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First, I was curious what we would be looking at server wise. We would need one I suspect for our MySQL database, one for our email and one for our site. We will be getting into 3 sites eventually but I think we could put them all on the same server. Would we need one for a firewall? We currently have a VPN/Firewall Appliance working. It is a Symantec SGS360R. Would we need any other servers?
Second, I was curious connection wise. I dont think we will need a T! to begin with but sometime down the road it would be best. I was talking to a ISP from around here and they suggested ADSL or SDSL one of the two. Would that work to start? We are currently getting around 200 visits a day but it is steadily growing.
Third, how much time will it take to hookup and maintain. I have a bit of server knowledge but only in a Windows Server situation. Considering our site is in PHP we will be using Linux and Apache which I know nothing about. How hard would it be to setup? Would it be best if I got someone to help set it up? How about maintaining the servers, would they be a big job to maintain?
I was curious about backing up the servers. What would be the best way to backup our files and configurations, especially for the Linux machine.
I think thats about all the questions I have now but I'm sure I will get more down the road :P.
Can anyone help me out with this and get me pointed in the right direction?
Now, if my warning didn't scare you, your next step should be to set up a server of your own at home to toy with and learn. You can do it on a Win OS, but to really get acquainted you should use *nix. If you don't have one, purchase an older(cheap) pc and install Redhat on it. You'll need to learn the nix basics, which seem hard but easier as you go.
At this point you can install MySql, Apache, PHP, etc.. and config them to work.
Have fun with it, and then go find some reliable professional hosting;) It's pretty affordable these days, IMO.
If you're going to do this, start out experimenting with something non-critical. It's rather fun... frustrating, yet rewarding. =)
The suggestion to "learn" before you jump into the fire is right-on the mark. I don't know how other admins handle new software or applications or new projects, but I personally run an identical network at home ('cept smaller) with the same applications that I have to nurse and care for at work. New "toys" are fully tested outside the production environment, then when the server has issues, you learn from it without having to spend extra hours "overtime" trying to get the company servers "back up"... 8-)
Try it at home first...on a small scale...1 server, get the web server to work.....then see if you have "the itch" to "keep going"...
(just my 2-cents...)
ADSL is "Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line", whereas
SDSL is "Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line."
The symmetry referred-to is the upload/download throughput of the two methods; ADSL "downloads" faster than it "uploads", and is well-suited to use for Web clients (browsers), where the ratio of uploaded to downloaded data is about 1:10. That is, the typical Web browser downloads (receives) ten times more data than it uploads (sends). Therefore, ADSL is set up to support a lower upload speed than download speed.
On the other hand, SDSL has identical upload and download throughput. Since you are planning to use the connection for a server, the upload/download ratio cited above for clients will be reversed (for all practical purposes); A server sends ten times more data than it receives.
Therefore, the SDSL connection is better-suited for server uses. Maybe someone should standardize RADSL, with the asymmetry reversed. ;)
If the server is for 24/7 commercial purposes, I'd recommend two T1 lines, each from separate providers, dual independent servers, uninterruptable power supplies per server, dual independent electrical systems for the server equipment, dual independent cooling systems, physical security/access control to protect against data theft, a gas-type (non-liquid) fire-control system, and some sort of alarm/notification system for server outages -- These are some of the things you don't think about a hosting service providing... until they fail.
When all that is taken into account, commercial hosting starts to look a lot cheaper. But beware of paying too little; the features I listed cost money.
From what I have been reading I don't think DSL will be good for our hosting. I have been looking into Fibrewire which is available in my location. It is expensive but sounds better than a T1. There is also E10 which I know nothing about too, but aparently its cheaper and better than T1. T1's are very expensive in my area too so thats a downside.
I think I should learn more about Linux and Apache before I get into it.
Thanks for the help :)