Posted at September 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm by admin
This documentation is based on my personal server setup experience and on the experience I’ve had helping Interserver customers with their new servers.
First and foremost, configure backups for your server. The server is worthless without your data. Data is your business. Imagine what would happen to your business if you lost just some of your data. There’s no excuse for neglecting backup when configuring your new server. Interserver offers several options for data protection and backup to fit any of your needs.
Control panels like cPanel and Plesk include backup functionality and can be configured to automatically backup regularly an FTP/NAS account. Configure backups now, before doing anything else. Before migrating or copying your data to the server. This first (nearly empty) backup will be quick. Test the backup by restoring the data. If your server has RAID, it important to remember that RAID is not backup!
Interserver sets a random, complex password on every new server that is provisioned. Don’t change it to a weak password using names, birthdays and other trivia that can be found or guessed easily. Remember, a strong password doesn’t have to be a complicated one.
Firewalls block network connections. Configuring a firewall manually can get very complicated, especially when involving protocols like FTP which opens random ports on either the client or the server. A quick way to deal with this is to use the system-config-securitylevel-tui tool. Or better, use a firewall front end such as APF or CSF. These tools also simplify blocking or unblocking IPs.
Beyond blocking and allowing IP addresses, it’s also important to lock down the ports on your server. The only open ports on your system should be the ones you want to use.
DNS is a naming system for computers and services on the Internet. Domain names like “interserver.com” is easier to remember than IP address like 184.108.40.206 or even 2607:f0d0:1000:11:1::4 in IPv6. DNS looks up a domain’s A record (AAAA record for IPv6), to retrieve its IP address. The opposite of an A record is a PTR record: PTR records resolve an IP address to a domain name.
A hostname is the human-readable label you assign to your server to help you differentiate it from your other devices. A hostname should resolve to its server’s main IP address, and the IP should resolve back to the hostname via a PTR record. This configuration is extremely important for email, assuming you don’t want all of your emails rejected as spam.
Many ISPs configure their servers that receive email to lookup the IP address of the domain in a sender’s email address (a reverse DNS check) to see that the domain name matches the email server’s host name. You can look up the PTR record for your IP address. In Terminal.app (Mac) or Command Prompt (Windows), type “nslookup” command followed by the IP. If the PTR doesn’t match up, you can change the PTR easily.
Getting an SSL certificate for your site is optional, but it has many benefits. The certificates will assure your customers that they are looking at your site securely. SSL encrypts passwords and data sent over the network. Any website using SSL Certificates should be assigned its own IP address.
Now that you’ve prepared your server and protected your data, you are ready to migrate your content to its new home. Be proactive about monitoring and managing your server once it’s in production. Choose Interserver for highly reliable and best-in-class Cloud VPS services and feel the difference!