System Administrators are responsible for maintaining the computer systems of a company. While server management is the primary responsibility, a system administrator would also be responsible for installing, maintaining and upgrading servers.
SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR ROLES AND RESPONSIBITIES
System administrators are responsible for ensuring if the servers are installed, maintained, backed up, and that the server data is secure from unauthorized access. They will also often perform programming which usually include scripting (writing programs to automate tasks)
Become a System Administrator
A system administrator, also known as sys admin or sysadmin, manages, oversees and maintains a multiuser computing environment, such as a local area network (LAN). On the whole, a system administrator is responsible for the configuration and reliable operation of computer systems; especially multi-user computers, such as servers.
The system administrator manages to meet the needs of the users by ensuring the uptime, performance, resources, and security of the computers. To meet these needs, the professional may acquire, install, or upgrade computer components and software; automate routine tasks; write computer programs; troubleshoot; train and/or supervise staff; and provide technical support.
Roles and responsibilities
Responsibilities vary, depending on the organization’s requirements. A small organization may have only one system administrator on staff, while an enterprise usually has a full team. Strong technical knowledge and skills, as well as expertise in personnel management besides effective problem solving skills are needed. More System administrator roles:
- Installing, maintaining and troubleshooting workstations, servers, OS’s, software applications and other computing systems.
- Creating user accounts and assigning user permissions.
- Setting up system-wide software.
- Executing anti-virus mechanisms.
- Creating backup and retrieval policies and assigning bulk storage.
- Creating file systems.
- Monitoring network communication.
- Updating systems upon release of new OSs or software.
- Implementing computer, network and security policies for system and network users.
- Strategic planning for service and system outages.
- Light programming or scripting.
- System-related project management.
- User training and management.
- High-level technical knowledge and technical support experience.
- Hardware and software system security, such as protection against hardware theft and abuse, malware/spyware and unauthorized use of systems and components, including firewall and intrusion detection system (IDS) maintenance.
- Documenting the configuration of the system.
- Ensuring that the network infrastructure is up and running.
- Knowledge of Volume management tools like Veritas (now Symantec), Solaris ZFS, LVM.
In large organizations, System Administrators may work with system architects, engineers and designers. Although they do not necessarily perform these functions, their experience often mirrors skills in these areas. In small organizations, demarcations between system administrator and other technical roles are loosely defined.
In some organizations, a person may begin as a member of technical support staff or a computer operator, then gain experience on the job to be promoted to a sysadmin position.
SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR CAREER
System Administrator Career path
There is no single path to becoming a ‘system administrator’. Many system administrators have a degree in computer science/ information technology/ computer engineering/ information systems/ even a trade school program. An IT certification is an addition.
One of the primary difficulties with teaching system administration as a formal university discipline, is that the industry and technology changes much faster than the typical textbook and coursework certification process. By the time a new textbook has spent years working through approvals and committees, the specific technology for which it is written may have changed significantly.
Additionally, because of the practical nature of system administration and the easy availability of open-source server software, many system administrators enter the field self-taught. In some cases, candidates are expected to possess industry certifications such as the Microsoft MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, Red Hat RHCE, Novell CNA, CNE, Cisco CCNA or CompTIA’s A+ or Network+, Sun Certified SCNA, and so on.
In large organizations, system administrators may work with system architects, engineers and designers. Although they do not necessarily perform these functions, their experience often mirrors skills in these areas. In small organizations, demarcations between system administrator and other technical roles are loosely defined. In some organizations, a person may begin as a member of technical support staff or a computer operator, then gain experience on the job to be promoted to a sysadmin position.
System Administrator Job outlook
- They may be employed in a wide range of companies, businesses, and organisations..
- Most of them work for professional, technical, or scientific industries and many of work for companies which revolve around computer systems design.
- Other employers include financial institutions, government agencies, software publishers, and insurance companies.
- Salary offered to a systems administrator varies based on the nature and location of the employer.
- System Administrators promoted to a more senior administrator role and then into a project management role.
- Those with the appropriate education and experience may move into strategic roles, such as MIS Manager or Chief Information Officer, thereby participating in long term planning and company technology strategy.