Below is a list of some of the more common tasks that a system
administrator may be expected to perform.
In real life, for any given position, a system administrator may
be required to do more or fewer tasks than those listed here.
Planning - cost, capacity planning, logistics
(network design, server locations, where to install, wiring,
IP address assignments, ...), network service providers
Preparing - temperature, humidity, electrical,
fire, security, EIA/TIA wiring closet and cabling standards, UPS;
Change management (preparing for any service changes)
Maintaining local documentation -
new user's guide, policy and procedure documents (security
plan, disaster recovery plan, administrative
procedures, service request/bug report forms, ...),
man pages for add-on software
Help and educate users - This includes working
with your management (who sometimes needs the most help and
education even if they don't think so), helping new users, experienced users,
Baselining - Generate system reports
and correlate growth, changes over time.
(Use data to order supplies, spares, hardware and
software upgrades in a timely manner, and to generate reports to
Problem solving - System administration is about
solving problems, not memorizing how-to directions.
Often something won't work as it should.
What will you do then?
Know where to look for help -
books, netnews, man pages, on-line (www.tldp.org,
docs.sun.com, www.redhat.com, ...)