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  1. #1

    Setting of a small web hosting company!!!!

    Although I know something about Linux, apache, DNS, IIS, DHCP, IP addresses and working of Internet I still I cannot find the answer which I am looking for.

    What I need:

    I am planning to setup a small company which can hosts companiesí websites (maximum 500 companies) and email as well. By the way I donít want to be ISP (Internet service provider). My target is for small companies, (only those sites, which are about max 100 pages, and are static, HTML pages, later on may be small databases MySql, and PHP)

    My questions are:

    1. How many computer I will need, and for what purposes, like Web Server, email server, FTP server, etc?
    2. How many DNS server I need?
    3. Can I make DNS sever, Web server (apache) and mail server on same PC, If not why?
    4. What about security and database support? What if I need to expand later on, how difficult is that?
    5. Which platform is easy and secure for my company, Linux or Windows?

  2. #2
    Right now, im doing almost the same thing your planning to do.

    Ill do my best to help answer your questions.

    1. Start with 1, add more as your need it.
    I started hosting around 7 sites on a Dual p3 750Mhz, 512Mb Ram, and ~50gigs of space. (2 6gig drives (mirrored), and 4 10 (stripped/parity)) For few sites, that are getting low amounts of hits (say 50 - 100 sites averaging less then 1000Hits a week, this would suffice, as your business grow, grow your network)

    2. Personally, I would start off just redirecting. If your using Linux ( i assume you would ) Just use apace, along with mod_userdir and go that way. Most Domain Registers allow you to mask redirects so you can get ---> Again, as the business grows, you will need to start doign DNS yourself. Check out they have a nice service that helps out in the beginning.

    3. Yes, you can run them all on one machine. In fact, most distros come with all the services you need to start out with. As with everything else, as the load grows, you will need to change. My personal route was to start with WWW, MAIL, DNS, and FTP all on one machine, then the first to go was MAIL then i moved DNS to my local network, on a seperate machine, then eventually, i was left with my webserver doing HTTP, and FTP, MAIL doing its thing, and DNS doing its thing. Later, as i added in MySQL support, i placed it with the HTTP server.

    4. Security should be your conern from the first day. Before you open the box in your new server comes in, have a security model layed out. Expanding, is as difficult as you make it. But, its a fun time to learn new things. Almost all of my knowledge of Linux came from expansion. As your business needs new services, you will have to learn how to use them, and which is better for you. Also, dont just right into any one software (Sendmail over Xmail or Postfix) Look at what each has to offer and work from there.
    Database support is quite simply, in most cases it comes prepackaged with your distro. MySQL is IMO the standard Databaseing platform (I will prolly get flamed for that). Its stable, fast and works. Securing all this is going to be tough, but not impossible.

    5. I would recommend Linux. Especially for a start up. As your business grows, you might want to look at M$ and see what they have to offer. But, as any good geek knows, you cant everything in one place. Linux will be a bit harder to setup then Windows, but it pays off in the end. As for security, it just depends on whose marketing tactics you like best.
    I have heard that Server 2003 is a very secure platform, but im still sticking with linux.

    As for the PHP support of your sites, its almost preinstalled, with mod_php.

    Apache has a lot of features that you could use to your advantage, check out the online docs and read about UserDir, it saved me alot of time.

    One thing you didnt mention, but im sure am aware of, is quotas. This is very important, because you dont want users taking up space they dont pay for! Redhat Fedora Cor 1 (what im using) its very easy to implent. I also ran slackware for a while, and it was a fairly strightforward setup. Google 'Quotas in Linux' and you get enough info to last you a lifetime.

    In fact, google all the questions you had in this post and you get some fairly good info to help you out .

    And some extra info to help you,
    Dell has a very good deal on servers and switches right now. for around ~700USD you can get a decent machine, and a good ethernet switch to start out on. Some books i would recommend are "Administering Apache", "DNS and BIND". "Apache Cookbook", "Linux Fedora Unleashed", "Sendmail", "Postfix", and just about the rest of the orielly books.

    Hope this helps .

  3. #3


    Thank you 'rathergoodman'.
    I will ask you more... when problem arise!!!

  4. $spacer_open

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