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For a dev who doubles up as a sysadmin in small web startup, what services/servers/devices do you recommend running?
I am also open to best-practices suggestions

To get the ball rolling- here are some of what I have.

It’s been a while since I asked this question. Updating the list after 2 years :-):

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Perhaps you should define what you mean by "web startup". It will mean different things to different people and will affect the answers you receive. –  John Gardeniers Jul 30 '09 at 12:09

7 Answers 7

For code-review we use ReviewBoard which is much more mature than others. I think it's a good idea to install something like Laconi.ca internally so that people can post quick updates about their work.

I also recommend a project management tool like Basecamp, a bug tracker like Lighthouse or if you can afford, the venerable FogBugz which is excellent.

You can also add FreeNAS for a nice NAS storage box.

Otherwise, you have pretty much covered everything :)

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I would recommend Unfuddle. It is a web-based project management system. It has projects, milestones for projects, issue tracking, messaging, and integrated source control (svn and git). Some of the more expensive plans include Time Tracking, too.

We use it for several different projects, and it's free for small teams!

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Definitely need a bug tracker and a project management setup. Assuming things start going well, I would recommend a spreadsheet to start to track all hardware assets and software licenses. Document management is important too and integrating that into a wordpress blog which maintains revision history is excellent.

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Will you be using IM at all?

I'd consider OpenFire, its free enterprise grade, jabber server. You can log all convo's which is nice for the "what did we talk about in IM last month?" And also do secure connections. As you grow and might have people not working in the same office all the time this is a great tool to have.

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The one "red flag" I see is no discussion of server drive redundancy (your running RAID 1 or 5 right?) or backups (with atleast a months worth of recoverability).

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I'd recommend you to install TRAC - an awesome bug tracker.

On another note, It's really important to highlight the fact that more and more startups are using service in the cloud such as google spreadsheets and gmail and more services.

I'd recommend you to try and keep the most important documents and assets secure and not on services such as google spreadsheets.

See the fiasco twitter has attracted few days ago: Twitter fiasco

Things is google and the other services will always be more secure than your system (they have the money and they know their sh*t) but the thing is that it's enough for an attacker to get control of your google credential and get control of your information. You need to make sure to draw a clear line between your personal accounts and your business account and enforce maximum security on these business accounts.

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A low overhead project management system would be to use a wiki. MediaWiki is the standard wiki. There are others too, if you like. You would definitely need a linux box to run as a dev server (perhaps running a webserver with the latest instance of your codebase). This box could double up as whatever else you want. We run custom scripts on this box, for eg. to do monitoring of the live site. Also runs our source control (cvs). This box also doubles up as a proxy as the network we use blocks orkut, facebook etc. (we develop apps for them). It also runs a vnc service in case we need to do some debugging (eclipse + xdebug). Has a functional sendmail instance. The box is protected with iptables. We run an ssh tunnel in case we need to access any of the blocked services. You could run an openfire jabber service ( and use it's gateway services .. though some of them may not necessarily work out of the box ;) )

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