|Contents||Bulletin||Scripting in shell and Perl||Network troubleshooting||History||Humor|
|News||Unix/Linux Internals||Recommended Books||Recommended Links||Access Control in Operating Systems||Authentication|
|Enterprise System Management Resources||Administration of Remote Servers||iLO||Dell DRAC||ALOM||Working with serial console|
|Advanced Linux Administration||Red Hat Enterprise Linux Administration||SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)||Solaris||AIX Administration||HP-UX Administration|
|Networking||Classic Network Utilities||Network Troubleshooting Tools||TCP/IP Network Troubleshooting||Logs Analysis||SMTP Mail|
|Helpdesk software||Monitoring||Software Distribution||Job schedulers||Unix config management||Security|
|Backup||Baseliners||Classic Unix Tools||Perl admintools||Software Distribution||Performance Tuning|
|Assets management||HP Operations Manager||Tivoli||Project Management||Unix to Unix migration||Working with Console|
|Unix filesystem navigation||Bash history and bang commands||profile and RC-files||Orthodox File Managers||SSH for System Administrators||Network File System (NFS)|
|Social Problem in Enterprise Unix Administration||Tips||History||Admin Horror Stories||Humor||Etc|
|The KISS rule can be expanded as: Keep It Simple, Sysadmin ;-)|
Additional useful material on the topic can also be found in an older article Solaris vs Linux:
- The historical dimension of "Solaris vs. Linux" debate
- The ideological dimension of "Solaris vs. Linux" debate
- Two views on IT in commercial enterprises: utility vs. competitive advantage
- The Current Status of Enterprise Deployment
Nine factors framework for comparison of two flavors of Unix in a large enterprise environment
Four major areas of Linux and Solaris deployment
Comparison of internal architecture and key subsystems
- Contributions of Solaris and Linux to the Unix kernel architecture
- Some kernel-level differences
- Java performance
- Process Management
Hardware: SPARC vs. X86
- General level of OSS support
- Scripting languages support
- Configuration Management and Bug Tracking Tools
Solaris as a cultural phenomenon
Using Solaris-Linux enterprise mix as the least toxic Unix mix available
Here are my notes/reflection of sysadmin problem in strange (and typically pretty toxic) IT departments of large corporations:
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|“I appreciate Woody Allen’s humor because one of my safety valves is an appreciation for life’s absurdities.
His message is that life isn’t a funeral march to the grave. It’s a polka.”
-- Dennis Kusinich
April 30, 2013 by James Kwak | 18 Comments By James Kwak
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had an article titled “Foosball over Finance” about how people in finance have been switching to technology startups, for all the predictable reasons: The long hours in finance. “Technology is collaborative. In finance, it’s the opposite.” “The prospect of ‘building something new.’” Jeans. Foosball tables. Or, in the most un-self-conscious, over-engineered, revealing turn of phrase: “The opportunity of my generation did not seem to be in finance.”
We have seen this before. Remember Startup.com? That film documented the travails of a banker who left Goldman to start an online company that would revolutionize the delivery of local government services. It failed, but not before burning through tens of millions of dollars of funding. There was a time, right around 1999, when every second-year associate wanted to bail out of Wall Street and work for an Internet company.
The things that differentiate technology from banking are always the same: the hours (they’re not quite as bad), the work environment, “building something new,” the dress code, and so on. They haven’t changed in the last few years. The only thing that changes are the relative prospects of working in the two industries—or, more importantly, perceptions of those relative prospects.
Wall Street has always attracted a particular kind of person: ambitious but unfocused, interested in success more than any achievements in particular, convinced (not entirely without reason) that they can do anything, and motivated by money largely as a signifier of personal distinction. If those people want to work for technology startups, that means two things.
- First, they think they can amass more of the tokens of success in technology than in finance.
- Second—since these are the some of the most conservative, trend-following people that exist—it means they’re buying at the top.
Mar 27, 2013 | Slashdot
Posted by SoulskillOrome1 writes
"The number of IT professionals considering leaving their job due to workplace stress has jumped from 69% last year to 73%. One-third of those surveyed cited dealing with managers as their most stressful job requirement, particularly for IT staff in larger organizations. Handling end user support requests, budget squeeze and tight deadlines were also listed as the main causes of workplace stress for IT managers. Although users are not causing IT staff as much stress as they used to, it isn't stopping them from creating moments that make IT admins want to tear their hair out in frustration. Of great concern is the impact that work stress is having on health and relationships. While a total of 80% of participants revealed that their job had negatively impacted their personal life in some way, the survey discovered some significant personal impact: 18% have suffered stress-related health issues due to their work, and 28% have lost sleep due to work."
Re:IT admins are special (Score:5, Insightful)
lots of jobs really suck, and lots of people are stressed to the point of health impacts and have considered quitting. Many of these jobs pay significantly less than IT wages.
Whenever I get stressed out, I remember the jobs I did before/while I was in college, and I'm happy to be where I am. I can't imagine what today's grads do without any work experience at low-wage McJobs. Consider quitting I guess?
Re:IT admins are special (Score:4, Insightful)
Admin is just a step up from help desk, hang out too long and it will begin to suck badly. If you fail to increase your skills (most admins) and your ability to add value, then it will start to suck badly after a number of years--it's boring.
How many servers can you provision or user accounts can you setup before pulling your fucking hair out?
Learn to code, become a professional DBA, or acquire some more skills that makes you valuable, like perhaps getting involved with business intelligence.
Admins are a commodity. Yes, it is easy to hang out and collect a paycheck, but don't whine when your value wanes and people direct you around like a monkey boy.
i kan reed
Re:IT admins are special (Score:5, Insightful)
As an software engineer(and thus not an IT admin), IT admins have it much worse than most middle class office workers. They get shit on over the smallest thing, and are the only IT employees who are expected to deliver within minutes of being asked. I don't think it's a stretch to say their stress levels might be higher than yours.
Re:IT admins are special (Score:5, Interesting)
In terms of certain job expectations they are. These include longer hours and working weekends and during the 3rd shift.
A lot of mundanes don't understand this. They hear that you've got some office job and they don't understand why you would be working those kinds of hours.
Clueless spouses can add to the stress level. Even spouses that are part of the workforce can be ignorant and unsympathetic.
Re:IT admins are special (Score:4, Funny)
No your wife will not understand no matter what your job is. She will undoubtedly have worked more then you did, no matter what.
That is only $48k. That is terrible pay for sysadmin work.
Personally I was supporting Windows, Linux, and Apple... So no, not just windows. I also was not the only one, I worked with admins from a dozen companies from time to time and pay varied from $40k-55k. Those making $55k were in their 50's and had started (often at these companies) during the 70's or at most 80's...
Lying liars and the lies they lie about (Score:5, Informative)
Only 73% have considered quitting? The other 27% are lying to you, probably because they're worried that the survey is being snooped on by the corporate Barracuda firewall.
Rapid change in IT is the problem (Score:3)
When IT and computer/internet field in general settle down and become mature, things will get better.
Right now there's just too many new technolgies and buzzwords and platforms and architecture and paradigms popping up, and pointy-haired managers and VPs all want to implement this and that and oh by the way make it work with our legacy system and nothing better get lost or you're fired.
Re:Rapid change in IT is the problem (Score:5, Insightful)
It's not a matter of maturity. Many organizations hide behind the disclaimer "we are not an I.T. company", despite having sizable I.T. departments. And despite having this sizable department, which offers mission-critical applications and infrastructure, zero effort is made towards working smarter. Problems are fixed with mandatory overtime, cutting staffing/costs, and "quick-and-dirty" fixes to long standing problems.
I think some companies are starting to understand that their project management methodologies are flawed, but most cannot connect the concepts of "software debt" to decreasing marginal output in their I.T. efforts. An hour of work today is less effective than in the past because you are paying "interest" on your previous bad decisions.
I think that the 27% is reflective of companies that can connect the longevity and cost-effectiveness of I.T. systems to proper project planning, management, and I.T. expertise. Whether or not this is an upper-bound remains to be seen, because a lot of organizations simply don't understand that inventing your own project management ideas dooms you to repeating the same failures that have happened over the last 50 years.
Thats why your #1 priority in an interview is: (Score:5, Insightful)
Picking your boss. If you're not up a creek looking for work, that interview is to let you meet your managers, talk to some workers about the managers.
When I started working it was "If I can just get in the door"
When I was in my 20's it was "What cool things will this job do for me"
Now That i'm in my 30's its "Will I be able to work with these people"
It's about being "Always on" (Score:5, Insightful)
I'm an IT professional and more than once I've thought about quitting, especially when I was doing high-stress consulting. Clients treat you like meat, like "the help." They have no problem waking you up at 5AM with nonsense problems. If you don't answer and do it politely, they call your boss and then your job/livelihood is in jeopardy.
This isn't just a 9-5 thing where, when you leave the office, you're no longer on the hook -- it's always happening. Sometimes, you're at a bar at 10PM and you get an urgent call -- pick it up, and you in your tipsy state are now on the hook to resolve an important issue.
The fear of getting these calls has made me stay home sometimes when I could have been being social, and not travel away on vacation when I knew some action was going on I'd be needed for. It creates a lot of stress to be depended on so much, and now with telecommuting, you're expected to be responsive at all times wherever you are.
It's a lot of stress even in the best setup/most-redundant environments, and the job is not for everyone. And when projects come up that are difficult and highly user-facing, it's hard to avoid this type of a situation.
Re:It's about being "Always on" (Score:2)
How is that different from being... a doctor, a fireman, a nuclear plant operator, a plumber, or an electrical line repairman?
Welcome to the world of essential services. When your job is to keep things working, you don't get to pick your hours cause shit happens.
Another Ex-IBMer says:
April 18, 2012 at 9:28 am
The current level of EPS was reached by a combination of two things: (1) offshoring jobs and (2) killing the pension fund (IBM stopped contributing to its pension fund in 2007 – all subsequent benefit dollars have gone into 401k plans). Lots of other shenanigans too of course, documented well in the book “Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers” by Ellen Schultz.
Since (2) has already been done, to redouble EPS again to $20 per share will require an even greater rate of US job elimination than we have seen in the past.
They have also done other little things. Yes, retirees can purchase health insurance through IBM, but retirees are placed into their own insurance pool rather than being co-insured with all employees. Result: (much) higher rates. Result of higher rates: retirees cannot afford health insurance ==> retirees die sooner ==> lower pension costs for IBM ==> higher EPS!
- gavin says:
I’m amazed that IBM offers former employees health insurance at all. The trend is not to insure anyone who isn’t currently employed, and then offer only scant overpriced difficult to collect insurance. 40,000 Americans die for lack of health care every year in a health care system ranked 37 in the world after all other developed countries. So ex-IBM employees seem to have it better than most.
- sadIBMer says:
If the US is ranked 37, why do people from almost every other country come to the US for health care? Doesn’t make sense to me.
- gavin says:
There are certain clinics that cater to the megarich that provide “the best” care. Corrupt elites from all over the world come to get treatment there for certain conditions. Other such clinics exist for other conditions in other parts of the world. Average people in your country couldn’t afford them even with insurance. I think most Americans understand that they are going to be getting the 37th in the world treatment…or worse. It’s well recognized that most rural areas in the U.S. have treatment standards lower than many third world countries.
- Ronc says:
The clinics exist because they are allowed to exist and thrive. That fact pushes medical progress forward which eventually benefits others just like any other technology.
- Seenitall says:
That ranking of 37th is based on the WHO formula of ‘consistency over quality’. Since the US has the greatest healthcare in the world, when you can afford it, yet offers only minimal coverage for it’s poor, the disparity gives the US a poor ranking. IOW, a country can have very poor healthcare, but if it’s consistent for all of the population, the country will receive a high rank.
- jim says:
The WHO ranking takes into account such factors as %insured, infant mortality,life expectancy, etc. The US does not rank in the top 5 in any of these categories, yet has a cos health care much higher than other developed countries. The health care most middle class Americans receive is no better, but more expensive than their counterparts in Europe and Japan. The care provided to the poor is well below the standard in developed countries.
Despite the fact that technology plays an increasingly important role in the economy, IT wages remain persistently flat. This may be tech's inconvenient truth.
The still sluggish U.S. economy gets most of the blame for this wage stagnation, but factors such as outsourcing and automation also contribute to the problem, say analysts.
"IT salaries have not really kept pace with inflation," said Victor Janulaitis, the CEO of Janco Associates, which reports on IT wage compensation.
In 2000, the average hourly wage was $37.27 in computer and math occupations for workers with at least a bachelor's degree. In 2011, it was $39.24, adjusted for inflation, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
April 7, 2010 | Enterprise Networking Planet
What happened to the old "sysadmin" of just a few years ago? We've split what used to be the sysadmin into application teams, server teams, storage teams, and network teams. There were often at least a few people, the holders of knowledge, who knew how everything worked, and I mean everything. Every application, every piece of network gear, and how every server was configured -- these people could save a business in times of disaster.
Now look at what we've done. Knowledge is so decentralized we must invent new roles to act as liaisons between all the IT groups. Architects now hold much of the high-level "how it works" knowledge, but without knowing how any one piece actually does work. In organizations with more than a few hundred IT staff and developers, it becomes nearly impossible for one person to do and know everything. This movement toward specializing in individual areas seems almost natural. That, however, does not provide a free ticket for people to turn a blind eye.
You know the story: Company installs new application, nobody understands it yet, so an expert is hired. Often, the person with a certification in using the new application only really knows how to run that application. Perhaps they aren't interested in learning anything else, because their skill is in high demand right now. And besides, everything else in the infrastructure is run by people who specialize in those elements. Everything is taken care of.
Except, how do these teams communicate when changes need to take place? Are the storage administrators teaching the Windows administrators about storage multipathing; or worse logging in and setting it up because it's faster for the storage gurus to do it themselves? A fundamental level of knowledge is often lacking, which makes it very difficult for teams to brainstorm about new ways evolve IT services. The business environment has made it OK for IT staffers to specialize and only learn one thing.
If you hire someone certified in the application, operating system, or network vendor you use, that is precisely what you get. Certifications may be a nice filter to quickly identify who has direct knowledge in the area you're hiring for, but often they indicate specialization or compensation for lack of experience.
Does your IT department function as a unit? Even 20-person IT shops have turf wars, so the answer is very likely, "no." As teams are split into more and more distinct operating units, grouping occurs. One IT budget gets split between all these groups. Often each group will have a manager who pitches his needs to upper management in hopes they will realize how important the team is.
The "us vs. them" mentality manifests itself at all levels, and it's reinforced by management having to define each team's worth in the form of a budget. One strategy is to illustrate a doomsday scenario. If you paint a bleak enough picture, you may get more funding. Only if you are careful enough to illustrate the failings are due to lack of capital resources, not management or people. A manager of another group may explain that they are not receiving the correct level of service, so they need to duplicate the efforts of another group and just implement something themselves. On and on, the arguments continue.
Most often, I've seen competition between server groups result in horribly inefficient uses of hardware. For example, what happens in your organization when one team needs more server hardware? Assume that another team has five unused servers sitting in a blade chassis. Does the answer change? No, it does not. Even in test environments, sharing doesn't often happen between IT groups.
With virtualization, some aspects of resource competition get better and some remain the same. When first implemented, most groups will be running their own type of virtualization for their platform. The next step, I've most often seen, is for test servers to get virtualized. If a new group is formed to manage the virtualization infrastructure, virtual machines can be allocated to various application and server teams from a central pool and everyone is now sharing. Or, they begin sharing and then demand their own physical hardware to be isolated from others' resource hungry utilization. This is nonetheless a step in the right direction. Auto migration and guaranteed resource policies can go a long way toward making shared infrastructure, even between competing groups, a viable option.
The most damaging side effect of splitting into too many distinct IT groups is the reinforcement of an "us versus them" mentality. Aside from the notion that specialization creates a lack of knowledge, blamestorming is what this article is really about. When a project is delayed, it is all too easy to blame another group. The SAN people didn't allocate storage on time, so another team was delayed. That is the timeline of the project, so all work halted until that hiccup was restored. Having someone else to blame when things get delayed makes it all too easy to simply stop working for a while.
More related to the initial points at the beginning of this article, perhaps, is the blamestorm that happens after a system outage.
Say an ERP system becomes unresponsive a few times throughout the day. The application team says it's just slowing down, and they don't know why. The network team says everything is fine. The server team says the application is "blocking on IO," which means it's a SAN issue. The SAN team say there is nothing wrong, and other applications on the same devices are fine. You've ran through nearly every team, but without an answer still. The SAN people don't have access to the application servers to help diagnose the problem. The server team doesn't even know how the application runs.
See the problem? Specialized teams are distinct and by nature adversarial. Specialized staffers often relegate themselves into a niche knowing that as long as they continue working at large enough companies, "someone else" will take care of all the other pieces.
I unfortunately don't have an answer to this problem. Maybe rotating employees between departments will help. They gain knowledge and also get to know other people, which should lessen the propensity to view them as outsiders
|USAIL||Digital Unix System Administation e-book||LDP e-books||Other e-books|
Update: Vladimir Vuksan has posted another mirror site located at http://www.unm.edu/~vuksan/100_linux_tips_and_tricks.pdf
Principles of system administration - Table of Contents
USAIL can be freely mirrored. A very useful resource...
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Seven Sisters ;-)
****+ Lycos Directory Computers Operating Systems Unix Administration -- very good
**+ Yahoo! Computers and InternetSoftwareOperating SystemsUnix -- pretty week
AltaVista Simple Query Unix administration -- good, but low signal to noise ratio
Portals and collections of links
**** BigAdmin -- a really useful web site for Solaris administrators
[Apr 21, 1999] Linux Administration Made Easy by Steve Frampton, <firstname.lastname@example.org> v0.99u.01 (PRE-RELEASE), 21 April 1999. A new LDP book.
The Network Administrators' Guide by Olaf Kirk
"The unfortunate reality of being a Systems Administrator is that sometime
during your career, you will most likely run into a user (or lus3r if you prefer) whom has an IQ of a diced carrot and demands that
you drop everything to fix their system/email/whatever. This article focuses on how to deal with these kinds of issues."
The FreeBSD Diary -- System tools - toys I have found -- short discussion of last, swapinfo, systat, tops and z-tools.
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Last updated: May 09, 2013