Feeds

You don't have to be crazy to work here

Webmin saves sysadmins from the loony bin

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Sysadmin blog Webmin’s (see my last post if you don’t know what I’m talking about) strength flows from a plethora of modules which allow you to configure and control most elements of the underlying operating system. Common applications - for example, Apache - also have officially-supported modules that ship with the main Webmin installer.

In addition, there is an active community of developers who create Webmin modules for almost any server application you can imagine. Think of it as the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), except that it supports Linux and Solaris as well as Windows. Unlike the Microsoft MMC, Webmin does not require a Windows computer: all you need is a browser.

The range of system control modules is impressive. There is an excellent set of network configuration tools that I find easier to use than the native interfaces on many operating systems. User administration, scheduled task management and resource management deserve accolades too.

Log file management is a snap; there’s a module for that too. I use the log file viewer and its search utility daily, because I don’t enjoy hunting through /var/log/maillog to identify a single email amidst millions using a text editor.

File and disk management is nearly complete. There is an excellent Norton Commander-alike Java-based file manager for those who eschew SSH for basic file tasks. Volume and file system management is done well, as are the modules for mounting or sharing file systems. The frustrating exception to Webmin’s file and disk management completeness is the lack of a DRBD module.

Webmin has modules allowing you to configure and manage clustering. Clustering systems has traditionally been a special magic power reserved for those who type arcane things into a command line and mutter to themselves a lot. With Webmin, I can configure and manage most elements of a cluster with ease, but the lack of a DRBD module does throw a few roadblocks up when trying to create a “perfect” Linux cluster.

To Apache: while I consider the ability to edit httpd.conf by hand a critical skill of any webserver admin, Apache is far more than just httpd.conf. In most operating systems, elements of the configuration have spun off into ssl.conf, php.conf and many others. Webmin brings administration of those files into one place, and gives you an easy-to-use push-button interface as a bonus.

I rely on Linux-based spam servers to sanitise e-mail before it hits my Exchange servers. Webmin ships with mail management modules. Sendmail’s configuration files were designed to be modified by people who think in regular expressions, and so I find the Sendmail module to be a salvation. Without Webmin and its Sendmail module, creating and administering my spam servers would be arduous and maybe impossible.

If you area a systems administrator looking to deploy, or charged with maintaining, a Linux or Solaris system, see if a Webmin module exists for the services you use; it may be critical for your sanity. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.