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keskiviikko 19. tammikuuta 2011

Sites admin a'la Decker


Today we're talking about the generic environment, where system administrators work. I will also introduce couple of very golden rules - if you wish to keep the systems running trouble-free. The golden rules are "obvious", but oh-so often learned the hard way. Theoretical schools of computer science teach perhaps the least of real admin work - and of course there is a reason. But if you do work in administration, and especially if you are a newbie, it might be really useful to check out a couple of tips right here.

Golden rules:
  • when you enter a site, take a little bit of looking at it. Check airwires.
  • airwires are dangerous (LAN/power cables hanging in air). They will make you
    trip over, and pull heavy stuff on your head, or they can plug out of jacks and disrupt services.
  • when you plan LAN cabling, check that no door closes in a way that can cut the wire! Server cabinets especially, but also other kinds of doors and cutting edges.
  • mis-communicating and being quiet is often bad. Communicate what you're doing, to your peers: colleagues, boss, service providers, etc. It's good to ask. The technology often doesn't fail per se, but our interpretation of it and the way several people handle common projects makes hazardous spots likely.

Typically the site (premises) can be one of following:

- a mixed office environment, where there are network gear, laptops, desktop PC's, (or Macs as well), printers, and peripheral devices

- a server room (aka "engine room") where there's plenty'o toole in what comes to powerful server machines. They're most likely plugged into an internet

- industrial setting -- varying from chemical manufacturing plants to tulip gardening
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