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What are some system administration best practices? If someone is running a production web server, what are the basic things they should be doing?

My answer to What are some system administration best practices? If someone is running a production web server, what are the basic things they should be doing? on Quora

Graph everything. I’m not a good sysadmin, but one thing I’ve learned from working with with good sysadmins is that they spend a bunch of time looking at graphs.

A graph showing CPU usage, load average, disk operations per second, network traffic etc over the past day/week/month makes any strange behaviour really easy to spot.

I’ve found munin relatively easy to set up, and there are hosted services like Cloudkick that can help out as well.

This is What are some system administration best practices? If someone is running a production web server, what are the basic things they should be doing? by Simon Willison, posted on 5th March 2012.

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