Once you finally get over the hump of setting up centralized access to various resources in your environment, you won’t know how you lived without it. Maintaining resources in a central location for use by the masses saves endless numbers of trips to peoples’ offices, and it can save you money because you’ll only have to back up a central file server instead of its individual clients.
This chapter will delve into various methods of file sharing, each applicable in different circumstances. For web farms, an NFS server can store the web pages, making backups and repurposing a breeze. For end user file access, Samba can provide cross-platform, authenticated file sharing. For web-based collaboration, have a look at WebDAV.
Make recovering from disaster—and preparing for it—simpler by centralizing shared resources and service configuration.
A key goal of all system administrators is to maximize the availability of the services they maintain. With an unlimited budget you could create a scenario where there are two or three “hot standby” machines for every one machine in production, waiting to seamlessly take over in the event of a problem. But who has an unlimited budget?
Standalone machines that store their own local copies of configuration and data can be nice, if you have lots of them, and you have load balancers, and you have a good cloning mechanism so you don’t spend ...