Sunday, May 13, 2007

Attending to the web servers

Web servers are like the wilder beasts of the Internet. I imagine them to be out in the open grass plains happily grazing in the sun. I also can imagine tigers, cheetahs and other predators lurking around the fringes looking for the few that aren't paying attention or have been wounded and thus are falling behind the herd.

The predators are the numerous script kiddies (skiddies) and crackers out there that either trying it on, seeking to find yet another server to host their warez, or they're building a massive, high bandwidth botnet in which to strike down those who oppose them.

When I looked at my new herd of servers (okay, 3 isn't really a herd...) I saw a neglected bunch that needed some tender loving care. So all this week I have been looking at what makes them tick and for what purposes they serve. In the process I've been cutting the fat, optimizing and tightening things up. There's still a ways to go but things are already looking better, especially after upgrading the link from 10Mbit to 100. I hope whoever owned those domains I disabled doesn't get too pissed.

Things that need to happen:
  • Consolidate servers into a single rack and connect them via a private LAN
  • Adjust load balancing to go between all three servers
  • Establish a managed firewall
  • Upgrade OS and packages on each

I won't feel comfortable until all that is in place.

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