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I am running technical support for a server software product.

We support putting the static content of our product on IIS and Apache. Often I run into issues with the webservers (permissions, app-pools, etc). What is a good resource to find out all of the functionality and configuration options of the web-servers and get a better idea of how they work. Getting better with the terminology wouldn't be bad either.

What are my best resources for doing this?

Thanks

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2 Answers 2

When it comes to learning any new technology, it's extremely tempting to take to Google, or even here on SF! However in my experience, the more I dig into the inner workings of different technologies, the more I value the good old fashioned book. Materials like O'Reilly guides are always a good bet, as well as vendor white papers and documentation, and ensure that you're getting accurate, up to date information. It took me a while to realize how important that is when you're first starting out with a new technology.

Forums and Google are another great starting point for expanding your knowledge once you have a good sense of the basics, and can help introduce you to new software, systems, and possibilities quickly.

Looking at other people's questions here on server fault is also an excellent way to learn about the intricacies of a particular system like IIS (check out that "Related" section to the right of this post). Reading about the mistakes and problems that others have had just might save hours of your time down the road.

And lastly, once you find yourself in a real jam, I haven't found any place better that SF as a place to pose intelligent, well thought out questions to a slew of experts and professionals with years in the industry.

Anyway, just my opinion as someone who has had to learn a lot new things quickly ;)

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Thanks for the suggestions. I was hoping to get a book for the reasons you listed. Do you have a suggestion? –  sixtyfootersdude Jul 30 '12 at 17:52
  1. Set up and configure some servers yourself
  2. Every time you think of something theoretical, read the manuals and test it out on your own setup
  3. Read questions here on SF about web servers and see if you can replicate the problems on your own and provide the answers yourself

That last one benefits not only you, but this wonderful community as well ;-)

As John K points out, a lot of (high quality) knowledge is still available through publishers and book stores.

There's no golden rule as to what constitutes a good source for learning these things. It totally depends on you and your learning style, how you think you might benefit most from these different materials.

I've found myself that a good mix of reading, hands-on testing and troubleshooting, and for my part, most importantly - teaching others what I know!.

Coming back to my main point: this is why I spend my time contributing here at SF. The more I teach, the more i learn - it's a sure WIN-WIN

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3  
And what Mathias said! Nothing compares to actually DOING it! –  John K Jul 24 '12 at 21:10
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Make sure to experiment with your test/dev envoironment before trying it in a production envoironment if you aren't certain what you are doing. –  Robin Gill Jul 24 '12 at 23:25

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