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The Practice of System and Network Administration


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Table of Contents

Preface xxv
Acknowledgments xxxv
About the Authors xxxvii
Part I: Getting Started 1Chapter 1: What to Do When . . . 3
Chapter 2: Climb Out of the Hole 27Part II: Foundation Elements 39Chapter 3: Workstations 41
Chapter 4: Servers 69
Chapter 5: Services 95
Chapter 6: Data Centers 129
Chapter 7: Networks 187
Chapter 8: Namespaces 223
Chapter 9: Documentation 241
Chapter 10: Disaster Recovery and Data Integrity 261
Chapter 11: Security Policy 271
Chapter 12: Ethics 323
Chapter 13: Helpdesks 343
Chapter 14: Customer Care 363Part III: Change Processes 389Chapter 15: Debugging 391
Chapter 16: Fixing Things Once 405
Chapter 17: Change Management 415
Chapter 18: Server Upgrades 435
Chapter 19: Service Conversions 457
Chapter 20: Maintenance Windows 473
Chapter 21: Centralization and Decentralization 501Part IV: Providing Services 521Chapter 22: Service Monitoring 523
Chapter 23: Email Service 543
Chapter 24: Print Service 565
Chapter 25: Data Storage 583
Chapter 26: Backup and Restore 619
Chapter 27: Remote Access Service 653
Chapter 28: Software Depot Service 667
Chapter 29: Web Services 689Part V: Management Practices 725Chapter 30: Organizational Structures 727
Chapter 31: Perception and Visibility 751
Chapter 32: Being Happy 777
Chapter 33: A Guide for Technical Managers 819
Chapter 34: A Guide for Nontechnical Managers 853
Chapter 35: Hiring System Administrators 871
Chapter 36: Firing System Administrators 899
Epilogue 909Appendixes 911Appendix A: The Many Roles of a System Administrator 913
Appendix B: Acronyms 939Bibliography 945
Index 955

Promotional Information

This book revolves around 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. Chapters are divided into 'The Basics' and 'The Icing'. 'The Basics' discusses the essentials that sysadmins have to get right to avoid problems and added work down the road. 'The Icing' deals with the cool things that sysadmins can do to be spectacular, but should only attempt once they've mastered the basics. The chapter format has been updated for increased usability: chapter summaries, future speculations sections, and further reading sections have been added, and the end of chapters questions have been updated. A lively, witty style and the use of anecdotes and case studies taken from the authors' personal experience all contribute to make this book an effective, instructive, and yet entertaining read.

About the Author

Thomas A. Limoncelli is a noted system and network administrator employed at Google. He speaks at conferences worldwide on a variety of topics. Christina J. Hogan has more than ten years' system administration experience. She now works at the BMW Sauber F1 team as an aerodynamicist.Strata R. Chalup is a twenty-year veteran of system administration and technical project management. She is the founder of Virtual.Net, Inc.

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