While the phrase "expect the unexpected" is trite, it reflects
an underlying truth that all system administrators must
There will be times when you are caught
After becoming comfortable with this uncomfortable fact of life,
what can a concerned system administrator do? The answer lies in
flexibility; by performing your job in such a way as to give you
(and your users) the most options possible. Take, for example, the
issue of disk space. Given that never having sufficient disk space
seems to be as much a physical law as the law of gravity, it is
reasonable to assume that at some point you will be confronted with
a desperate need for additional disk space right now.
What would a system administrator who expects the unexpected do
in this case? Perhaps it is possible to keep a few disk drives
sitting on the shelf as spares in case of hardware problems.
A spare of this type could be quickly deployed on a
temporary basis to address the short-term need for disk space,
giving time to more permanently resolve the issue (by following the
standard procedure for procuring additional disk drives, for
By trying to anticipate problems before they occur, you will be
in a position to respond more quickly and effectively than if you
let yourself be surprised.