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  • Agile sysadmin and devops - How to accomplish?

    - by Marco Ramos
    Nowadays, agile systems adminitration and devops are some of the most trending topics regarding systems administration and operations. Both these concepts are mainly focused on bridging the gap between operations/sysadmins and the projects (developers, business, etc). Even if you never heard of the devops concept, I'm sure that this topic is your concern too. So, what tools and techniques do you use to accomplish devops in you companies? I'm particularly interested in topics like change management, continous integration and automatization, but not only. Please share your thoughts. I'm looking forward to read your answers/opinions :)

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  • Worst SysAdmin Accident

    - by Ward
    In line with the question about Best sysadmin accident, what's the worst accident you've been involved in? Unlike the previous question, I mean "worst" in the sense of most system damage or actual harm to people. I'll start with mine: We have two remote wiring closets that are at the end of a 100-foot corridor which has a metal grate for the floor. After we had Cat6 cable installed, the contractors cleaned up all the debris that dropped through the grating to the concrete 3 feet below. A co-worker and I entered the corridor to check on the progress one day but were distracted and didn't notice that a piece of grating had been moved aside. My buddy stepped into air and his chest slammed into the steel crossbar. He was winded and sore enough to take a couple days off, but luckily the steel beam had rounded edges and the size of the opening was such that he didn't smack his head into it or the floor below. Obviously we learned that areas where the floor is partially removed need to be flagged.

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  • Critical (Unixlike) Distros for Sysadmin Hopefuls to Have Experience With

    - by Interwebs
    Hi All, I'm trying to learn to be a Unix/Linux Sysadmin, and am hoping to get some hands-on experience by setting up a few installs (VMs, old comps, and the like) at home and practicing administering them. I was wondering, in the experience of those on this site, which distros are critical to be comfortable with. Obviously, to a certain extent, they're all similar, but there are substantial enough differences between administering, say, Debian, OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, and CentOS. So, which distros are most important to practice with in your opinion? Which have had most demand/come up most often in actual work situations? Thanks!

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  • How to grow to be global sysadmin of an organization?

    - by user64729
    Bit of a non-technical question but I have seen questions of the career development type on here before so hopefully it is fine. I work for a fast growing but still small organization (~65 employees). I have been their external sysadmin for a while now, looking after hosted Linux servers and infrastructure. In the past 12 months I have been transforming into the internal sysadmin for our office too. I'm currently studying Cisco CCNA to cover the demands of being an internal sysadmin and looking after the office LAN, routers, switches and VPNs. Now they want me to look after the global sysadmin function of the organization as a whole. The organization has 3 offices in total, 2 in the UK and 1 in the US. I work in one of the UK offices. The other offices are primarily Windows desktops with AD domain shops. My office is primarily a Linux shop with a file-server and NFS/NIS (no AD domain for the Windows desktops yet but it's in the works). Each other office has a sysadmin which in theory I am supposed to supervise but in reality each is independent. I have a very competent junior sysadmin working with me who shares the day-to-day tasks and does some of the longer term projects with my supervision. My boss has asked me how to grow from being the external sysadmin to the global sysadmin. I am to ponder this and then report back to him on how to achieve this. My current thoughts are: Management training or professional development - eg. reading books such as "Influencer" and "7 Habits". Also I feel I should take steps to improving communication skills since a senior person is expected to talk and speak out more often. Learn more about Windows and Active Directory - I'm an LPI-certified guy and have a lot of experience in Linux (Ubuntu or desktop, Debian/Ubuntu as server). Since the other offices are mainly Windows-domains it makes sense to skill-up in that area so I can understand what the other admins are talking about. Talk to previous colleagues who have are are in this role already - to try and get the benefit of their experience. Produce an "IT Roadmap" or similar that maps out where we want the organization to be and when, plotted out over the next couple of years with regards to internal and external infrastructure. I have produced a "Security roadmap" already which does cover some of these things. I guess this can summed up as "thinking more strategically"? I'd appreciate comments from anyone who has been through a similar situation, thanks.

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  • SysAdmin Career Question: Internal or Client Based

    - by Malnizzle
    ServerFault Community, It seems there are two positions SysAdmins find themselves in, either you are working for a non-IT services based single client (your employer) and providing in-house IT support or you work for a company who provides out sourced IT services to multiple clients. Right now I work for a company who does the latter, and I often consider how nice it would be doing the in-house side of things, to just have one network I am focused on and instead of feeling like I have a dozen bosses between clients and internal management, I would just have one set of management and people to appease. There is also the technical aspect of every client wanting something different, and having to manage numerous different technology platforms, or trying to force clients into using the technologies we prefer, neither situation is enjoyable. Is this just "the grass is greener on the other side" syndrome, or is there some legitimacy to the the stress of client based IT work compared to being an in-house IT guy? Thanks!

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  • UNIX User Account to Restricted SysAdmin (User/Printer Admin only)

    - by Mark
    Hi all, I'd like to know if there is a way for a user account to be enabled or elevated to carry out system admin tasks WITHOUT having to use the root account or sudo. Goal here is to allow a user account to Add/Delete users/printers without giving them the 'God' powers that the root account carries, in a way setting up a restricted system admin essentially. Not sure if there is a way of doing this as most just use root to my understanding.

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  • Sysadmin bad habits

    - by chmeee
    I think it would be interesting to have a list of bad habits you observe related to system administration. For example: Always using root on servers Sharing account passowrds Inserting passwords on code Still using telnet ... Although I'm mostly interested on security, you bad habit doesn't have to be security related. Bad habits stories are also welcomed.

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  • Android Software for the SysAdmin on the move.

    - by GruffTech
    So my company has over service through Verizon, and AT&T Service in the area is "shoddy" at its best, so i haven't been able to join the "iPhone party" like so many of my fellow SysAdmins have been able to. That being said, this week finally i phone i like has hit Verizon, the HTC Incredible. (I've been waiting for the Desire or Nexus One, but after seeing spec sheets and reviews, HTC Incredible comes out ahead anyway). So (finally) I'm looking for Android Apps that are "gotta-haves" for System Admins. I've found the bottom three, If there's others you prefer over these let me know. RDP Program - RemoteRDP SSH Client - ConnectBot Nagios - NagMonDroid Reply with your favorite Android App and Why!

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  • Sysadmin Dress Code

    - by andyh_ky
    What kind of dress code do you have at work as a systems administrator? Business casual, casual, some days casual, some days business casual, formal? It's safe to say "it all depends on the type of day we're planning on having" - but what happens if you need to speak to some C level personnel? Do you have a spare set of clothes?

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  • New SQL Monitor Metric: Principals with Sysadmin Login

    This metric counts the number of principals who are members of the sysadmin fixed server role. SQL Server relies on role-based security to manage permissions. If multiple IT system administrators have permissions to set up new SQL Server logins, they might be inclined to do so as part of the sysadmin role. Adding a normal user to the sysadmin role could pose a security risk and is not recommended unless the principal is highly trusted.

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  • Interesting opensource projects to contribute to as a sysadmin?

    - by wu
    I know that as a sysadmin you can contribute to opensource projects such as a Debian and Fedora. Joining their infrastructure groups and help with administration. I'm just wondering if there are any other interesting opensource projects/communities. To which sysadmin with a free time can contribute and sharpen his skills.

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  • Green System Administrator looking for helpful tips

    - by Joshua Anderson
    I have just been promoted to Systems Administrator for our product. We are designing a application that communicates with the cloud(Amazon EC2). I will be in charge of maintaining all Instances and their underlying components. So far this involves a set of load balanced services instances that connect to a central DB in a multi-tennant DB design. Im interested in what other Sys. Admins have discovered as invaluable tools or practices. Any resources provided will be greatly appreciated.

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  • Change localadmin on workstations

    - by ICTdesk.net
    We have scanned our domain and there are just a couple of PC's where an user is localadmin (this was enabled in the past for a certain application/installation). We need to disable this now. Is there a way to do this remotely? OS: windows XP clients in network / domain environment

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  • How do you set up redundant servers?

    - by user59240
    To the sysadmins out there, I'm trying to get an idea about how you go about maintaining redundant servers for small projects. The modest number of servers in my mind is two, and three main essential services come to mind: HTTP, mail and DNS. How do you automate this duplicity? Is rsync the tool of choice (again, for small projects)? In addition to common tools for these tasks, references to books and articles would be greatly appreciated. The more hands-on the approach, the better. Thanks!

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  • Updated: NLB 2 Windows Server 2003 Servers - Looking to Hire SysAdmin to solve!

    - by Paul Hinett
    I need to configure windows NLB on 2 dedicated servers I have. My main machine has been running for some time, with several domain names pointing to the servers primary IP address. Both servers have 2 NIC's installed, and both have several secondary public IP addresses available if needed? What IP address would I use for the cluster IP, does this IP need to be added to the IP list of both public NIC's ip address list? What IP addresses do I use for the host's dedicated IP? Please help, this is driving me nuts...i've taken down the server twice on accident today! UPDATE: Looking to hire a windows SysAdmin to solve! I have updated my question, i would like to hire a trusted windows SysAdmin to take care of this for me, preferably today...can anyone help and provide some credentials please? Thank you in advance!

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  • How should an experienced Windows SysAdmin learn Linux? [closed]

    - by Systemspoet
    I have a new hire starting in a few weeks who is an experienced Windows SysAdmin. I think he's fairly senior on the Windows side, with a pretty deep AD understanding and experience with Exchange 2007, 2010, and exchange migrations. He's done a little PowerShell but I suspect more of the "run this command to do this" variety then "write a script to do this" sort. However, we are a mixed shop and (he knows this) I expect him to become a reasonably competent Linux SysAdmin over time. I'm looking for good starting points to bring him along. I have over ten years of Linux/UNIX experience, so it all sort of seems intuitive to me, but I've been thinking about the toolkit you actually need to be productive in the Linux CLI world. Just to be able to use the machines at all, off the top of my head... vi Basic CLI stuff -- move around, rename files, copy files, tar, gzip, changing passwords, finding relevant manpages, keep track of where you are, find things in your history, etc, etc. More advanced things that I take for granted but are actually pretty hard -- doing things with 'find', extracting relevant text via 'awk' and/or 'cut', knowing when to use 'grep' and when to use 'grep -e' or 'egrep'. Distribution specific stuff... compiling software, rpm, yum, apt-get, you name it. This all seems pretty basic to me, but when I think back to 1995 when I was first learning my way, some of those things took me years to master. So my question is -- where should I send him to pick up those skills? I'm not just thinking of classes, but rather also websites and books? Where do you all suggest as a starting point for picking up Linux skills?

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  • Sysadmin Nightmares – Server Room Disasters [Videos]

    - by Asian Angel
    There you are, looking at a pristine server room when disaster suddenly strikes! Whether it is fire, floods, or other causes you will feel sympathy for the sysadmins involved when watching this collection of seven server room disasters that Wired has put together. You can view the other six videos in the collection by visiting the Wired post linked below… Server Snuff: 7 Videos of a Sysadmin’s Worst Nightmares [via Fail Desk] HTG Explains: How Antivirus Software Works HTG Explains: Why Deleted Files Can Be Recovered and How You Can Prevent It HTG Explains: What Are the Sys Rq, Scroll Lock, and Pause/Break Keys on My Keyboard?

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  • REGISTER TODAY: Oracle Linux and Oracle VM Virtual SysAdmin Day- July 15

    - by Zeynep Koch
    Are you just starting on Oracle Linux or do you still feel you are missing some knowledge on how to configure, install or patch your Oracle Linux? If you answered yes, this event for you. This is our second virtual sysadmin day for Oracle Linux and it had been hugely popular in the past. This is a hands-on experience for all those Sysadmins that are looking for a great training without leaving their office or home. You will learn to: Install Oracle Linux using RPM and yum repositories; create storage volumes, prepare block devices, work with filesystems Create and mount Btrfs in Oracle Linux, work with block devices and snapshots Come and join us on July 15, 9am-12pm Pacific Time for an informative and interactive session. See more details and register 

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  • Should a sysadmin contractor charge overtime for off-peak hours?

    - by Jakobud
    This is not necessarily a server-related question, but more of a system admin question that I think would related to many on SF. I'm doing Sysadmin/IT consulting for a small company. I only work about 3 days a week for them on average. If a server goes down or something like that during off hours (nights, weekends, 3am, etc) and they need it fixed during those time periods, should I be charging overtime for that? I would I not be justified in charging overtime until I've logged 40 hours for the week? Perhaps calling it overtime isn't the best name. I guess maybe its better to call it an off-peak hourly rate. Anyways I just was curious what other consultants did in these circumstances.

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  • Good sysadmin practise?

    - by Randomthrowaway
    Throwaway account here. Recently our sysadmin sent us the following email (I removed the names): Hi, I had a situation yesterday (not mentioning names) when I had to perform a three way md5 checksum verification over the phone, more than once. If we can stick to the same standards then this will save any confusion if you are ever asked to repeat something over the phone or in the office for clarification. This is of particular importance when trying to speak or say this over the phone … m4f7s29gsd32156ffsdf … that’s really difficult to get right on a bad line. The rule is very simple: 1) Speak in blocks of 4 characters and continue until the end. The recipient can read back or ask for verification on one of the blocks. 2) Use the same language! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenetic_alphabet#NATO Myself, xxx and a few others I know all speak the NATO phonetic alphabet (aka police speak) and this makes it so much easier and saves so much time. If you want to learn quickly then all you really need is A to F and 0 to 9. 0 to 9 is really easy, A to F is only 6 characters to learn. Could you tell me if forcing the developers to learn NATO alphabet is a good practise, or if there are ways (and which ways) to avoid being in such a situation?

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  • Is the sysadmin/netadmin the defacto project planner at your organization?

    - by gft74
    At my company it has somehow over the past few years slowly become my job to come up with a project plan, milestones and time lines for deployment of developer applications. Typical scenario: My team receives a request for a new website/db combo and date for deployment. I send back a questionnaire for the developer to fill out on all the reqs for the site (ssl? db? growth projections etc.) After I get back all the information, the head of development wants a well developed document of what servers will it live on why those servers what is the time line for creating the resources step-by-step SOP for getting the application on the server and all related resources created (dns, firewall, load balancer etc.) I maybe just whining but it feels like this is something better suited to our Project Management staff (which we have) or to the developer. I understand that I need to give them a time-line on creating the resources, but still feel like this is overkill. We already produce documentation on where everything lives and track configuration changes to equipment. How do other sysadmin folks handle this?

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  • Is the sysadmin/netadmin the defacto project planner at your organization?

    - by user31459
    At my company it has somehow over the past few years slowly become my job to come up with a project plan, milestones and time lines for deployment of developer applications. Typical scenario: My team receives a request for a new website/db combo and date for deployment. I send back a questionnaire for the developer to fill out on all the reqs for the site (ssl? db? growth projections etc.) After I get back all the information, the head of development wants a well developed document of what servers will it live on why those servers what is the time line for creating the resources step-by-step SOP for getting the application on the server and all related resources created (dns, firewall, load balancer etc.) I maybe just whining but it feels like this is something better suited to our Project Management staff (which we have) or to the developer. I understand that I need to give them a time-line on creating the resources, but still feel like this is overkill. We already produce documentation on where everything lives and track configuration changes to equipment. How do other sysadmin folks handle this?

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  • Sysadmin 101: How can I figure out why my server crashes and monitor performance?

    - by bflora
    I have a Drupal-powered site that seems to have neverending performance problems. It was butt-slow about 5 months ago. I brought in some guys who installed nginx for anonymous visitors, ajaxified a few queries so they wouldn't fire during page load, and helped me find a few bottlenecks in the code. For about a month, the site was significantly faster, though not "fast" by any stretch of the word. Meanwhile, I'm now shelling out $400/month to Slicehost to host a site that gets less than 5,000/uniques a day. Yes, you read that right. Go Drupal. Recently the site started crashing again and is slow again. I can't afford to hire people to come in, study my code from top to bottom, and make changes that may or may not help anymore. And I can't afford to throw more hardware at the problem. So I need to figure out what the problem is myself. Questions: When apache crashes, is it possible to find out what caused it to crash? There has to be a way, right? If so, how can I do this? Is there software I can use that will tell me which process caused my server to die? (e.g. "Apache crashed because someone visited page X." or "Apache crashed because you were importing too many RSS items from feed X.") There's got to be a way to learn this, right? What's a good, noob-friendly way to monitor my current apache performance? My developer friends tell me to "just use Top, dude," but Top shows me a bunch of numbers without any context. I have no clue what qualifies as a bad number or a good number in Top, or which processes are relevant and which aren't. Are there any noob-friendly server monitoring tools out there? Ideally, I could have a page that would give me a color-coded indicator about how apache is performing and then show me a list of processes or pages that are sucking right now. This way, I could know when performance is bad and then what's causing it to be so bad. Why does PHP memory matter? My apparently has a 30MB memory foot print. Will it run faster if I bring that number down? Thanks for any advice. I spent a year or so trying to boost my advertising income so I could hire a contractor to solve my performance woes. I didn't want to have to learn all this sysadmin voodoo. I'm now resigned to the fact that might not have a choice.

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