DNSstuff.com
Aug
15th

Do I Really Need A Firewall?

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Absolutely! Putting a server online with no firewall is akin to having your own computer on the internet with no firewall, no antivirus and no anti-spyware software. It’s not a matter of IF someone will break in, but rather WHEN they will break in. Did you know that most dedicated servers will be targeted by automated ‘cracking’ programs within hours of being deployed? I always check the server logs just prior to installing firewall software and I typically see anything from 10,000 to 30,000 cracking attempts per day that have been logged.

 

These automated programs simply run through combinations of usernames and passwords until they find a combination that will allow them to log in. Once your server has been cracked, the person who gains access can use your server for a multitude of purposes including running the same cracking software that they used on your server, to try to break into other servers. Some may use your server as a file download repository or a ‘zombie’ spam relay whilst others are only interested in deleting files and/or defacing your web site.

 

Most dedicated servers are provided with no firewall installed. They are basically wide open to attack. This isn’t because the host is shirking their responsibility but rather that they have no idea what services you will be running, so it is, in most cases, better to leave the firewall configuration to you. I can not stress enough, the importance of having your server security checked and a firewall installed and configured. It is an absolute must!

Aug
15th

Who Needs A Server Manager Anyway?

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When I first created this service I figured that the obvious question in most people’s minds would be …why? After all, any dedicated server host provides a helpdesk if anything goes wrong.

The first main problem is that you generally won’t know that anything is wrong until it reaches a critical stage. That’s not to say that a server manager can always ‘nip problems in the bud’. but having someone proactively monitoring your server logs certainly increases the chance of catching any problems before they reach that critical stage.

Secondly, your server host is there mainly to ensure that the hardware is healthy. Whilst some hosts will go the extra yard when you find the server is slowing down or something isn’t working properly, most don’t really want to get involved in problems with scripts or web applications. At The Server Doctor we do take an active interest in these other problems and can provide various levels of assistance. Diagnosing the problem is included in the subscription and we can provide our technical and programming skills to our subscribers at a very competitive rate.

Thirdly, we’ve all heard of disasters that people have had with backups. I have seen situations where backups have appeared to be working perfectly for years but when you come to actually restore the data you find it has been corrupted in some way. Our approach is to provide a ‘disaster recovery’ backup service where we backup your data monthly and manually check that the data is really there. How we do this varies. If the bandwidth is available and your data is 1GB or less, we will back the data up to our own servers. If that option isn’t practical then we will help you get a second hard drive on your server and we will set the backup for you and check it each month.

There are several other reasons why having a server manager is an advantage. Day to day tasks such as script installations, adding domains, email accounts etc can all be done by our staff at a very low hourly rate. Our helpdesk is included in your subscription to answer any queries you may have about whether a particular script is compatible with your server and any other general questions.

Aug
15th

What Is A Dedicated Server?

What Is A Dedicated Server?

There are three main types of server:

Shared Server – A shared server has many different domains hosted on it. All of the servers resources are shared by many websites. Think of it like a filing cabinet with several folders in each drawer. On a shared server you have control over your folder and everything within it. Other website owners also have their own space, separate from yours, but sharing the resources of the same server.

Hosting on a shared server is by far the most popular option, mainly because of price. You can pay as little as a few dollars per month and there are some hosts that even provide free web space on shared servers.

Virtual Dedicated – This is the next step up from a shared server. If we use the filing cabinet example, it would be like a filing cabinet with several drawers and each website would occupy a drawer. Whilst the resources are still shared, there are not as many websites sharing the server, and we have greater control over our space on the server. The server is configured in such a way that it looks and feels like a dedicated server.

Hosting on a virtual dedicated server is a popular option for busier web sites. It is difficult to define ‘busy’ as it varies greatly depending on what sort of services you are providing on the web, but most commonly, web site owners will upgrade to a virtual dedicated server when they find that their existing server is getting quite a lot of visitors and the volume of visitors is starting to slow the website down.

Dedicated Server – A dedicated server is like having control over the whole filing cabinet. It is not shared with any other website or domain. In most cases, when you request a dedicated server, the web hosting provider will have your new server installed and configured within 1-3 days. With a dedicated server you have the entire server to yourself. You have full control over all of the servers resources and can use the server in any way that you wish, provided it does not violate the web hosts terms of service.

Hosting on a dedicated server is suitable for very high traffic websites. You have full control over the server and its resources and can request upgrades such as additional hard drives, additional memory and a faster processor.


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