And so it begins - WinServer2012R2, Ubuntu1204, WD3.5, CPanel, Forum/Ecommerce/Blogs/Wiki Packages

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Viperstrike, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. And so it begins,

    I finally got x64 Ubuntu 12.04LTS running beautifully with phpBB forums, Mysql, PHP5 and TeamSpeak 3 NCL Server as a backup plan to replace my dying forum board which is not being maintained ... killed by spammers lol

    I decided I needed something I could have 99.9% control over, so have started playing around with those packages available from the MS Web Matrix supported system and web deploy 3.5/Azure services ... but with one twist. That being that I will host it all myself from home.

    To start with I will do this from my main machine (4960 2011 Processor, 3TB or 6 x 512Gb SSD, 64Gb memory, 290X Video and ZXr sound). Later I will run a dedicated i7 NCU, 32gb memory 2 x 512Gb SSD as a dedicated server.

    Anyway not mucking around with the Host system in installing software, using VMWare v.10 to create VMs to run the software on in a test sandbox which can be backed up in stages of deployment/testing.

    So for now - And so it begins, MS Server 2012 R2 & SQL 2012 Express installs with PHP5.

    I will let you guys know next week on my progress, tomorrow I have a dedicated 500Gb ADSL2+ 20/2 Annex.M line being installed and activated with a static IP, I will look at transferring my current websites to this once services & servers are up and running properly. Including the forum one for the MMO Gaming Network - & .net

    If anyone has good experience with MS Server 2012 / SQL / MySQL / PHP and/or forum software packages out there, including ecommerce (shopping cart), dedicated Blog packages and CRMs, please feel free to post your expertise. I may come to pick your brain or offer consultation payment for certain things if required.

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. Reserved for Products/Software used/reviewed etc.

    Since I am working on the Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials install, we will start with that:

    * Windows Server 2012 R2, 180 Day Licensed Install:
    Link >

    Installed without a problem, easy to install.

    * AntiVirus/System security install:
    Since I have experience with the free Microsoft Endpoint protection;
    I have decided to go with something else that is very much trusted. Symantec Endpoint 12.1.4:
    Link >

    Installed without a problem, 60 Day Licensed Evaluation without limits.
    To be noted, 2 part install, Server system and client for the server when logged in :)

    Client package is generated by the server as a single.exe install which handles everything for you, both 64 & 32 bit. I installed the 350Mb x64 client without a hitch, Liveupdate handled the rest. Extremely easy to setup and install. This package can be installed on all your clients that log into the server. There is no need to generate a seperate install each time for each new client as it auto-connects and registers with the server module.

    * Microsoft SQL Server 2012 with Tools & Management
    Link >

    After some minor configuration options being set, 2012 install was a very pleasant install experience.
    My/MS SQL is the main ways in which the data is stored for use in many applications including forums available out there.

    * ... to be continued ...
    To be installed, PHP5, MySQL (Since I will be playing around with numerous applications some with use MS, some MySql. ASP.NET for MVC 3/4, .NET 3.5/4/4.5 Turned on with updates applied. Then we can get to the fun part, looking at applications.

    Continuing on, next up, MySQL 5.6 for those applications that don't use MSSQL.
    Link >

    A full installation also installs the needed workbench to properly manage your databases.
    Extremely easy to install. Not a clunky as the Microsoft SQL product. One 10th of the time to install vs MS.

    Next ASP.NET and lots of other stuff included.
    I took the cheat method and used the Web Installer 4.6 Platform to install ASP.NET :)
    Link >

    Also check out the MVC pack, some applications use this standard over the web forms standard.
    Link >

    I will make sure I get all the necessary files for both forms.
    Extremely easy to install and configure. WPI 4.6 does most of it for you :)
    WPI 4.6 here >

    Ok so PHP is also on the WPI 4.6 installer, version 5.3.x
    This just makes life so much easier :)
    If you wish to install 5.5 or later you can manually,
    here are the up to date files for windows platform >
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  3. Reserved - The solution used in the end :) This will be decided in coming weeks
  4. Also I am looking to speak to someone with experience with 802.1X security - Quad handshaking WPA2-Enterprise-PSK with Radius Auth. Yes I will have the radius software tested and ready for this, unless you have a preferred recommendation as to which package is best to use.

    Keep in mind I am looking to keep costs as low as possible,

    Budget for all of the above projects ~ 2,000 usd. So far spent 135$ to upgrade from VMWare 8 to 10.
    System hardware ~ $ 8,500 spent which is not a part of the above mentioned budget
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  5. Right, its time to look at some applications:

    Forums - Listed in no order of preference.

    I will start with phpBB :)
    * phpBB >
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  6. Oooo Windows 2012 Server starting to chew some memory, upto 4Gb. Time to check a fresh Win 8.1 standard install with the recent updates I did in the OP :)
  7. New goal - Create a server in the cheapest manner possible :)

    What will not be used = Expensive software
    List of what will nto be used:
    * Microsoft Server 2012 R2 Essentials ~ $ 450
    * Symantec Endpoint protection ~ Some fantastical amount for the server client enterprise edition

    Budget total = $ 2,000 however looking to buy a dedicated NCU server :)
    Costs so far, money spent
    $ 135 = VMWare Workstation 8 upgraded to 10
    $ Free = Ubuntu x64 Desktop 12.04 LTS
    $ 129 = Microsoft Windows 8.1 (Second copy for VM)
    $ 89 = 3 User Nortons 360 (1 for host, 1 for VM and 1 spare license)
  8. NotAdmin

    NotAdmin Administrator

    I have 14 years of experience with SQL Server and Windows, and numerous years experience with forum packages.

    I still think you'd be weeding most spammers out by simply upgrading to the latest version of XenForo and turning on a few anti-spam measurements.
  9. Hey Peter,

    Don't get me wrong, I know your experienced and you did a really good job with the MGN forum, but I am retired completely now ... ie. No work needing to be done for life due to the accident. The government pays me for life the old age pension + benefits from super.

    With all this free time on my hands and a dwindling interest in Entropia, I wish to learn (self taught) forums, ecommerce sites as hobby activity for a time.

    I have phpBB setup on linux atm, though want to produce it all in a Windows environment to support ASP apps like nopCommerce > amongst others.

    Also I have a few that I am helping out get off the ground atm with their business offering my time freely to them and think I can contribute more on a smaller scale with such offerings to them until it is time to go commercial 24/7 fail/fallover style hosting.

    I gifted you with my copy of Xenforo, so no need to upgrade, it is for you to use ... well soon :)

    I have ordered the new dedicated link for install tomorrow which has a guaranteed 15/1.5 but capable of 20/2 Mbits maximum until the NBN arrives, 100/40 MBytes. Also I have the hardware now to run it all off and the new brix box I am looking at is pretty good. i7, 32Gb 1TB SSD ~ 950 AUS$ best of all it is so small it fits on the table with the main system :)

    Yea but anyway this is just a learning thing for me, nothing against what you have done. That was $600 well spent. But the time has come for me to do some learning and polish up on that which is lacking.

    Take Care,

    PS. I will give you my new static IP in a few days time to point & .net to
  10. Last edited: Jan 5, 2014

  11. Advise time Mr Admin :)

    I think the above is nice for compact reasons, however it is not very feasible and future proof.
    The NBN is in dispute at the moment in my area due to the recent government change-over however the work is half complete too, so they are still to decide wether we get it completed for this area or not.

    If it is completed, I will have 100MBits down and 40Mbits up. If I register as a NPO which I can for hobby purposes I can then get a 1000Mbits (1Gbit) link. However this also requires a fairly large investment into a high end cisco router.

    That aside, for the time being what I have to work with in the short term before NBN - National Broadband Network arrives is ADSL2+ Annex.M which is 20Mbit Down and up to 4Mbit Up.

    I am thinking with NBN potentially arriving within the year, I should go for proper hardware specs if I am going to go into hosting data that people do not wish to see lost, such as forums and more importantly on the ecommerce front of Online Shops (eg. nopCommerce sites).

    I will be using a windows based environment over linux due to the restrictions imposed by some webapps requiring the windows platform. Even though linux is a better performer and less taxing on hardware resources.

    I will more than likely need DNS, IIS potentially MS exchange for hosted mail (Along with the usual, MSSQL, MySQL, PHP5, ASP.NET MVC4/5 .....) so it is likely I will eventually need MS WIndows Server 2012 Express, MS Exchange, SQL Server 2012 Express and the rest to achieve all this future proofing.

    Now even though I have 180 days license on the above commercial products, no limitations. I am thinking well if this expense is going to eventually be paid for operating the service properly, maybe I should do the hardware properly too.

    So I am asking, what sort of spec would you suggest under the 2,000$ mark would be reasonable for this.

    I was thinking the following to start with.

    SIngle system without hardware redundancy except on the hard drives - Initially I would run 2 x 4TB in RAID-1. Later down the track, I can add a second lot of RAID-1 HDD giving a total of 8TB storage.

    So something along these lines to start with ? Is there anything I am overlooking from your experience ?

    Your shopping cart

    [​IMG]BitFenix Phenom M Micro ATX Case Black In stock$109.00
    [​IMG]Gigabyte GA-Z87M-D3HP Motherboard In stock$129.00
    [​IMG]G.Skill Ares F3-1600C10Q-32GAO 32GB (4x8GB) DDR3 Ships in 24hrs$389.00
    [​IMG]Intel Core i7 4770K In stock$389.00
    [​IMG]Western Digital WD Black WD4003FZEX 4TB In stock2 x $319.00
    Sub-Total: $1654.00

    The 2 x 4TB in RAID-1, giving 4TB total as the combined OS/Software/Data storage to begin with proper policies setup to restrict access to directories under win server 2012 R2.

    I noticed the server was a little hungry on memory and processing cycles after installing all the background services and that is while not doing anything else except for maintaining server processes. (4Gb and 12 virtual cores were chewing around 10 to 15% of the host system CPU cycles).

    So I have decided to go for the 1150 i7 top of the range 4770K with a slightly better than the stock standard cooler ($25 item from Artic Cooling). 32Gb to give the system room to breathe without a large swap file needed, if any at all and enough storage space to grow the databases and services attached to them.

    I am thinking the above spec should see me through for some time and be able to handle a fully populated 100Mbit service once it arrives.

    Thoughts ?
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  12. I already have the rest of the components, USB DVD drive external, keyboard/mouse combo on a single USB, TV 60" for video same as the main gaming system, just using HDMI-2 port. etc etc. UPS 1350W running the gaming system + TV and a second 750W free to run this off along with comms equipment.

    Can't seem to think of anything that may be missing for now.
  13. NotAdmin

    NotAdmin Administrator

    If you're intending to go into hosting, you're missing some key components in your setup:


    Neither would be cheap, and I'd advise you to have them redundant. Perhaps also an alternative means to ensure an electricity outage isn't going to affect you.

    To be honest, if I were you, I'd not bother storing machines locally in my house, but instead find a nearby data center where you can get your boxes stored. They're usually covered for all the abive and will have diesel generators to keep power failures from bringing down everything.

    I'd also look into an MSDN subscription with MS if you're serious about installing and configuring the machines yourself. You'd have access to cheaper licenses that way.

    Do you intend to run this operation by yourself, by the way? You'd need to do some serious training for administration and especially security of all the components you mentioned.
  14. Hi Peter,

    5am here so bear with me lol.

    UPS are covered,
    1 x 1350Watt UPS with 65min run time runs the gaming rig , TV and 2 Printers.
    1 x 750Watt UPS free, runs a adsl modem and phone atm, so nothing practicallly.
    This free UPS will be used for the new system.

    I have an outdated subscription to MSDN, it is 8 years old, so just a matter of renewing.
    Admin, yes I agree I will look into correspondence Fasttrack courses and books :)

    Co-location of server - Not at this point, I will host from home until I am certain that the NBN is a no go then look into colocation later. Initially I have very little traffic to the proposed services so once I outgrow the 4Mbit Uplink to the internet, I will look at options then.

    The other thing you mentioned, let me google :) Airco ? Do you mean air conditioning ?
    Yes the room is on a constant air conditioned thermostat, room temp set at 25 deg C.

    Power backup - Disel, blackouts are sorted quick, for the 10 years I have been here I have had roughly 3 blackouts, the longest was 30 mins. Even when it flooded the power stayed on lol. That was a bit scary, it is pretty stable here.

    I have these UPS alread, 1 of each -


    CyberPower Value GP 1500VA Line Interactive UPS
    The CyberPower Value SOHO Series UPS offers home and small office users clean and stable battery backup while the featured RJ11/RJ45 port ensures phone, fax, and modem lines are protected from surges. With Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) stabilizes the AC signal and maintains...


    CyberPower Value GP 2200VA Line Interactive UPS
    The CyberPower Value SOHO Series UPS offers home and small office users clean and stable battery backup while the featured RJ11/RJ45 port ensures phone, fax, and modem lines are protected from surges. With Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) stabilizes the AC signal and maintains...
  15. Tass

    Tass Administrator

    It's too late for my advise but it would have been:

    Know exactly what you want to do, plan thoroughly, adjust the components to the goal/plan, start as big as necessary but a small as possible with scalability in mind, outsource what you are not an expert in.

    At any rate I'd prefer hosting service over in-house hosting. There's little to no advantage from hosting at home, you simply cannot ensure the same redundancy, security, scalability, etc etc etc. It can hardly be done efficiently.

    Also noone will be able to cover the whole chain from server hosting to social media marketing, so you got to outsource parts of it, best following the principle of efficiency.

    Ultimately the advise is to know exactly what you want to do - there's no point in suggesting hardware components, software packages or whatever without a clear use-case.
  16. Heya Tass,

    Always good to hear from you, again with great advise.

    To start with I will just host a forum and a ecommerce site and then from there have a play.
    This is more play than getting serious about things at this point.

    An adventure in a way with a learning curve involved but nothing overly serious :)
    When and if it does get serious then I will look into the serious dollars need to move forward.

    However thanks for the advise, it is well worthwhile planning ahead. For now, I am going to play so later I can plan for the real thing (commercially viable) if I get that far with my knowledge and skill.
  17. Offline for the next 12-24 hours, Telstra techo has turned up to install the new line/link :)
  18. RAZER

    RAZER Custom title ... uh ...

    Well it might be just me, but for the 2000 dollar you are trying to spend for this server you can rent one in a safe data center for close to 2 years, which is scalable to whatever you want, but hey, it is your money :-)
  19. Hey buddy,

    I had a look at them already, they don't support what I intend to do long term and they are way more expensive than what I can do it for myself.

    For $400/month I am able to get a 80Mbit/80Mbit link to my home (SHDSL 1200Gb/month), 99.95% SLA guaranteed up time with 2 IP phone lines with free unlimited local, national and mobile calls within Australia.

    Effectively a 10MBytes/10/MBytes link. same as 10-Base-T each way.

    Running my own server(s), small to begin with ~ $2k aud and then scale as I need to, I can achieve many hundreds of locally hosted business websites which I can write myself in my free time at minimal cost to them, forums, wikis/blogs, run DNS and exchange mail services, eventually run fall/fail over redundancy for hardware when it is deemed affordable.

    Multi-blade style systems will be the go at that point in time. Also my closest friend IRL is one of the partner owners at so I have a backstop when the time is right for discounted hardware.

    I now have an approved a NPO license for teamspeak 3, giving me up to 10 x TS3 virtual servers or a single with up to a total of 500 ports, along with the ability to purchase commercial beyond that.

    nopCommerce sites I will run several of in time to come, i have 2 under way in the initial planning phase now for local businesses here in the town I live in.

    Damn, so much can be done with SHDSL 80/80Mbits link and my own hardware.

    Anyway before I get excited, Telstra fucked me around a bit today, but then did say they will be back in the next few days to install proper 28awg PVC, foil shielded 2pair cables which will dramatically reduce SNR (Sound to noise ratio) and line attenuation ... ie. better overall sustained throughput at the end of the day.

    I am starting on a 500Gb/month plan, 20/2 Mbit, 18/1.8 guaranteed Annex M with single phone line, all calls included untimed (local, national, mobiles) for free except international calls and a static IP for $135/month. I will look at the SHDSL as my next step as mentioned above for $400/month, especially if the NBN doesn't arrive this year.

    Keeping it small and successful for now.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
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