| ## Consulting with FreeBSD
## John Sconiers <>
In early 1997, a few friends and I began to venture into the world
of consulting. We had experience consulting before, however setting
out on our own was a new experience. We quickly took care of legal
matters such as incorporating ourselves and filing the needed paperwork
but were left an even greater decision of what to use as our primary
"Server OS" for our customers. In the beginning most of our clients
were companies that wanted a presence on the internet as well dedicated
access, email, and a small LAN. We knew we needed a solid OS, that was
practical and economical and so began our search.
We first looked at NT Server but it was painfully slow and required
more on site maintenance than we wanted to extend. It was not easily
configurable, and sometimes built in tools didn't even work correctly.
Besides there seemed to be to many exploits and the cost of software
and the onslaught of its oncoming upgrades and addons made it a bad
We decided to move towards a UNIX OS. This would allow us to be able
to configure things quickly and required less maintenance but also
provide them with a solid backbone and cheaper highly used software.
We decided to stay away from proprietary non PC architecture because of
the replacement cost. We tried X86-Solaris 2.6 Server, 3 distributions
of Linux and of course FreeBSD along with various "standard" software
like Apache, Sendmail, etc. that we wanted to run.
The Solaris box was the first to go. We liked it as a desktop but the
server just wouldn't keep up with the rest of the boxes. It was
missing key pieces like a compiler and other utilities. When it came
down to simulating large amounts of web serving, FTP, routing etc.,
the box would crawl compared to others. The Linux distributions we
tested were a whole lot easier to configure and came with tons of
utilities. However this box while being faster than the Solaris box
was not still not the performer we wanted and plus the near mention of
Linux made some company executives cringe with fear.
We decided to go with FreeBSD. It not only had the industrial strength
we needed but also had faster benchmarks and came with a lot of add on
packages and open source that made the system rock solid. Not to
mention the price was right. FreeBSD allowed us to provide a low cost
high quality product that would grow with them as they grew.
Dedicated, maintainable and highly configurable Servers became a
reality. And as we found out consulting with FreeBSD definitely became
a reality for us.
Johnathan Raymond Sconiers II
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