Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items tagged quora, sysadmin in 2012

Filters: Year: 2012 × quora × sysadmin ×

I would like to setup a web-server which will be used solely by myself. What would be the safest way to do so in terms of confidentiality of the contents?

I haven’t configured them myself, but it might be worth looking in to client SSL certificates for this. That way your server won’t communicate with any browser that hasn’t installed a certificate which you generate. I believe the BBC used to use this for a lot of their important servers which they wanted to be accessible only by their own developers from across the internet (I don’t know if they still do).

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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?

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.

[... 107 words]

System Administration: What service/product do you recommend for central logging of events and errors from multiple servers? Why?

We rolled our own solution to this using MongoDB, due to its super-fast writes and ability to store, index and search JSON. We were also attracted by its capped collections, which make it easy to e.g. only log the last 100,000 items.

[... 113 words]