating around at one time and it was fairly cheap. You should have 100 MHZ RAM for that M'Board but 133 MHZ will work OK just don't mix 100 & 133 RAM together or you'll get all sorts of timing issues arising which will drive you crazy.

About the User Name & Password the ISP has these and will provide them to the Authorised User of that account. In case that the Modem gets refreshed or something not so nice was to happen to it there has to be a way to reset it which should always be through a HTTP Address in a Web Browser. And the ISP should have provided a piece of Paper with the details on it when the Modem was supplied along with an E-Mail address and Account Name. So the ISP in question here can provide the required information.

As for the type of server you have quite a few options and this depends on what it is that you want to learn but I would think for starters you could setup a Domain Controller which would act as an Internet Gateway with it's own Firewall and Mail Server as well as possibly a File Server where you hold all the data on one section of a HDD in the Server and take everything from there to run locally and then when it gets saved it goes back to that HDD in the server and isn't stored Locally. If you do this you'll need to deploy some form of Disaster Recovery Plan commonly called a DR Plan which involves backing up all your data on a regular basis and doing a Incremental Backup in the interim. So say Once a Week you would do a full backup and every day you could perform an Incremental Backup. That way if something goes wrong and you loose all the hardware you can be up & running in a very short time frame without the loss of any data which is the most expensive item in any Network. The hardware is easily replaceable in any business but it's impossible to replace one charter of data unless you have a solid Backup in place. While it's always possible to recover the data off a dead HDD this is very expensive and time consuming so besides taking several thousand $ to get the Data Recovery Done you also have to be prepared for at least 1 week if not longer before you can get the data back so that work can continue. Sure in the interim you can do some work but until you get the Data Returned and loaded you'll be unable to send out any Bills which is the important thing with any network. No money coming in no business it's as simple as that. You would also need to know what stock levels of whatever ever it is that you have as well so you can have staff invoice out any parts that they use and have the system to reorder when you reach a certain minimum level.

It really depends on what you wish to simulate in this learning situation as to what it is you try to emulate.

Now for a Server product you are very limited here as 2003 Will Not run on something so slow and 2000 Server is going to place a major strain on the available hardware, but NT4 Server will quite happily run on that hardware. At a real pinch you may get 2000 Server to run but it,s going to be really slow and push the available hardware heavily so any slight problems will get magnified out of all proportion. If you want to use Ubuntu they have their own Server Product available for download for free from here

You need to download the Intel X86 one listed under Server. Your current Hardware will not support any of the others available.

I hope that is of some help to you.


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