Professional Linux Deployment

by Daniel Lazenby

Professional Linux Deployment is part of the Wrox Programmer to Programmer series. In the Introduction the book states it will teach professional administrators steps to replace existing network systems with Linux. The book is targeted towards the NT and non-Linux UNIX administrator. It presumes the reader is a knowledgeable NT administrator and has learned Linux installation and basic setups elsewhere.

Professional Linux Deployment (PLD) opens by recognizing that some readers may first have to provide a convincing argument for why Linux should be integrated into the organization's information technology architecture. To keep things balanced, the authors also provide arguments against Linux. Several pro and con Linux web sites are suggested. The book then moves on to integrating Linux platforms into NT and other UNIX computing environments.

The first major integration topic to be covered is replacing NT-based file and print servers with Samba. Implementing web and ftp servers is the next integration area presented. At this point the authors provide an e-commerce case study using Linux and Apache. Next they examine the integration of databases and directory services.

Network infrastructure services are discussed next and here the authors provide details on replacing your current routers, gateways, mail and DNS servers, proxies and firewalls with Linux-based machines. Secure networks and links have become important to the average business. PLD's cryptography chapter suggests various encryption tools available for integration into an IT architecture to secure network traffic.

The integration of distributed systems is discussed and provides some idea as to whether or not Linux could be implemented within a particular environment. The last area of integration looks at providing component object model (COM) and distributed component object model (DCOM) functionality from a Linux platform.

In closing, the book offers a case study on migrating to Linux. This study primarily discusses migrating an application from UNIX to Linux. Each chapter concludes with a list of resources, which include web sites, books, mailing lists and news groups.

Three appendices provide a 5,000 foot overview of Linux, Linux commands and utilities, and pointers on system administration. As a reference, these appendices are okay, but do not expect to learn all you need to know about Linux and Linux administration here.

Deployment decisions must be economically, politically and technically acceptable to the organization. Since this is a book on deployment, I expected to see some deployment guidance or suggested methodology. Sadly, this book fails to discuss this area in any depth.

The book provides the technical knowledge and experience necessary when making Linux-deployment recommendations. It delineates the steps to set up Linux-based services in comparison to those provided by NT or other UNIX variants. This allows for a careful examination of the similarities and differences between services provided by NT and Linux platforms. It makes it easier to compare the quality of a current service with the same Linux-based service. The book also made it easier to contrast the resources required in setting up and maintaining Linux-based services with the services on your current platform. The knowledge gained from this resource should provide the technical foundation for deciding whether deploying Linux-based services makes technical and financial sense.

Considerable credit must be given to the book's editors as well. If it were not for the author list, it would be difficult to recognize that ten people contributed text to this book.

Daniel Lazenby ( first encountered UNIX in 1983 and discovered Linux in 1994.

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