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Newbie questions releated to maintaining apps on a server

9:52 am on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Just looking for some help as a relative newbie. To describe my experience to put things in context:

- I have building websites for a few years and have a reasonable knowledge of XHTML and CSS, but haven't had a need to get to technical on servers as I have just been using resold hosting with a nice web interface (1&1, mediatemple etc)

- I have an understanding of how relational databases work having built a few filemaker DBs

- I am an experienced computer user having been a designer for years (mainly Mac), although I'm not a programmer

- I love to learn new things and pick things up quickly. If there is a book I will read it!

To describe my problem/question(s):

The small company I work for has a website delivering downloads online, it has all been built, maintained and hosted by an external developer but my company would like to bring the hosting 'in-house' and just have the 3rd party build the application and deliver it to us.

It is currently built in ASP.NET with the customer/site data on an SQL DB, and the files dispensed via an Apache/MySQL server. These are both virtualized on one single Linux machine running with guest OSs of windows and linux.

We have our own fully managed hosting agreement with a dedicated server.

My company has decided that we will set up a test server (also virtualized on the same machine) to run a version of the site on which the 3rd party developers will update, then I can test it before running a script (designed by them) to copy this to the production site and it going live. This means that the developers do not have access to the production site, and gives us a bit more security.

I will have a login but not root access (the hosting company will retain this).

So my question is, what tools/software will I need to login and do all this? Are there any good website to learn this kind of stuff? Are there any good books I should read to get confident in doing this? How can I learn about how this is all done?

I don't think this is going to be a major task in reality, but I want to be armed with enough knowledge so I don't goof it up!

Any help would be much appreciated!

3:32 pm on Sept 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member brotherhood_of_lan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Welcome to the forums taktak,

If you're lucky everything will 'just work' when you migrate your site over to the new server. FTP/SSH access is pretty much all you need imo.

You may also want some sort of admin to keep an eye on the database.

Remember that the server you're accessing isn't all that different from the regular OS you're using, Testing and backing up will ensure you don't do something bad/detrimental that can't be reversed.

3:47 pm on Sept 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If you are going to work on the Windows box from a Mac, you will a RDC client. There is RDC for Mac (from Microsoft) or CoRD: Remote Desktop for Mac OS X (Open Source). I prefer CoRD myself.

Good luck.


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