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30
votes
7answers
2k views

What would you do if you realized your email hosting provider could see your passwords?

We received an email last year from our hosting provider regarding one of our accounts- it had been compromised and used to deliver a rather generous helping of spam. Apparently, the user had reset ...
27
votes
8answers
4k views

Should I expose my Active Directory to the public Internet for remote users?

I have a client whose workforce is comprised entirely of remote employees using a mix of Apple and Windows 7 PCs/laptops. The users don't authenticate against a domain at the moment, but the ...
25
votes
10answers
1k views

Why shouldn't you let developers near root passwords? [duplicate]

I just came across Something is burning in the server room; how can I quickly identify what it is?. In the comments I found the following quote: you don't let a developer anywhere near your root ...
25
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it best practices to have separate login for a domain for domain admins?

I typically like to set up separate logins for myself, one with regular user permissions, and a separate one for administrative tasks. For example, if the domain was XXXX, I'd set up a XXXX\bpeikes ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

Bad to be logged in as admin all the time?

At the office where I work, three of the other members of the IT staff are logged into their computers all the time with accounts that are members of the domain administrators group. I have serious ...
17
votes
8answers
858 views

What is the system administration equivalent to dogfooding?

Software developers have the concept of "dogfooding", which is where they personally use the software that they are developing, often on a regular basis. For some projects, the direct interaction it ...
16
votes
8answers
1k views

Best practices for backup checking?

It is a common situation, when administrator makes system for automatic backuping and forgets it. Only after a system fails administrator notices, that backup system has broken before or backups are ...
15
votes
1answer
991 views

How to correctly move a server inside a rack up and down

Maybe a bit stupid question, but Sometimes (rarely but it happens) I need to move a server in a rack 1-2U up or down. What do you think, which of the ways is the most correct and useful and why? ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Naming a new Active Directory forest - why is split-horizon DNS not recommended?

Hopefully, we all know what the recommendations for naming an Active Directory forest are, and they're pretty simple. Namely, it can be summed up in a single sentence. Use a subdomain of an ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

In Puppet, how would I secure a password variable (in this case a MySQL password)?

I am using Puppet to provision MySQL with a parameterised class: class mysql::server( $password ) { package { 'mysql-server': ensure => installed } package { 'mysql': ensure => ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Best practices for settings for Oracle database creation

When installing an Oracle Database, what non-default settings would you normally apply (or consider applying) ? I'm not after hardware dependent setting (eg memory allocation) or file locations, but ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Best practice for automated Linux updates

We are working on a way to perform automatic updates for our RHEL/RHEL-based servers. Initial idea: Using Puppet, we disable the default repositories and point to our own. Then, we use ensure => ...
10
votes
5answers
584 views

Tips to gracefully take over a (UNIX) production server

After months of neglect, e-mail flames and management battles our current sysadmin was fired and handed over "the server credentials" to me. Such credentials consist in a root password and nothing ...
10
votes
4answers
15k views

Best Practice: vCPUs per physical core

I am trying to find some documentation or best practice guides for virtualization with respect to provisioning vCPUs per physical core (of a CPU). If it matters, I am looking at vmWare for the ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

What Are The Best Practices For Business Folder Structure?

We've tended in the past towards having departmental folders (Sales, Marketing, etc) on a single share and then adding folders below these ad-hoc as and when they're needed. It's gotten a bit messy - ...
10
votes
5answers
13k views

A secure, standard iptables rule-set for a basic HTTP(s) webserver

I have been trying to put together a basic server iptables script that will work for most sites just running a basic webserver using HTTP(S) and SSH (ports 80, 443, & 22). After all, most VPS only ...
10
votes
2answers
354 views

Outlook Email Abuse - Guide for email etiquette?

I've spent a lot of time performing mail migrations for companies that either had very little IT focus, or no fulltime staff to handle common issues. As a result, policies governing email use and ...
10
votes
3answers
537 views

Cisco ASA and multiple VLANs

I currently manage 6 Cisco ASA devices (2 pairs of 5510s and 1 pair of 5550s). They all work quite nicely and are stable so this is more of a best-practice advice question rather then "OMG it's ...
9
votes
7answers
870 views

C:\ is for OS, D:\ is for Data?

"Back in the day" we always segregated our OS drives (in Windows) from our Data drives. In the Linux world, although I am much less familiar with it, I am aware that the wisdom dictates even more ...
9
votes
1answer
286 views

What are the best practices for service accounts?

We're running several services in our company using a shared domain account. Unfortunately, the credentials for this account are widely distributed and being used frequently for both service and ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Server room wiring questions

I'm looking at rewiring our server room to be more presentable, organized, and easier to troubleshooting. Right now we currently have 4 HP racks (don't know the model right now). We do not have a ...
8
votes
1answer
863 views

Best practice for Exchange 2010 HA topology considering 6 x Exchange licenses and TMG 2010

What would be best topology considering that: 6 x Exchange 2010 Standard Licenses 2 x Separate locations that are supposed to support redundancy in case of link problems 4 x Forefront TMG 2010 with ...
8
votes
1answer
803 views

How to manage Nagios dependencies on big clusters?

I'm using quite a big nagios configuration (about 4000 services), without any dependencies. This results in a huge mess of notifications when something goes wrong. I try to look for best practices ...
7
votes
2answers
585 views

As an admin, what tools do you use to log what you do to your boxes? [closed]

I am more of a linux applications developer than an admin. Over time, I've built servers and maintained them, sometimes to offer services, mostly just to develop the applications I work on. Way back ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

GPO best practices : Security-Group Filtering Versus OU

Good afternoon everyone, I'm quite new to Active Directory stuff. After upgraded Functional level of our AD from 2003 to 2008 R2 (I need it to put fine-grained password policy), I then start to ...
6
votes
5answers
906 views

Nagios server best practices?

I run a medium-sized Nagios server. It monitors roughly 40 servers with 180 services currently and is only growing by the day. I migrated from an old Nagios setup that was configured in a very ...
6
votes
3answers
296 views

Is there already a recommended IPv6 Firewall setup?

I'd like to switch from private-IPv4-subnet-behind-NAT to IPv6, but of course I have no intention of exposing my users' workstations "unprotected" to the net. Some obvious points up-front: Allow ...
6
votes
4answers
388 views

Is it better to map drives and printers to users or computers?

I've posted a few "best practices" questions like this. Question says it all. Current practice is to map the drives and install the printers on the computer for each user/computer combination. I'd ...
6
votes
6answers
4k views

Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Annual Sysadmin Tasks

This should probably be community wiki. I'm trying to come up with a list of all the sysadmin tasks that we should be doing on a regular basis because I believe we're not doing enough at our company. ...
6
votes
2answers
398 views

Tool(s) for labeling cables with unique ID numbers

We are looking to (finally) implement a cable labeling procedure. We already have a labler. Now we need a system to maintain unique IDs not related to anything. I thought of getting a tally counter ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Best strategy to keep chef cookbooks versions under control

I'm looking for ideas about chef cookbooks versions management. I know that you pin specific versions in the environment, but I'm not sure how to go about it. We use librarian-chef which installs 3rd ...
5
votes
4answers
17k views

How do you diagnose packet loss?

I realise this is very subjective and dependent on a number of variables, but I'm wondering what steps most folks go through when they need to diagnose packet loss on a given system?
5
votes
7answers
3k views

Network Drive Letter Assignment Best Practices

We are working on migrating from Novell to Active Directory. During the transition, We are going to evaluate our drive mappings in light of current standards to see if what we have been doing still ...
5
votes
4answers
203 views

powershell vs GPO for installation, configuration, maintenance

My question is about using powershell scripts to install, configure, update and maintain Windows 7 Pro/Ent workstations in a 2008R2 domain, versus using GPO/ADMX/msi. Here's the situation: Because ...
5
votes
2answers
202 views

Best practice advise asked when users want to work on their workstation and from remote (but on their desktop), on Windows

I've got a work-group of 5 people. All of them have their dedicated machine with Windows 7. They are all connected to a central server running Windows Server 2008 R2, currently mainly offering the ...
5
votes
2answers
160 views

Why should www.domain and mail.domain be used?

I see the default hostname for mail and web servers being set as mail.domain.tld and www.domain.tld respectively. Why is this? Does it help as you move from a single server to multiple servers? I ...
5
votes
1answer
99 views

When should an org invest in a private infrastructure as opposed to a partially or fully hosted solution? [duplicate]

Not referring to militaries or governments, but for other organizations or shops that needs an IT infrastructure (who doesn't nowadays). Similar to this question, but purely in regard to hardware ...
5
votes
3answers
514 views

How can I load-balance a load balancer?

I'm about to convert a single-server single-database web application into a physically distributed high-available configuration with servers on two physical locations (for now). Now, obviously, I need ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

best practice for fixing mysql slow query log error 13

CentOS 5.5 MySQL 5.5 installed via a yum repository [ERROR] Could not use /var/log/mysqld.slow.log for logging (error 13). Turning logging off for the whole duration of the MySQL server process. ...
5
votes
3answers
464 views

Management Network Best Practices

I am looking at setting up a Management vlan, on which I will put all the Management interfaces for my various networkable devices (Firewall Mgmt Interfaces, Server RAC, WAP Mgmt Interfaces, etc). ...
5
votes
2answers
243 views

Sharing responsibilities within a SysAdmin team

I used to work in a small System Administration team that consisted of 3 members. We each had our own area: E-mail Server build and monitoring File sharing I am not sure if this is typical but it ...
5
votes
1answer
102 views

BPA for AD Server 2008 and 2008 R2 DCs W32Time setting complaint

I have been going through some of the warnings raised by BPA against our DCs to make sure everything is as it should be. Everything has been going well until I got to the following warnings: The ...
4
votes
6answers
481 views

Is it better to have four average servers or one awesome server

Ok, I want to have one high spec server (two quad core processors, lots of ram, raid 5, Server 2008 R2 etc), my colleague wants to spend the same money on four average pre-owned servers (Dual core ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

How to give write permissions to multiple users?

I have a web server and I'm uploading files using an FTP client. Because of that the owner and the group of the file are taken from the user used during the upload. Now I have to make this file ...
4
votes
3answers
203 views

Should redundant servers have exactly the same configuration, or slightly different?

If you provide a service on two servers to ensure high-availability, is it better to configure them in exactly the same way, of instead should you introduce slight differences to prevent "freak ...
4
votes
1answer
260 views

Using Public IP addresses for Private Network

I have a network that uses the 192.192.192.x network address for their private network. It looks like publicly those are IP addresses that are assigned in Taiwan. I don't think they do too much ...
4
votes
1answer
509 views

Merging two companies: Best practice?

Situation: Company A purchased Company B. Offices are 40 miles apart. There are about 10 employees in each office. We want to have everyone be able to access all network resources independent of ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

How can I investigate sustained high CPU usage by Microsoft.Exchange.Rpc.ClientAccess.Service.exe?

One CAS server in our array has nearly 90% of its 4 CPUs used. The remaining CAS servers are at 30 percent. How should I investigate what is causing this increase? Below is a graph of: Six ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

A separate user for each task?

I just got a VPS sver the other day, I'm new to server administration, but not that new to Ubuntu (11.04). I use it in my living room as the HTPC, and I had a previous VPS that I used on and off for a ...
4
votes
3answers
254 views

Keeping Track of Enterprise Desktops [closed]

Part of my job is to make sure that for computers in a specific OU, whats Actually in use = whats listed in AD = whats listed in SCCM. This is for an environment with 250k PCs, but i specifically ...