Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- What is System Administrator?
- 1. Administration and User Permissions
- 2. Alerting & Monitoring
- 3. Upkeep, update, and installation of software
- 4. Management and Organization of Files
- 5. SSO and Password Administration
- 6. Policies and Procedures for Using the System
- 7. Security
- 8. Updating Runbooks and Keeping Documents Up-to-Date
- 9. Detection, Response, and Remediation of Incidents
- 10. Problem-solving and preparation
- Are Certifications Required for System Administrators?
With so many businesses adopting the latest technology, having a robust IT infrastructure is more important than ever. Downtime is not only inconvenient for businesses; it can also quickly put them out of business.
The average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute, according to a Gartner report.
This is why businesses require system administrators to maintain all of their business software up to date and working.
Because practically every organization now depends largely on solid IT operations, competent computer systems administrators are in high demand to maintain and manage computer networks.
Sysadmins are today’s superheroes who keep the business going. Thus, this is not a profession for the faint of heart.
In this post, we’ll go over system administration in-depth, as well as the skills required to be a successful system administrator.
What is System Administrator?
A system administrator (sysadmin) is an IT professional who administers a multiuser computer environment and ensures that IT services and support systems are running at top performance.
Sysadmins are responsible for keeping their company’s computers, servers, and internet up and running at all times in order to avoid business interruptions. System setup and maintenance, such as installing and debugging hardware and software, as well as analyzing new technologies for their enterprises, are all part of this process.
System administrators are often in charge of installing, maintaining, configuring, and repairing servers, networks, and other computer systems.
They dabble with both hardware and software, learning a little programming and scripting to carry out jobs and activities throughout their apps and infrastructure.
For decades, SysAdmins have worked mostly in the background to ensure the availability and uptime of your most critical IT services.
And, while the growth of DevOps and cloud computing has resulted in an increase in the number of persons with a hybrid SysAdmin/Developer skillset, the fundamental functions of a system administrator will always be essential.
System administrators of today are competent in both hardware and software, building durable, secure architecture to ensure the business’s success.
In the realm of DevOps, software developers are increasingly like SysAdmins, and SysAdmins are increasingly resembling developers, resulting in improved cooperation and tighter feedback loops across all teams.
System Administrator Responsibilities
As a SysAdmin, you’re in charge of the whole tech and IT stack. This means you’re in charge of the system that maintains your complete organization functioning in the IT area. Every second your website or server is offline costs you money in terms of missed productivity, revenue, and downtime costs.
First and foremost, SysAdmins need to be problem solvers. Being a competent system administrator means you’ll be able to learn new things and have strong feedback loops with your development team, with so many operating systems, network settings, and security concerns to address.
However, to have a better sense of the abilities and technologies you’ll need to know, let’s look at some common SysAdmin work activities.
1. Administration and User Permissions
User authorization and management for all applications and services are typically handled by system administrators. SysAdmins can assign user roles and manage the complete IT stack for a business, ensuring that everyone has safe access to the apps and services they require.
2. Alerting & Monitoring
Depending on your workflow and technology stack, the system administrator is responsible for monitoring and alerting across your apps and infrastructure. By monitoring critical server and network metrics like CPU, disc use, DNS, latency, and ETL, sysadmins can detect an event.
They can then set up alerts based on monitoring criteria to get on-call warnings in the case of major difficulties. SysAdmins must be able to analyze the health of their systems using both external and internal system outputs and indicators, resulting in a more transparent architecture.
3. Upkeep, update, and installation of software
It is SysAdmin’s responsibility to establish rules and processes for software installation and upgrades. The SysAdmin should be able to recognize and resolve any difficulties that arise as a result of new upgrades or interdependencies between new versions of systems.
4. Management and Organization of Files
The SysAdmin will normally put rules and processes in place around the way files are structured and shared throughout the company to guarantee data consistency and organization. This, like most other SysAdmin duties, entails protecting security against external threats as well as enabling proper, quick access to data for employees.
5. SSO and Password Administration
The SysAdmin is in charge of password management as well as SSO policies and procedures throughout the organization. They can change passwords and verify that all security criteria are satisfied.
If SSO and/or two-factor authentication are used, the system administrator is responsible for monitoring these technologies and assisting workers in gaining access to the systems they require when they require it.
6. Policies and Procedures for Using the System
The system administrator will need to develop best practices for dealing with the organization’s systems at a high level. This encompasses everything from your own proprietary software to various third-party IT apps and services.
SysAdmins can dramatically transform the way work is done inside a company by training people how to use systems in a secure and effective manner.
It should be at the top of a system administrator’s mind anytime he or she is working on a project. Whether it’s user rights or the way the team handles documentation, SysAdmins must accomplish all jobs in a safe manner. The SysAdmin will understand how to set up networks, policies, and servers in a secure and safe manner.
8. Updating Runbooks and Keeping Documents Up-to-Date
SysAdmins are frequently responsible for updating runbooks and managing documentation. This might be a difficult endeavor in the realm of the CI/CD pipeline. System administrators must understand how to use automation to keep runbooks and documentation up to date and correct without slowing down the development process.
9. Detection, Response, and Remediation of Incidents
System administrators can’t just mix and match their IT and security environments. They must construct it in such a way that it is visible and quick. How can you put up a system that allows for quick incident detection, reaction, and remediation in the event that an issue arises? What level of monitoring and alerting is required? To get the most out of their incident management techniques, SysAdmins should be aware of all of these questions.
10. Problem-solving and preparation
A skilled system administrator will be a great problem solver who can think of methods to prepare for the unexpected. Teams are delivering more sophisticated architecture quicker in the age of CI/CD and DevOps, making the work of a SysAdmin more difficult than ever.
So, as a SysAdmin, finding solutions to eliminate bottlenecks in the deployment lifecycle while also lowering risks in your IT and security infrastructure will always make your job simpler.
System Administration Technologies & Skills
To be effective in the current day, system administrators must understand programming, automation, and cloud computing. SysAdmins do more than just reboot servers and decommission obsolete equipment; they ensure the dependability and uptime of all of your software and infrastructure.
As a result, we wanted to go through some of the more recent skills and technologies that system administrators should be aware of:
As AWS, Azure, and GCP have been taken over, system managers worldwide must learn how to coordinate systems in the cloud. What are the best monitoring and alerting tools to use? Now that your infrastructure is cloud-based, how should you manage your servers and networks?
SysAdmins deal with questions like these on a regular basis, including redundancy and security in the system as a whole. However, as practically every application and service migrates to the cloud, it’s quickly becoming one of the most crucial skills for SysAdmins throughout the world.
The version control system Git is the most popular. A way of tracking code changes and numerous versions of a program or service is called version control. SysAdmins can swiftly revert deployments or upgrades if there is a problem with the current version of a service.
For developing a reliable CI/CD pipeline and providing visibility across both engineering and IT departments, version control is essential. To quickly watch what developers are doing, spot flaws, and remedy them before they affect customers, SysAdmins must understand version control.
3. Automation and configuration management
To succeed as a SysAdmin, you must be familiar with tools such as Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and Jenkins. These technologies enable system administrators to automate a variety of operations and configurations across the release lifecycle, resulting in fewer mistakes and faster deployments.
As a result, instead of revising projects in the pipeline or addressing support escalations, developers can focus on developing new apps and services.
4. Upkeep the server and network
SysAdmins, as previously said, must be familiar with the ins and outs of server and network administration. These computers and networks are the foundations of your company, supporting it and delivering value to consumers.
As a result, system administrators must constantly improve processes in order to maintain more dependable systems, minimize outages, and enhance incident response when an event does occur.
The most prevalent database administration language is a structured query language (SQL), which is a crucial technical ability for a systems administrator to have.
Understanding SQL enables a systems administrator to manage the company’s critical databases as well as offer or assign assistance to employees who have difficulty accessing the database.
6. Programming and scripting
A systems administrator must have a thorough grasp of computer programming and the languages that are utilized on the company’s networks. When problems emerge on a network, a systems administrator can use scripting and coding to undertake critical debugging. A systems administrator can also utilize coding abilities to construct scripts that automate procedures and make daily operations more efficient.
You must be able to speak clearly with people as a systems administrator. It’s vital to communicate with a member of your technical team or a non-technical employee in another department who is experiencing network access difficulties in a way that they can understand.
This is especially important when explaining technical information to a staff member who is inexperienced with modern technology. It is also vital to have both verbal and written communication skills in order to provide direction and report to coworkers.
For many businesses, the network system is critical to everyday operations, and network outages can have serious consequences. When confronted with an issue that alters network operation in a high-pressure environment, a systems administrator must analyze the situation, find viable solutions, and choose the one that gives the best outcomes for the business.
It is going over all of the possible causes of an issue in order to find the defect. When troubleshooting, a systems administrator runs basic tests to ensure that network pieces are working properly, and any failures are used to narrow down the possible reasons for the bigger problem.
Technical problem-solving, in-depth understanding of the system and typical problems, and creative thinking to try new tests or solutions are all useful troubleshooting abilities.
Are Certifications Required for System Administrators?
Certification can help future systems administrators increase their marketability. Certifications are optional, third-party certificates obtained outside of a college diploma to demonstrate one’s abilities. Obtaining certifications for the items that their company employs is beneficial to systems administrators.
Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Linux, and VMware, for example, provide certifications. CompTIA, a famous charity founded in 1982, has certified over 2.2 million IT professionals with qualifications such as Server+ and Network+. A 2.5-hour proctored test costs $400 to become a Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA).
Some project managers choose to become certified by the Project Management Institute (PMI). After passing a 130-minute test, Amazon Web Services awards the Certified SysOps Administrator designation.
A Google Cloud Professional Network Engineer can also be a systems administrator.
In the IT business, a SysAdmin is a vital and in-demand position. If you’re trying to break into the IT industry, the SysAdmin position is a terrific place to start with an excellent salary.
As a SysAdmin, you’ll be continuously problem-solving and troubleshooting different difficulties that emerge, so you’ll find yourself acquiring new skills and technologies on the job every day.
You’ll develop expertise and knowledge by working closely with the other departments in a DevOps environment.