[ubuntu-us-mi] Ubuntu Server Intranet

Robert Citek robert.citek at gmail.com
Tue Jul 8 04:43:10 BST 2008

On Mon, Jul 7, 2008 at 4:42 PM, Aaron VanSledright
<avansledright at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am planning out an intranet for the company i work for. Being the ubuntu
> junkie i am i think that it would be a great OS to set it up on. Currently
> what we need it to do is host public files, spam filter, web content filter,
> and i want to run a webserver where i can host forms and such for leave of
> absences, and news letters.

Sounds like you have the luxury to experiment.  For example, you could
start small, see how it goes, and then expand if needed.

That's the strategy we went with almost two years ago at ByteWorks[1],
a small non-profit which teaches at-risk youth basic computing skills.
 Our initial need was to remotely access our classroom of about 15
Linux machines.  Since all we needed at the time was an ssh server, we
installed Ubuntu Server 6.06 on a lowly 365 MHz Celeron with 64 MB of
RAM and a 3 GB HDD.  We also decided that for easy expandability and
maintainability we would keep things simple: one partition, swap in a
swapfile, labels on filesystems.  We then configured our firewall to
redirect port 22 to this machine.

To this day, that machine is being used, now, however, with much more
demand.  In the intervening ~24 months it's also become a time server
(ntpd), a cron server (crond), a dynamic DNS updater (ddclient), a
proxy server (squid), a web server (apache), and a DHCP server
(dhcpd).  Now when we teach our classes this server hands out IP
addresses at bootup, keeps all their clocks synced, automatically
updates their software, and caches their web content.  Despite all
that, that little server has only had to be rebooted a few times and
then only for kernel updates.  Current uptime: 118 days.

But what's really reassuring is that it is expandable.  We've done a
mock disaster recovery by cloning the drive onto a much more powerful
machine ( 2 GHz Core2 Duo, 3 GB  RAM, and 60 GB HDD ).  The result: we
were able to restore from a cloned image in about 5 minutes and it
worked just fine.  In the near future we will probably install
DansGuardian and Samba.  And if the little machine can't handle it,
we'll simply clone an image to a bigger machine.

So, for our needs that little machine works and we know we can expand,
if necessary.

[1] http://byteworks.bworks.org/

- Robert

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