----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kyrre Nygård" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Friday, August 25, 2006 10:44 AM
Subject: RE: A webhosting script?

> At 19:09 25.08.2006, Tamouh H. wrote:
> >There are many control panels that do these sort of things. Some are
> >free, others are not.
> >
> >Check WebMin, cPanel, DirectAdmin, Plesk, H-Sphere, RAQdevil.....and
> >tons more.
> Hello Tamouh, yeah I know man but this is exactly what I'm trying to
> Not only are the visual and cognitive designs of these solutions so
> bad I'd rather get
> shot in the head than using them, they're also highly unnecessary. I agree
> some of the tasks they help people do might be too advanced for the
> average Joe but
> this is really not the way to go.

Before you start shooting down these solutions let an old hand here
give you some advice.

I am the top technical dog at a regional ISP here.  Recently we acquired a
snaller ISP.  This ISP was obviously run by someone who thought like you
do.  I am in charge of the integration of their systems into our systems.

We use webmin as a front end for our adminstrative stuff.  This ISP we
bought uses a custom-written solution.  It is your typical webinterface
on PHP that yakks to a mysql database.  A series of scripts on the
back end run every few minutes, sucking changes out of the mysql
database and distributing them to the various systems, like the mailserver,
authentication servers, etc.

Among one of the little gems I discovered a week after we bought them
was that the smart guy that wrote the front end had made a very simple
little programming error.  It was buried in the transfer script that is
supposed to keep the mail and radius servers in synchronization with
the mysql server.

This front end has been in operation for years.  It is at the point now
were the mysql system is so far out of sync with the actual devices
that there are -HUNDREDS- of customers getting free service that
were turned off for non-payment, there are even more hundreds of
customers listed in the accounting system that aren't in the actual
systems, yadda yadda yadda.  It is a holy fucking mess.  So bad that
in fact I'm doing a complete rush job on ash-canning all their systems
and getting the customer base folded into our systems as quickly
as possible.

When you consider that all these freeloaders affected the ISPs calculations
of how much circuit capacity they needed to buy, you might begin to
understand the gravity of the situation.  We are talking many thousands of
dollars spent on keeping pipes from being overloaded by buying ever
more circuit capacity, while meanwhile the revenue coming in kept going
down.  The only good thing about it was that I am pretty sure all
this was why we were able to buy the ISP at all.  If it had been run
properly, they would have been much less interested in selling, I am sure.

It is very much for want of a nail the war was lost.

Solutions like Webmin that everybody uses may not look pretty.  But
they have thousands of administrators like me in the world who are
banging on them, finding these little mistakes and getting the corrections
put into the maintainers.  There is absolutely no fucking way in hell
that you, working alone in your little office, can even hope to approach
the level of debugging that a program like Webmin has gone through.

Everybody that runs an ISP or web farm today that knows their
ass from a hole in the ground has scrapped their custom-written
solutions and gone to a widely-used solution, whether commercial or
open source, unless they are maybe the size of AOL.  And I'd much
rather not be working for an ISP like AOL that's losing more money
every year than all the readers of this list put together would make in
a lifetime.


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