You are previewing The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition.
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The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition

Book Description

The first edition of The Practice of System and Network Administration introduced a generation of system and network administrators to a modern IT methodology. Whether you use Linux, Unix, or Windows, this newly revised edition describes the essential practices previously handed down only from mentor to protégé. This wonderfully lucid, often funny cornucopia of information introduces beginners to advanced frameworks valuable for their entire career, yet is structured to help even the most advanced experts through difficult projects.

The book's four major sections build your knowledge with the foundational elements of system administration. These sections guide you through better techniques for upgrades and change management, catalog best practices for IT services, and explore various management topics. Chapters are divided into The Basics and The Icing. When you get the Basics right it makes every other aspect of the job easier--such as automating the right things first. The Icing sections contain all the powerful things that can be done on top of the basics to wow customers and managers.

Inside, you'll find advice on topics such as

  • The key elements your networks and systems need in order to make all other services run better

  • Building and running reliable, scalable services, including web, storage, email, printing, and remote access

  • Creating and enforcing security policies

  • Upgrading multiple hosts at one time without creating havoc

  • Planning for and performing flawless scheduled maintenance windows

  • Managing superior helpdesks and customer care

  • Avoiding the "temporary fix" trap

  • Building data centers that improve server uptime

  • Designing networks for speed and reliability

  • Web scaling and security issues

  • Why building a backup system isn't about backups

  • Monitoring what you have and predicting what you will need

  • How technically oriented workers can maintain their job's technical focus (and avoid an unwanted management role)

  • Technical management issues, including morale, organization building, coaching, and maintaining positive visibility

  • Personal skill techniques, including secrets for getting more done each day, ethical dilemmas, managing your boss, and loving your job

  • System administration salary negotiation

It's no wonder the first edition received Usenix SAGE's 2005 Outstanding Achievement Award!

This eagerly anticipated second edition updates this time-proven classic:

  • Chapters reordered for easier navigation

  • Thousands of updates and clarifications based on reader feedback

  • Plus three entirely new chapters: Web Services, Data Storage, and Documentation

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Contents at a Contents
  4. Contents
  5. Preface
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. About the Authors
  8. Part I. Getting Started
    1. Chapter 1. What to Do When ...
    2. Chapter 2. Climb Out of the Hole
  9. Part II. Foundation Elements
    1. Chapter 3. Workstations
    2. Chapter 4. Servers
    3. Chapter 5. Services
    4. Chapter 6. Data Centers
    5. Chapter 7. Networks
    6. Chapter 8. Namespaces
    7. Chapter 9. Documentation
    8. Chapter 10. Disaster Recovery and Data Integrity
    9. Chapter 11. Security Policy
    10. Chapter 12. Ethics
    11. Chapter 13. Helpdesks
    12. Chapter 14. Customer Care
  10. Part III. Change Processes
    1. Chapter 15. Debugging
    2. Chapter 16. Fixing Things Once
    3. Chapter 17. Change Management
    4. Chapter 18. Server Upgrades
    5. Chapter 19. Service Conversions
    6. Chapter 20. Maintenance Windows
    7. Chapter 21. Centralization and Decentralization
  11. Part IV. Providing Services
    1. Chapter 22. Service Monitoring
    2. Chapter 23. Email Service
    3. Chapter 24. Print Service
    4. Chapter 25. Data Storage
    5. Chapter 26. Backup and Restore
    6. Chapter 27. Remote Access Service
    7. Chapter 28. Software Depot Service
    8. Chapter 29. Web Services
  12. Part V. Management Practices
    1. Chapter 30. Organizational Structures
    2. Chapter 31. Perception and Visibility
    3. Chapter 32. Being Happy
    4. Chapter 33. A Guide for Technical Managers
    5. Chapter 34. A Guide for Nontechnical Managers
    6. Chapter 35. Hiring System Administrators
    7. Chapter 36. Firing System Administrators
    8. Epilogue
  13. Appendixes
    1. A. The Many Roles of a System Administrator
    2. B. Acronyms
    3. Bibliography
  14. Index
  15. Footnotes
    1. Preface
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
    10. Chapter 11
    11. Chapter 12
    12. Chapter 13
    13. Chapter 14
    14. Chapter 15
    15. Chapter 16
    16. Chapter 18
    17. Chapter 19
    18. Chapter 20
    19. Chapter 21
    20. Chapter 22
    21. Chapter 23
    22. Chapter 24
    23. Chapter 25
    24. Chapter 26
    25. Chapter 27
    26. Chapter 28
    27. Chapter 29
    28. Chapter 30
    29. Chapter 31
    30. Chapter 32
    31. Chapter 33
    32. Chapter 34
    33. Chapter 36
    34. Appendix