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My server administrator had resign with 24 hour notice and left us with 20 Linux servers. She did not pass on any documentation. I personally does not have much linux knowledge, hence i have no choice to ask some direction how to go about. Here are the details:

1) User Creation -When a new staff join, there is one server to create userid/password and this user will be broadcast to all linux server. a folder /home/*user_id* will be created as well.

What kind of technique this is call? i am guessing it is LDAP

Which is the best possible place where the configuration is located in Linux (Centos 5)? And really appreciate if a sugguestion on where to find an easy to understand guide to setup / maintain will be best! Thanks

2) SVN Backup -I can see there is a SVN folder. However, how do i actually back it up and restore to another server when sh** hits the fan?

Note: these 20 servers are all in house and not client serving servers. Hence, it is perfectly OK to break things and reconfigure the box again. I and my team knows 90% of the server content. Just need to know what are the common practice to achieve the above two areas.

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closed as not constructive by John Gardeniers, Ward, Sirex, Stefan Lasiewski, MDMarra Feb 13 '12 at 20:20

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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As knowledgeable as SF users are, your environment's configuration will require very specific support. I would urge you to contact a consultant ASAP. –  jscott Feb 8 '12 at 3:31
    
I have highlighted this to the board and due to budget constraint, the only viable solution is to resolve it our self. Meanwhile, looking for a new Server Admin. So, any clue on where to start maintaining the system is all i am looking for –  Reusable Feb 8 '12 at 3:36
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Hate to put it this way, but this is like trying to attempt brain surgery with the how-to manual in one hand. If you DON'T hire a consultant and something goes wrong, you may lose the business entirely. –  Magellan Feb 8 '12 at 3:48
    
There is nothing much i within this 20 servers apart from the user management and in house application. In house application and deployment is very well documented. The only problem is the user management and even if the user management break, it is still ok. Client is "Not" impacted/involve. Hence, it is perfectly fine to mess around with this server and worst case, all i need is reconfigure. Sorry for did not put this expectation upfront. I am going to update the question now –  Reusable Feb 8 '12 at 6:22
    
Have you sought legal advice on the issue? –  Andrew Feb 8 '12 at 8:10

1 Answer 1

Your first priority is not to figure out how to create user accounts for employees. Your first priority is to figure out how your servers are actually configured, what ongoing processes are running, how backups are set up (you've already mentioned SVN; what else needs to be backed up if it isn't already being done?), etc. After you figure those things out, then, maybe, you start figuring out how to add new users.

If you don't have much linux knowledge, I would suggest hiring a consultant that knows linux to help map out the system for you. Since you mentioned CentOS, you should look for someone who knows about Red Hat Enterprise Linux or CentOS.

Back to the first question: without someone looking at the system, it's not clear how user accounts are managed. It's quite possibly LDAP. It could be NIS, though that's older and somewhat less likely. It could also be some sort of configuration management tool like Puppet or Chef, but that's newer and also less likely. You shouldn't poke around without someone who knows what they're doing helping you figure out how your machines are actually configured.

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