Nginx tuning tips: TLS/SSL HTTPS – Improved TTFB/latency

Since 30th June 2018, the PCI Security Standards Council has required that support for SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0 be disabled and, more recently, to disable TLS 1.1. Using TLS 1.2 and 1.3 is strongly recommended. In addition, as of July 2018, Google Chrome began to mark ‘HTTP’ websites as “not secure.” Over the past […]

Choosing the Best Linux Server Distro (2021)

Are you in the process of choosing a Linux server distro (distribution) for your next project? This article will help you decide by pointing out the strengths of the top Linux server distributions in contention. If you are looking for a Linux desktop distro, look at this post instead: Choosing the Best Linux Distro for […]

100 top APM (Application Performance Monitoring) solutions

Looking for application monitoring tools and server monitoring solutions? On this page, I’ve listed the top application performance monitoring (APM), server monitoring, and observability solutions to date. The listings are updated frequently as APM and observability solutions continue a rapid evolution. While I haven’t tested all of these solutions, I’ve used more than a third […]

50 Top Server Monitoring, APM and Observability Tools

Back in 2014, I compiled a list of top server and application performance monitoring solutions. Sharing that list publicly was a great way to gain feedback and recommendations on other tools available. Over time that list grew from 20 to over 100 server monitoring and APM solutions! Because of its growing size, I’ve created a smaller, more […]

Replacing Cloudflare with CSF Firewall

March 8th, 2021 update: For the past year, this blog has been using Bunny CDN as a full-page caching solution. That said, I still use Cloudflare with other websites. I’m updating this guide with additional details and tips for using CSF (Config Server Firewall) to increase security with [or without] Cloudflare as a reverse proxy. […]

PHP Performance: Additional CPU cores vs Faster CPU cores

Some time ago, I received an email from a client experiencing slow performance issues with a LEMP (Linux, Nginx, MySQL, and PHP webserver). During a full audit, I found that the server’s load average was pretty low (see above screenshot). However, the website was indeed very slow. There were some misconfigurations, but one of the […]

What CentOS alternative distro should you choose?

In January 2014, CentOS announced it was officially joining with Red Hat while staying independent from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) under a new CentOS governing board. However, in December 2020, Red Hat requisitioned that CentOS terminate the development of CentOS 8. They also announced that support would be shifting to a CentOS alternative rolling-release […]

Linux benchmark scripts and tools

This list of Linux benchmark scripts and tools should prove useful for quick performance check of CPU, storage, memory, and network on Linux servers and VPS. Recently, I used a Linux benchmark script, which was no longer maintained. As a result, I compiled this quick list of scripts and tools for Linux benchmarking. Check each […]

Linux: ncdu and mc to manage large directories

Creating, modifying, and deleting files are everyday tasks performed in any operating system, even more so by Sysadmins, Developers, and Programmers. For the most part, these tasks are fast enough when managing a handful of files. However, on Linux and especially with servers, you may at some time have to manage millions or even billions […]

Home Lab Beginners guide – Hardware

Until recently, and for well over the past decade, my wife and I have been nomads. Moving from the Caribbean to Miami, New York, Las Vegas, Vancouver, and now back home. This has meant that for many of those years, my home office basically comprised of a few laptops and screens. These days, we are more […]