Follow Techotopia on Twitter

On-line Guides
All Guides
eBook Store
iOS / Android
Linux for Beginners
Office Productivity
Linux Installation
Linux Security
Linux Utilities
Linux Virtualization
Linux Kernel
System/Network Admin
Programming
Scripting Languages
Development Tools
Web Development
GUI Toolkits/Desktop
Databases
Mail Systems
openSolaris
Eclipse Documentation
Techotopia.com
Virtuatopia.com

How To Guides
Virtualization
General System Admin
Linux Security
Linux Filesystems
Web Servers
Graphics & Desktop
PC Hardware
Windows
Problem Solutions

  




 

 

NOTE: CentOS Enterprise Linux is built from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code. Other than logo and name changes CentOS Enterprise Linux is compatible with the equivalent Red Hat version. This document applies equally to both Red Hat and CentOS Enterprise Linux.

Chapter 1. The Philosophy of System Administration

Although the specifics of being a system administrator may change from platform to platform, there are underlying themes that do not. These themes make up the philosophy of system administration.

The themes are:

  • Automate everything

  • Document everything

  • Communicate as much as possible

  • Know your resources

  • Know your users

  • Know your business

  • Security cannot be an afterthought

  • Plan ahead

  • Expect the unexpected

The following sections explore each theme in more detail.

1.1. Automate Everything

Most system administrators are outnumbered — either by their users, their systems, or both. In many cases, automation is the only way to keep up. In general, anything done more than once should be examined as a possible candidate for automation.

Here are some commonly automated tasks:

  • Free disk space checking and reporting

  • Backups

  • System performance data collection

  • User account maintenance (creation, deletion, etc.)

  • Business-specific functions (pushing new data to a Web server, running monthly/quarterly/yearly reports, etc.)

This list is by no means complete; the functions automated by system administrators are only limited by an administrator's willingness to write the necessary scripts. In this case, being lazy (and making the computer do more of the mundane work) is actually a good thing.

Automation also gives users the extra benefit of greater predictability and consistency of service.

Tip Tip
 

Keep in mind that if you have a task that should be automated, it is likely that you are not the first system administrator to have that need. Here is where the benefits of open source software really shine — you may be able to leverage someone else's work to automate the manual procedure that is currently eating up your time. So always make sure you search the Web before writing anything more complex than a small Perl script.

 
 
  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire