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 Server Monitoring, APM and Observability Tools

Looking for application monitoring and observability solutions? On this page, I’ve listed the top application performance monitoring (APM), infrastructure monitoring, and observability solutions to date. The listings are updated periodically 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 of them. […]

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: 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 […]

NGINX Reverse Proxy Metrics to Monitor

NGINX is one of the most popular web servers nowadays, especially for Linux web servers. According to nginx.com, it powers more than 400 million websites. It is, however, probably even more commonly used as a reverse proxy. Since it acts as a go-between for your application and your users, it’s important to properly monitor NGINX […]

Linux top: Here’s how to customize it

The top command – referred to below as Linux top – is a command on Unix and Unix-like systems such as Linux, which provides a dynamic real-time overview of a running system. It can display system summary information and a list of processes or threads currently being managed by the Linux kernel. The types of […]

Linux Performance: Why You Should Almost Always Add Swap Space

We know that using Linux swap space instead of RAM (memory) can severely slow down performance. So, one might ask, since I have more than enough memory available, wouldn’t it better to delete swap space? The short answer is, No. There are performance benefits when swap space is enabled, even when you have more than […]