Looking at the most viewed articles during 2008 gives us a glimpse at what was most interesting to people, or perhaps even a sample of the most important trends during this last year. Here is a quick survey of the top articles, with honorable mentions for a few that were popular, but did not quite make the top five.
A more topical survey of important trends and news in 2008 can be found in last week's 2008 in Enterprise Networking.
5 Ubuntu articles, in general, had many just outside the top five. Three very popular Ubuntu articles were:
Ubuntu has taken the world by storm, increasing the size of the Linux community by providing many improvements to the user experience. It is undoubtedly the most popular Linux distro, and most articles about Ubuntu news or Ubuntu tutorials gets a lot of attention.
4 Robocopy Polices Windows File Permissions starts with an introduction to Windows NTFS permissions and explains why moving or copying files makes Windows Administrators pull their hair out. Just the explanation alone is very helpful, but this article goes on to introduce robocopy. Robocopy comes with the Windows Resource Kit and is an essential tool for moving files between servers or volumes on the same server. The article explains how to use robocopy and provides a few real-world examples.
3 Manage a Linux RAID 10 Storage Server explains how to maintain, monitor, and make changes to an existing software RAID 10 setup in Linux. This article is an excellent reference that first explains how to install grub to both disks in a mirror, so that you can boot if half of the array is unavailable. Next, it goes on to explain how to create the array and query the status of arrays. Monitoring with mdadm is explained, then we learn how to add a disk to the live array. Basically, this articles covers everything you need to know about working with RAID in Linux in an easy to follow how-to format.
2 Build Your Own RAID Storage Server with Linux makes the case for building your own RAID array with Linux for backup and data archiving purposes. It explains the difference between hardware and software RAID, and explains the various RAID levels so that you can choose the right mix of performance, capacity and redundancy.
1 Tux Untangled: A Gateway Distro That's Easy to Use explains how the Untangle Gateway platform makes setting up a network gateway very painless. It is much more than a gateway in the traditional sense–firewall, traffic shaper, and perhaps a DNS and DHCP server–it also provides a long list of network security features that are just the click of a single button away. Transparent spam and virus filtering, a VPN server, intrusion prevention, logging, and web filtering are just some of the features that traditionally required many hours of sysadmin time to configure. Untangle takes the best of the open source world and wraps it all into a single interface, enabling small to medium businesses and home users to have a very advanced feature set. Needless to say, it is very popular.
We published three articles about OpenSolaris toward the end of the year. They generated a lot of interest, but due to their proximity to the end of 2008, they didn't quite make the top list. They were:
OpenSolaris (Solaris: open source with a GNU userland) is becoming popular, or at least it generates a lot of discussion among Linux users. Either way, the interest is there and 2008 was a big year for the first two OpenSolaris releases.
Expect the same amount of media dominance in 2009; Ubuntu and OpenSolaris are both relatively new and interesting, until the next big thing comes along.
Charlie Schluting is the author of Network Ninja, a must-read for every network engineer.