Understanding Server Administration
Although some system administration tasks are needed even on a desktop system (installing software, setting up printers, and so on) many new tasks appear when you set up a Linux system to act as a server. That's especially true if the server you configure is made public to anyone on the Internet, where you can be overloaded with requests from good guys, while needing to be constantly on guard against attacks from bad guys.
Dozens of different kinds of servers are available for Linux systems. Most servers serve up data to remote clients, but others serve the local system (such as those that gather logging messages or kick off maintenance tasks at set times using the cron facility). Many servers are represented by processes that run continuously in the background and respond to requests that come to them. These processes are referred to as daemon processes.
As the name implies, servers exist to serve. The data they serve can include web pages, files, database information, e-mail, and lots of other types of content. As a server administrator, some of the additional challenges to your system administration skills include the following:
- Remote access—To use a desktop system, you typically sit at its console. Server systems, by contrast, tend to be housed in racks in climate-controlled ...