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Old 11-01-2011, 06:39 PM   #1
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Default Learn about Servers.

I'm in my 2nd year of school, and granted my teacher went over a few things about setting up and running servers, but not enough for me to know a lot about it (My school kinda sucks). Whats the best way to learn how to run or set up a server?

It's so bad that I dont even know if an FTP, Web or Mail servers are hardware or software? LOL. Help is appreciated. Thanks. Matt
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Learn about Servers.

It really depends on the server you want to set up. The first goal is to find out what kind of server you want to set up, since there are so many different kinds of servers.

FTP servers are pretty easy if you're running Windows, just grab a copy of FileZilla and set up the server component (free)

Web servers are a little harder, but I highly recommend apache friends - xampp if you don't want to tussle with IIS and it's complexity (but it's powerful too) - XAMPP is free, and includes the FTP server component in the package. I run it on a relatively old system, 800 MHz and 384 MB of RAM and it does a fine job, even with light SQL based page serves like Wordpress or Coppermine Photo gallery.

Mail servers are a little harder still, and there exists solutions out there other than Exchange, but Exchange is the gold standard for Email, Calendar sharing and collaboration tools.

Does your school participate in the Microsoft TechNet for Educators program? If not, check out dreamspark.com and see if your school qualifies for it, or if you have an .EDU EMail address, you can sign up on your own in some cases. Dreamspark is free Microsoft software, including Server operating systems, for free for as long as you're a student.

I have experience with everything I listed, and I know there are a few other IT Admins around here as well, so don't be afraid to ask for help.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Learn about Servers.

Hey thanks og. This helps. I'll look around at the programs you mentioned and see what I can do!
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Learn about Servers.

No problem, feel free to post back if you have any questions. I got my start with Dreamspark, hopefully you can too.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Learn about Servers.

I was in the same boat as you at the very beginning. Experience will work the best for you. My first job I dived in to managing 11 servers. I was fortunate enough be be able to purchase VM ware and virtualize every one of them. The company wanted everything up to date after I got there (upgrade to exchange 2010.. things like that). So with my very first experiece with servers I was exposed to everything. Exchange, SQL, Dynamics AX, Atas, Oasis, FTP, and many more.

It's really simple to think about. A server is just another computer. That's it. It's got a motherboard, processor, and RAM.
A server has programs on it. What program it has on it decides what kind of server it is (there are also server roles.. which decides as well lol.. but forget about that for now).

The reason a server is a server is because instead of one user, there are maybe 200.. or 1000.. or however many users connected to it. So this server has to have, in most cases, two or more processors.. and Lots of ram.

If you don't know what exchange is, look it up. You know what Microsoft Outlook is... Exchange just manages it. But for the whole company.

Take a "Mail" server, for example. If I made an Exchange Mail server it all it does is manage all of the emails, maybe filter out spam, gives you a pretty admin console where you can search through everyone's and do MUCH more stuff.

All it is is a server (made up of the same hardware of a computer) and a program (Exchange).

I'm not going to go any further as it may be useless... you might not even read this topic again
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Learn about Servers.

Good post Captain. Like I said in the first post my school isnt the best and doesnt go over a lot other than definitions. Not a lot of hands on so I'm lost when it comes to servers. I need to somehow get an internship doing it. LOL. Thanks. for the response!
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