Monday, 14 May 2012

What's Left to Do?

What exactly do we have left to do now that the server is operational?

We want to get an SFTP (secure file transfer protocol) server set up to make it easier to transfer files onto and off of the server - plugins especially, though this could easily be done with the use of a flash drive.

We want to make sure that the server starts automatically on boot without interaction by using either the init daemon or by scheduling it on boot with the cron scheduler. Either of these methods makes use of the screen virtual terminal emulator, which basically lets us make a program run in the background, but allows us to view it's output at any time and interact with it without forcing a restart of the server.

We also wanted to get nightly automatic updates working through the YUM package manager and the above mentioned cron scheduling daemon. We use a very similar technique to schedule automatic reboots every 3 months to ensure that the server's Kernel has a chance to update. This is crucial to the continued security of the server.

What does all this mean for the users and administrators? It means that their jobs will be very very easy. This server is more of an appliance than an actual server. Many servers are very needy - they require lots of attention to updates, loads, memory and disk usage, and tons of other stuff besides that. This server is more of an appliance. It has been designed to be plugged in and forgotten as it works nearly silently in a corner.

The final thing that we wanted to do was install a large library of plugins that the user can enable and disable whenever they need, to make changing the configuration easy.

Shortcuts have been placed on the desktop of the server so that when the local admin logs in, they can easily get to where they need to go without having to dig through the file system. TeamViewer is also installed so that if an issue should arise, the users can open up TeamTiewer and have either Joel or I fix anything that does go wrong software wise. Normally this could be done over SSH (Secure Shell) with less network usage and a lot less lag, but since we don't know if we will have access to the network in this way, using TeamViewer gives us a tried and true method for remote administration that is also very easy to both set up and use.

The server is still up at the previously stated address in case anyone still wants to play on the server before it is officially installed later this month.

No comments:

Post a Comment