New Technologies Archives - Dedicated Server
Dedicated Server Hosting India | Server Renting India

Dedicated Server Hosting India | Server Renting India

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Security of a Dedicated Server and What Makes It Is Secure

Security of a Dedicated Server and What Makes It Is Secure

Posted by in Dedicated Server

The security of Dedicated Servers are mostly based on the Data Center facilities housing the equipment and all service providers generally address enough quantity of resources to guarantee your server security, checking for new vulnerabilities, software and utilities deployment, to update and patch the server when needed if it is a managed one and tuning up the firewalls among other measures to avoid hackers attacks.

Depending if yours is a managed Dedicated Server or an unmanaged Dedicated Server, the service provider may offer multi-tiered security and monitoring 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, as well as access to co-locate your server in the Data Center most secure racks with network monitoring, usage and other pertinent metrics if required.

General security measures of a dedicated server may include controlled access, firewall and intrusion detection, network monitoring, mirrored data centers, video surveillance, conditioned power, fire suppression, redundant air handling and battery backup capacity. All these measures are related to the Dedicated Server provider, but you as the owner must implement additional security measures on your own, not necessary at all, if you are under a managed service plan.

Among the basic security aspects to keep in mind while fine-tuning your Dedicated Server, is the server configuration files. Running an Apache server requires the improvement of permissions on the server root directories, server side includes, in non-script aliased cgi, script aliased cgi and cgi in general, as well as in other sources of dynamic content protecting system settings and protecting sensitive server files by default. These same measures apply to other operating system counterparts.

Another option to maximize security on a website is the use of Secure Servers adopting a strict policy for both the document root where HTML documents reside, and the server root where configuration files are kept by granting read, write and execute permission accordingly in servers with *nix platforms or their equivalent on windows servers, paying particular attention in CGI scripts and directories where most security threats are easily exploitable.

The cgi-bin directory or equivalent, and its contents has to be setup as executable and readable, chmod 755, but not writable, chmod 777 or 666, because the high security risks but Dedicated Servers running in Windows platforms do not have the Unix chmod command as an option so if you are concerned about security and you do not have the proper windows server knowledge or the budget to get a managed Dedicated Server, your best option is select a server running under *nix environment.

Operating Systems for Dedicated Servers

Operating Systems for Dedicated Servers

Although, the most common and popular operating system platforms for Dedicated Servers are Windows or UNIX based, there are several operating systems and sub-operating systems to choose from when it comes to selecting your Dedicated Server configuration.

Windows Based Dedicated Servers include Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server environments, Mac, Solaris, Mac OS, Mac OS X, Netware, NetBSD, FreeBSD (Unix Like), and both Unix and Linux with their different distributions; DarkStar, Debian, Fedora Core, Gentoo, GoboLinux, PLD Linux Distribution, Red Flag, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Redhat Server, Ultima and Xandros Desktop OS

The most popular operating system for dedicated servers is normally Linux or UNIX. Some people do however use Windows because of the applications that they wish to use that are only supported on a Windows platform.

Since there are pro-Microsoft Windows and pro-Linux movements, it is hard to determine which of both related operating systems could be the best to run on your Dedicated Server, but these 2 platforms are the most popular when selecting an operating system is needed. Windows supporters claim that Linux has a higher total cost of ownership with less guaranteed support and complex to setup for anybody except experienced users, while Linux supporters say this operating system is more secure, cheaper and easy to use, as well as is virus- and spyware-free in contrast to Microsoft Windows.

Debian, a widely used distribution developed through the collaboration of volunteers from around the world. Since its inception, the released system, Debian GNU/Linux, has been based on the Linux kernel, with many basic tools of the operating system from the GNU project.

SuSE, a founding member of the Desktop Linux Consortium is a major retail Linux distribution, produced in Germany and owned by Novell, Inc.

Fedora Core is an RPM-based Linux distribution, aiming to be a complete, general-purpose operating system from open source software.

Mandriva Linux, formerly Mandrake Linux or Mandrake Linux, is a GNU/Linux distribution created by Mandriva (Mandrakesoft).

Solaris is a computer operating system, based on the open-source UNIX SunOS developed by Sun Microsystems.

Windows Server 2003 is the successor to Microsoft’s Windows 2000 Server, booting up with none of the server components turned on, to reduce the attack vectors for new install.

Difference Between Managed Dedicated Servers and Unmanaged Dedicated Servers

Difference Between Managed Dedicated Servers and Unmanaged Dedicated Servers

Once you have started you way to acquire a Dedicated Server, the next thing popping up in your mind is the selection of managed or unmanaged services associated to your server because most providers offers both plans as well as co-location services but, what is exactly the difference among managed Dedicated Servers and unmanaged Dedicated Servers?

A Managed Dedicated Server is the best option for the in-experienced webmasters moving their websites from a shared hosting service to the total control of their own Dedicated Server. Why? Because you will get always the necessary support to learn what are you doing, and even get all the procedures and installations done, as well as the upgrades and maintenance of the server, being aware of the necessary critical kernel update for the operating system.

With a managed service plan, you are worry-free to dedicate your time exclusively to the development of your website, but this is not free and costs sometimes prohibitive if you are just starting your internet business. An unmanaged Dedicated Server requires your attention and some degree of knowledge for running scripts, configuring and compiling software packages among other related administrative tasks.

You may name your own server admin to do such things, a friend with the required knowledge or someone else helping you free, but in any case, you are solely responsible for keeping track of any patch or server updates required to keep it running and safe. Sometimes unmanaged Dedicated Servers come with one or two free support tickets a month to help you out in an emergency.

Because a Dedicated Server is your remote computer, if you have a problem running or configuring the server we can say it is your problem so that way many companies will not give you any support if you do not have a managed Dedicated Server or if you do not upgrade your unmanaged server to a managed plan. This is good to save in costs because you can acquire an unmanaged Dedicated Server to “test waters” and later upgrade it hiring the complementary managed services, but make sure the chosen server provider offers this facility.

Managed services involve the attention of technical problems and many cheap Dedicated Servers, do not offer a managed dedicated server plan but in both cases, managed Dedicated Servers and unmanaged Dedicated Servers mean the rent or lease of the equipment and rarely the total purchase of the server ownership.

Purchasing a Dedicated Server

Purchasing a Dedicated Server

If you have decided to take all the advantages of having your own dedicated server, there are a few things to know before purchasing it. The common practice to attract potential customers is offering what appears like an excellent deal for a lower price, but ending up with the lack of services, components, software or hardware, which is only available at extra charges.

Since purchasing a Dedicated Server means owning a remote computer, all its resources are reserved exclusively for your own use. Make sure to clarify what the specifications are you need and choose the service provider meeting those requirements included for the tagged price, because remember a Dedicated Server is only restricted by the size of its own resources.

However, the risks of inadequate hardware configuration or specifications not meeting your needs sometimes are not associated to the tricks of selling Dedicated Servers cheap, because being free to manipulate your server as you want and install any software as well, it may be the customer’s inexperience that causes the expensive mistakes. When is not the need of a hardware upgrade to run the server properly, the wrong selection of an operative system or other software may raise the costs.

Compare prices before you purchase a Dedicated Server: paying attention to every detail and trying to gather information if you do not have the experience on determining the aspects of setting up your server. There are many forums and communities where you may find help and advice to know, for instance, that 256MB of memory may not be enough to run a Dedicated Server properly, and knowing this in advance is the standard amount of memory assigned to those bargain offers out there.

Another point of particular attention when it comes to defining your Dedicated Server specifications is related to the proper control panel installed by default on the server. Many service providers do not mention if the server includes a control panel, and without it is hard to run and manage at least the basic tasks.

Although there are several different free control panels for the different operating systems, most low priced Dedicated Servers do not include any, and the very popular control panels like Cpanel are licensed and its cost is not included with the purchase of the server. This can be even worse if you are planning to use your Dedicated Server as a hosting facility to others. The license on some control panels, such as Ensim and Plesk, are limited to a determined number of hosted domains.

The price for five domains license is not the same as the price of a 100 domains license, usually billed monthly, quarterly or yearly. Consider all these aspects in the moment of purchasing your own Dedicated Server because a mistake selecting hardware and software, or not paying attention to the inclusion of unlimited licenses and/or free backups facilities may change drastically your internet development plans or the available budget assigned to this investment.