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Hello All A few noobie questions or advice needed please. I am not new to PC's or servers, but unfortunately my knowledge is mostly MS based (sorry.....) I have websites ...
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  1. #1
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    Question Advice on Web Severer setup with virtualisation


    Hello All

    A few noobie questions or advice needed please.
    I am not new to PC's or servers, but unfortunately my knowledge is mostly MS based (sorry.....)
    I have websites hosted on Linux based Servers, but these are always pre-setup for me by the Host. (i am a web programmer, and prefer PHP based code.)

    If i can please explain what (i think) i want and any advice or links pointing me in the right directions would be much appreciated!

    Server Spec : HP 380DL G5, Dual Xeon, 2 x 4 core, 8GB Ram, 4 x 73GB SCSI HDD's.

    For the past few days, i have been reading and think the OS i want (subject to your advice) is Debian.
    I have found a few (relatively easy to follow for a noob) install tutorials, yet they all say "warning this install process is not secure enough for a live web server!".....

    I need this to be as secure as possible!! (#1 priority!)

    I also need to have MySQL installed.

    I also need a simple Mail Server Installed (so i can accept and sent POP3 emails).

    I think the best way (most secure) for me to do this is to use virtualisation software.
    So i would have :
    1 Virtual Machine/OS (Debian) that is for the file/website storage
    1 Virtual Machine/OS (Still think i need Debian?) for MySQL, so that i can lock this down to IP.
    Possibly 1 Virtual Machine/OS for the mail server.
    And the possibility to run other Virtual Machine/OS in future.

    I would prefer all software to be free!

    My main questions are: (although i probably have more questions, but i dont know what they are yet )
    1. What virtualisation software should i use?
    2. Are there any install tutorials suitable for a noob for the install of the VM Soaftware, Debian, MySQL and a simple Mail Server?


    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated, or if anyone can point me to a few good websites that can help me understand and install what i need.

    Sorry if this post is a typical noob silly post....

    Thanks
    Jon

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer docbop's Avatar
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    As to VM software if not an experienced Linux user I would say use VirtualBox it has a GUI to make things simple.

    Virtualazation is good, but you're still on one set of physical resources so nice to have multiple VM, but they are all sharing. That is also why I would add more RAM to your server. Sharing a CPU(s) works well, but sharing RAM can cause a lot of overhead.

    I would have database and web server on separate VM's especially since they need to be configured and tuned differently. If doing a full mail server then in this secanario I would put you mail server and file server on another VM. I would use Debian for all the servers, second choice Ubuntu server.

    There is tons of articles and books on setting up LAMP servers most are doing it on a single server so not hard to figure out how to split the database over to a second server. The thing with that will be bigger part of the learning curve is security, there are articles that can help. Main thing for performance and security is keep the servers "lean and mean" don't install anything you don't absolutely need.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop View Post
    As to VM software if not an experienced Linux user I would say use VirtualBox it has a GUI to make things simple.

    Virtualazation is good, but you're still on one set of physical resources so nice to have multiple VM, but they are all sharing. That is also why I would add more RAM to your server. Sharing a CPU(s) works well, but sharing RAM can cause a lot of overhead.

    I would have database and web server on separate VM's especially since they need to be configured and tuned differently. If doing a full mail server then in this secanario I would put you mail server and file server on another VM. I would use Debian for all the servers, second choice Ubuntu server.

    There is tons of articles and books on setting up LAMP servers most are doing it on a single server so not hard to figure out how to split the database over to a second server. The thing with that will be bigger part of the learning curve is security, there are articles that can help. Main thing for performance and security is keep the servers "lean and mean" don't install anything you don't absolutely need.
    Hello docbop

    Thank you very much for your reply! it i much appreciated.
    I am finding tons of articals and tutorials, but which one are the most suited to my requirements can be hard to tell as a noob

    As i am more use to Windows, anything GUI based sounds very good for my simple mind, so maybe VirtualBox is for me (+ i have used this before on a Windows machine). VirtualBox, however does not sound like something the "pros" would use. is it as secure?

    So to get this right in my mind: First i need to install Debian (7) on to my HP Server? Then once this is done, i install VirtualBox and then create and install my virtual servers (web server, database, mail server, etc)?
    If the above is right: when i install the root (main) copy of Debian within my first step do i install it as a "web server" within the install options? or is this done later in the VirtualBox Virtual Machines? Also should i install the first step (root) copy of Debian with any partitioning, or just use the full disk?

    I intend to upgrade this server to 16Gb of ram. do you think this will be enough for around 3 - 5 virtual servers?
    (it will only be running 2 websites, 1 has a reasonably small load with around 25k visitors per day (most pages have SQL queries, but are well indexed); And the other site is new so i have no idea on load yet)

    (FYI. i am giving myself around a month to play with this server, then hopefully get a full setup installed and ready to be shipped of for co-location in a data centre)

    Thanks
    Jon
    Last edited by jonny512379; 12-29-2013 at 03:54 AM. Reason: added about ram upgrade

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