It is clear that unlike a decade ago, the world of servers has changed dramatically.
The increasingly performing and low-cost hardware, the bandwidth always of better quality and amplitude, the "fashion" of high-performance virtualization (Xen, Kvm, Vmware for example), the fierce competition between the ever-increasing Italian and European suppliers , gave the possibility to rent a dedicated one at bargain prices in the order of 50/60 euros per month, and VPS servers from 20 euros (and even less) per month.
With these inviting prerogatives, many "kids" and users have improvised sysadmin overnight and ventured into the configuration and administration of Linux servers.
The experience accumulated in the last six years and the numerous cases that have seen us as solvers of countless (often even serious) problems for our customers has led us to draw a sad conclusion:
"too many users do not have the technical skills to elegantly manage a linux system "
The dangers you might run into in relying on an improvised systems engineer.
This becomes a problem as often on the server managed by the "kid" on duty, there is often a hardening that guarantees the security of the system from attackers, a firewall is missing, an IDS is missing, a tuning of services to optimize performance is lacking. of the server itself, there is no backup and disaster recovery system, and often many wrong choices are made that could lead to annoying downtime and machine downtime, or in the most extreme cases to a partial or total loss of data.
What is most worrying is that this fashion of the "Do-it-yourself system engineer" it is not only rooted in the curious and adventurous psychology of the geek on duty, who chooses this difficult path to host and manage his small personal site, but it is also a trend in force in small and medium-sized businesses where on their dedicated serverino rented for 50 euros per month they run ecommerce which is a vital element for their company as it generates monthly sales and revenues of a few hundred thousand euros.
Unfortunately, there is the unawareness of the risks that are encountered by approaching the management of a linux server without the right technical knowledge, hoping that the good graphic control panel (idiot-proof) like Plesk o cPanel may be the lifeline for the Sunday sysadmin and may be the alternative to years of theoretical and practical studies spent launching weird commands from a text terminal in front of a dollar or pound-shaped cursor (shell unix ed. ).
Surely these "surrogates", which are the control panels, are sufficient to run everything in a rather elegant and functional way, at least until the toy breaks, or is broken by clicking at random to any requests generated by these web control panels.
- How many Plesk users for example updating to a new version found the panel no longer accessible because during the update phase the relative 'servers' table was not created in the mysql db? How do you deal with an error like this: error-message on plesk - when i will create a db-user: Table 'mysql.servers' doesn't exist?
- How many Plesk users for example have naively upgraded from PHP 5.2 to PHP 5.3 to find that their sites no longer work due to the deprecated functions on the new interpreter? What to do next?
These are the cases in which luckily (ours, not theirs) end up contacting us and begging us to solve the problem as quickly as possible (and maybe even at the cost of a pizza).
The average user unfortunately it runs a VPS or a dedicated one he has little computer literacy and ends up becoming slaughterhouse fodderas well as victim and murderer at the same time.
Having a zombie machine and being ignorant of DDOS attacks (distributed attacks) leads in the most frequent cases to being disconnected from the network, up to the most serious cases in which the machine is used as a bridgehead for an attack on another server in network, ad be reported for unauthorized access to the computer system, and in order to demonstrate in court (hand to the wallet for the lawyers and many fine paperwork and formalities to be fulfilled) that you are completely unaware of the affair and that you too are an injured party.
Wouldn't it have been better for the company to invest in qualified personnel by outsourcing the managed management of their server with a negligible cost ranging from 60 to 120 euros per month on average?
Wouldn't it have been better for that company that has lost an entire ecommerce site and the entire customer DB (due to lack of backups and disaster recovery policies) to entrust their business to professional systems engineers?
Wouldn't it have been better for that company that decided to install Fedora Linux to opt for an RPM based system like CentOS that has ten-year development cycles versus Fedora's very short cycles?
Wouldn't it be better if everyone in life did what they know how to do, rather than try their hand at virtuous manipulations that can lead to the failure of a company?