Experienced web developers, system administrators and those experienced withÂ dedicated servers may already know very well what steps to take after purchasing one. If you are not experienced with dedicated servers and have just made the switch from shared hosting to a dedicated account, this article could help you with the process.
Install the Operating System
There is actually a very good chance that your operating system – the background interface that will give your server life – is already preinstalled for you. Most of the popular dedicated server management companies, and just about every other popular web host today, will offer a dedicated server with either a Windows or Linux based operating system already installed.
If your operating system is not already installed, it is simply a matter of following the instructions provided with your licensed copy of the operating system. Which variant you choose, be it Windows or Linux based, offers its own set of strengths and weaknesses.Â However, both are good platforms.
Secure the Server
Many people disregard security as being an important part of their web hosting solution. Security is always important, even if you are only operating on a shared web hosting account. As you can imagine, it is even more important that you properly secure your dedicated server. An unsecured server could create a whole host of problems – including everything from random system crashes to complete server hijackings, if you don’t attend to due diligence.
- Disable telnet.
- Change the SSH port. Create a new account for your use.
- Disable root logging in your sshconfig. This makes it so that you (or anyone else) is unable to log in to your ssh connection as the root user.
- Set up your MySQL server username and password.
- Update any software you have installed, including your operating system, to its latest version.
Optimizing Server Performance and Functionality
Once you have sufficiently secured your server, the next task is to install the required software, such as cPanel or fantastico, to provide the functionality you’re looking for. Once you have all of your software installed it is then time to optimize your server for maximum performance. After all, a half second difference in response time is often the difference between a visitor either staying on the page or bouncing off.
Since it is unclear which software you will be using on your server, it is impossible to provide a definitive guide on how to optimize it. However, we can offer that all server applications are designed with optimization in mind and that thereâ€™s a good chance that the software you will be using can be optimized using instructions provided – or easily found on the web.
That being said, common optimization processes include:
- Installing the required software. Once the software is installed, update as required. This may include patches for the latest version, or enhancements to speed up performance.
- Optimize MySQL particulars like table and query cache, table size, buffer size, and number of simultaneous connections allowed, etc. This definitely falls into the ”if it isn’t broken don’t fix it category” if you aren’t completely sure of the process.
- Adjust settings with Apache and monitor system resource usage, to get an idea of how effective the optimizations are.
Once you have optimized, you can then begin to enable full functionality of the new web server. This will take your server from an expensive remote hard disk to a full-fledged web server.
- Set up your DNS settings. You will need to have these set up in order to have the domain names reference your server when they are called upon.
- Set up name servers. You will need these if you want to assign domain names to your server.
- Point your domain name settings to your new server and assign them IP addresses and DNS settings. Depending on how many IP addresses you purchased with your server, you may assign a multitude of IPs at a time. Typically, each DNS is given a unique IP address.
- Create your users and assign their privileges.
- Install web management software, tracking software, and your FTP client.
Keeping in mind that this article is a rough approximation of the steps that you should follow, once you have completed the above, your server should nearly be completely ready to go. Make sure that you test and retest the installed software to ensure that it is performing properly and reliably.
Once all of that is complete, upload your web site and enjoy the many benefits of owning your own dedicated server.
Superb Internet provides a complete range of managedÂ dedicated server web hosting solutions, from virtual shared web hosting through to high-volume, mission-critical dedicated server solutions. SuperbHosting.net’s core focus is customer service, and continuous service improvement, with offices and 24-hour/365-day operations in McLean, VA, Tukwila, WA, and Vancouver, BC, serving customers in over 150 countries worldwide.
View further information onÂ Dedicated Servers here.