Debian 6.0 Squeeze – Initial Server Setup

This guide is intended to be used in an environment where you have a barebones install of Debian 6.0 server. This could be on one of the various cloud platforms such as Rackspace, AWS, Linode, and others or on a bare metal box after you’ve performed a minimal installation.

I aim to take you from a barebones install to a secured and up-to-date configuration which you can then use for a variety of implementations (we’ll cover some of the more common in a future guide).

This is part 1 and I’ll post the follow-up guides as quickly as I can. This is enough to get just about anyone started though.

CREDITS: Some of this material I’ve pieced together from various sources including some old Slicehost articles for previous versions of Debian and this excellent post a few weeks ago, plus a few of my own insights.

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Using CloudKick With Rackspace Cloud Servers – Webinar

Last week I co-hosted a great webinar with Alex Polvi (@polvi), one of the founders of CloudKick. It was a great session and I wanted to share it with everyone as it really displays the power and flexibility of leveraging Cloud hosting platforms as well as what can be done with the APIs that providers offer for their systems.

During the webinar Alex not only talks about the capabilities of CloudKick but he demonstrates them live on the Rackspace Cloud Servers platform. It is easy to see the value in their tool and it opens up tons of new possibilities for monitoring, automation and more. Our attendees asked a lot of great questions at the end as well. I’ll stop talking now so you can get to the recording, enjoy!

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Optimizing Your WordPress Site

My colleague wrote an excellent article the other week on making your web sites load faster by leveraging the Rackspace Cloud Files & CDN platform to serve all static content on your site. I want to take this a step further for those of you who leverage the WordPress platform which is one of the most popular open-source web applications in existence.

In the WordPress community there are countless plugins that can be used for optimization, so how do you know which ones to use? Well I’m about to tell you and save you many hours or days of searching and experimenting.
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Optimizing Your Drupal Site

Drupal is a widely used open-source CMS platform that is becoming increasingly popular by the day. I have personally used Drupal on/off since v4 and have seen it mature over the years into my preferred content management system. Here at the Rackspace Cloud we speak to hundreds if not thousands of new customers and prospects every month that either want to migrate their existing Drupal sites into the Cloud or start fresh with Drupal.

Improving performance is always a concern with any site and after working with countless Drupal installs I have identified a few tools and options that can very quickly make a very noticeable difference in your sites performance. These tweaks are not specific to the Rackspace Cloud platforms and should be considered by any Drupal site admin on any hosting solution. They will not only improve the performance of your site but also reduce back-end resource utilization such as CPU and memory or lower compute cycles on Cloud Sites for example. This is achieved through various levels of static page caching and a highly optimized database. Let’s take a look at the options.

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The Rackspace Cloud Control Panel – Why It's Better

If you have been in the hosting business or simply hosting your own web sites for any length of time, you are probably familiar with the most popular commercial control panels on the market: Plesk, cPanel & Ensim. These control panels, while powerful in many respects often introduce more trouble than they are worth in the form of increased resource overhead, buggy implementations, cost, usability, etc.

The Rackspace Cloud has taken a different approach and decided to design and develop their own control panel in house from the beginning. Today, the Cloud control panel is an extremely powerful tool that is built specifically for the three product offerings from the Rackspace Cloud (Cloud Sites, Cloud Servers & Cloud Files). This control panel has many benefits over using a generic commercial CP, for example:

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