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During a recent Usenet discussion, I commented that I had little difficulty
keeping an NT server stable and functioning (as much as the term can be applied
to a Windows box, anyway), and was rightly challenged by my fellow Monks
to explain just how it was that I was able to avoid suffereing the weekly
(or more frequent) reboots just to keep them from chewing up random resources
and eating themselves alive.
This was my response.
1. Don't use an NT server for file and print services.
2. Overspec them by at least a decimal order of magnitude: if
you were previously running a 486/33 with 8M of RAM, you'll
need a K6-2/300 with 128M to do the same job.
3. Don't run ANY applications on a server.
4. In fact, don't run more than one thing on a server. If it's
important, split the load between 2 servers.
5. Don't let point 2 lead you to believe you can neglect point 4.
6. Don't share files from servers you're doing anything else on.
See point 1.
7. Multiple CPUs help keep the lusers from noticing when they've done
something to lock you into a hard infinite loop.
8. Don't log on to servers. Do everything from workstations.
9. You can't do everything from workstations, so apply point 7 so
you don't bog the machine down when you log on. Don't leave
yourself logged in.
A. Don't install any 3rd party software. Don't install any Microsoft
software. Only install software you'd use on UNIX systems, like
B. Reapply service packs constantly. Even if you think you didn't
change anything. Remember, any time it says "For this change to
take effect you must restart Windows NT." it probably reinstalled
something behind your back.
C. Don't install more than one kind of hardware device (modem, scanner,
printer, etc) on any given box. See point 4.
D. Don't let any users on the box. Even for a moment. Even if they
just want to check the print queue... besides, you disabled
printing, didn't you?
E. Disable write access to anything under %systemroot%. This will
break printing. See point 1.
F. I really mean what I said about the users. Don't let them on the
network if you can avoid it. That way they'll never know you're
really running a UNIX box because all you were running on the NT
box is Apache anyway.