RHEL 4 Server Project

Well, I’ve been given the task of designing and implementing a complete re-work of two existing web servers and a the backend database they use. This is going to be my primary task for the next couple of months and includes the hardware, software and system security hardening and auditing. There are a team of developers working on the actual backend applications these systems will use but the host operating systems, hardware and network infrastructure are mine.

The requirements given to me for these systems are stability, speed, security and maximum up-time, with that in mind I made the following selections.

Operating System, RHEL4 U-2:

If I could have gotten approval from “Corporate” I would have used Debian Linux or a distro based on Debian. Unfortunately there are no “Enterprise” grade Debian distros or maintainers available that could pass muster. There are audit requirements and due diligence needs that must be satisfied before we can adopt the use of an OS in our environment. That left me to choose from Solaris, Suse Enterprise and RedHat Enterprise Linux.

I really don’t care for Solaris so I dropped it right away. Suse and RHEL are both “.rpm” based OS’s and as such there isn’t alot of difference between the two other than where your support comes from. Not wanting to throw my eggs in the basket with Novell (they own Suse Linux) I chose “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4“, otherwise known as RHEL4.


I wanted righteous hardware for these servers and knowing that we wouldnt get the chance to rebuild them again for many many years I went all out. I’m using Hewlett Packard DL-380 G-4’s with Dual Xeon 3 ghz processors (2 MB cache each), 4 gb of ddr2 dual channel RAM, and a RAID 5 array with 3-72 gb 10k rpm drives… “fast” is an understatment for these servers.

I’ll be building three RHEL4 servers total, two of which will be load balanced webservers with a the third dedicated to a MySQL database that the webservers will connect to.

I recieved the hardware this past Friday, I’ll be updating the status of these systems as I make progress on thier setup in the coming weeks.


One Response to “RHEL 4 Server Project”

  1. hmm

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