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I have a software engineer background and I am not very familiar with linux.

My aim is to be able to:

  1. Create an environment for software development (SVN, jira, etc.),
  2. Have a place where to host demo of our tools developed with jee technologies,
  3. Deploy a website of our company with apache, postgres.

Should I go ahead and rent a dedicated server? It seems that in term of bugdet, I should definitely go ahead and do it myself. But will it make me spend too much time fixing administration/security problems?


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It seems with only two people in your company, titles like "CTO" are a bit inflated. If you don't have the budget to setup your technology at least half "right" you might want to reconsider your business plan. Also, capitalization and grammar go a long way in demonstrating professionalism and competency to clients and investors. – Chris S Jan 22 '11 at 14:39
If you are asking this, you might be in trouble – MDMarra Jan 22 '11 at 14:42
I've edited my question so you guys can focus on the content of the question itself. Thanks – user67816 Jan 22 '11 at 15:00
I've been there, as a contractor sysadmin, and the startup (well past IPO and a part of Alexa now) only consisted of 3 people. I'd do what those guys did - get an IT outsourcing company to provide the people on an hourly basis. – dyasny Jan 22 '11 at 15:02

If you are not sure demand will justify the rent of a dedicated server or cloud service, you should host your server in house, assuming you can get enough bandwidth to your office/workshop. If you can't, move office first :-)

You then have the added advantage of fine-tuning your virtual sessions and gaining better understanding what kind of resources you need per customer/programmer and per month.

Once you have this knowledge, it will be easy to pick the right hosting or cloud service. Or justify paying for more internet bandwidth.

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thanks for your answer. It seems we are going for a renting dedicated server anyway in the first place. – user67816 Jan 22 '11 at 18:52

You should. Yes, it will take (probably a lot of) your time, but you will be creating better products by understanding that programs run on computers, OSes, network, etc, and not in thin air, the concept that too many programmers have trouble understanding.

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you are probably right, I'm reading about virtualization right now... – user67816 Jan 22 '11 at 18:53

You could look at a virtual dedicated server - I have found Linode to be excellent and prices start from just $20 a month. They provide plenty of documentation to get your started. Start with a clean OS install and just install the packages you need. Setting it up yourself gives you a deeper understanding of the architecture and processes on the server.

In my experience the difficulties arise when your server is preconfigured with a bunch of stuff you don't actually need or want, or the supplier provides a bespoke configuration to suit their own internal management tools.

Having said that, it is well worth having a knowledgable third party you can call on if you hit problem that you cannot resolve. If and when this happens having a clean and conventional configuration will make their life easier.

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I'm going to develop JEE applications. They like memory a lot... – user67816 Jan 22 '11 at 18:52

I'm generally a fan of setting things up yourself. However in your case it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense because your needs are so modest. You will add more value to the company in writing software, not configuring servers. Is there any money in the budget to hire a dedicated sysadmin at least to do some initial consulting or on a part time basis?

If you are successful with your initial prototypes on a hosted setup, you should revisit the question of running your own servers - particularly if you then have the money to hire a dedicated sysadmin at least part time.

Keep in mind however the risk with this approach is you are laying the framework now for what could hopefully grow in to a large company. That's why I do advocate you try to get at least some initial sysadmin consulting help now.

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Thanks for your answer. Any consulting company you'd advice? :D – user67816 Mar 7 '11 at 17:44

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