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The Practice of System and Network Administration Paperback – 14 Aug 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (14 Aug. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201702711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201702712
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 4.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 723,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

"Your organization needs this book!"
--Peter Salus, Chief Knowledge Officer, Matrix.Net, "The Bookworm"

This book describes the best practices of system and network administration, independent of specific platforms or technologies. It features six key principles of site design and support practices: simplicity, clarity, generality, automation, communication, and basics first. It examines the major areas of responsibility for system administrators within the context of these principles. The book also discusses change management and revision control, server upgrades, maintenance windows, and service conversions. You will find experience-based advice on topics such as:

  • The key elements your networks/systems need that will make all other services run better
  • Building and running reliable, scalable services, including email, printing, and remote access
  • Creating security policies and enforcing them
  • Upgrading thousands of hosts without creating havoc
  • Planning for and performing flawless scheduled maintenance windows
  • Superior helpdesks, customer care, and avoiding the temporary fix trap
  • Building data centers that prevent problems
  • Designing networks for speed and reliability
  • Email scaling and security issues
  • Why building a backup system isn't about backups
  • Monitoring what you have and predicting what you will need
  • How to stay technical and how not to be pushed into management

And there's more! When was the last time you read a book that dealt with:

  • Real-world technical management issues, including morale, organization building, coaching, maintaining positive visibility, and communicating with nontechnical management
  • Personal skill techniques, including our secrets for getting more done each day, dealing with less technical people, ethical dilemmas, managing your boss, and loving your job
  • System administration salary negotiation tips--the first book that includes this topic!

Chapters are divided into The Basics and The Icing. The Basics are those key elements that, when done right, make every other aspect of the job easier. Things like starting all new hosts with the same configuration and picking the right things to automate first. The Icing sections contain all those powerful things that can be done on top of the basics to wow customers and managers. Do the basics first. The icing is a vision for the future that usually only comes with decades of experience.


About the Author

Thomas A. Limoncelli is Director of Operations at Lumeta Corporation, a venture startup that focuses on intranet security. His more than 11 years of experience includes time at Drew University, Mentor Graphics, and seven years supporting the researchers and scientists at Bell Labs.

Christine Hogan is an independent consultant. Her 11-plus years of experience have been gained at a variety of different companies including Trinity College in Dublin, Synopsys, and Global Networking and Computing (GNAC). Currently, she is taking time out to earn a Ph.D. at Imperial College in London.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. Sayegh on 30 Dec. 2007
Format: Paperback
While not your typical techie book turns out it's packed full of no nonsense practical GOOD advice. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has ambition to become a sysadmin or IT manager.

I revert to it on a regular basis in my career when I need a pragmatic common sense view on how to plan/handle an infrastructure or IT service.

Somewhat dated on some topics but the quality of the material is more than worth the money.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Matthew on 11 Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback
I firmly believe that having a solid foundation in a subject's general principles will benefit you more than any amount of specific technical knowledge.
This book gives you the perfect foundation from which to apply your tech know-how effectively in the workplace.
Not only does it talk about how to structure and implement a good service, and effective troubleshooting techniques, it also handles non-technical aspects such as how to run an effective helpdesk, or deal with non-technical management.
Generally, the authors talk from a platform-independent viewpoint (although you can sense they come from a UNIX background) in order to provide the reader with advice that can be turned to any computing environment.
Don't buy this book if you want to learn about Windows, Mac or UNIX.
Do buy this book if you want to become more effective and professional in the way you work with any computer platform and infrastructure. It will also make you look at your current infrastructure in a new light, comparing it against what the ideal should be, and what it actually delivers.
I found this book to be invaluable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 1 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback
A great book - and yes, like other reviewers have said - they should teach this.
Reads like you in your pensioner years as an admin writing an account of 'do do' and 'don't do' and putting it in a time capsule Back to the Future style.
Non OS specific content is refreshing, as is their approach to explaining those things you have either witnessed yourself first hand, or alternatively now have that sinking sensation that you are a guilty admin, and need to take steps to address these Monday morning.
Insightful, and found while randomly Googling and ending up at the authors site.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A reader... on 16 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
Any system administrator / network administrator would benefit from reading this book. A practical handbook that gives you a solid foundation for running computer labs, offices, data centres,etc. Both juniors and seniors will find valuable insights here.
Had this book been taught in university, the IT world would be a better place for it.
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