Book Review: Apache Cookbook
The Apache Cookbook is clearly written. Material that I found particularly well written are the Troubleshooting section (which was put in Appendix B instead of receiving a chapter of its own, for some reason) and Chapter 11, "Performance". Both brought together in one place some advice I'd seen in various locations and some tips I didn't know. Other people may particularly appreciate Chapter 5, "Aliases, Redirecting, and Rewriting", which has 18 recipes for mangling and massaging URLs into shape, and Chapter 6, "Security", which has 28 recipes.
In a few recipes, the authors answer a question with "It's not possible." One example is the question, "Can you log users by their MAC address?" This sort of answer is to be commended, as many authors prefer not to share bad news even to frequently asked questions.
The length of the book is appropriate for general browsing and skimming. The recipes are generally short enough to allow you to skim a chapter in an hour or under, which is good.
As for the bad, cross-referencing between recipes is not as good as I would like. Many recipes have See Also sections, but they sometimes seem to miss natural comparisons that would be useful for the skimming reader. For example, Recipe 5.13, "Denying Access to Unreferred Requests," uses mod_rewrite, while recipe 6.5, "Restricting Images from Being Used Off-Site," uses FilesMatch and SetEnv as well as mod_rewrite to accomplish the same thing. Each has a unique See Also section that does not refer to the other. Similarly, recipe 9.1, "Handling a Missing Host Field" and recipe 12.6, "Handling Missing Host Header Fields" don't refer to each other.
In a few situations, concepts could have been explained earlier or with more detail. Chapter 11 describes how to use different MPMs without defining MPM or explaining that Apache 2.0 provides different swappable models for handling threads and processes. Recipe 6.20 talks about proxy security without introducing proxies or mentioning that they are the topic of Chapter 10. These are minor complaints, but they make the book less effortless to use in its paper version.
On the whole, the Apache Cookbook is a good addition to the Apache administrator or programmer's library. For the $29.95 US cover price, the paper copy is a reasonable investment. It also is available on Safari if you don't want a paper copy. Considering the cross-referencing difficulties, that format might be easier to use.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide