getting my hair cut. It's not because I have problem hair, or feel like
I'm giving in to peer pressure, or because 10 bucks seems like alot for
the maintenance of my Marine Corps-style crew-cut. It's because I dread
the inevitable question: "So, what do you do?".
a UNIX SysAdmin describe what they do to a non-IT person? Or even more
importantly, just what the heck is a UNIX SysAdmin anyway?
was a brain surgeon, there would be no confused looks. It's obvious, I
fix brains. If I was a plumber, there'd be no further questions. Sure,
I make water run faster. If I was a cop, there'd be no feigned understanding.
Of course, I enforce the laws.
SysAdmin is all of those things and much more.
brain surgeon. A computer is, at a very basic level, a man-made attempt
at simulating the functions of the human brain. When there's a problem,
it can manifest itself in any number of symptoms. Our first job is to detect
the problem, hopefully before it causes permanent damage, and fix it before
it gets worse. However, I say a SysAdmin's job is much more difficult than
a brain surgeon's. How would they like it if a new version of the human
brain was released every 18 months?
plumber. You will rarely work on a UNIX computer which isn't connected
to a network of some kind. In fact, Sun's motto, "The Network is the Computer"
is one of the truest statements about the Information Technology today.
SysAdmins and plumbers are both responsible for making sure that everything
gets where it's going as quickly as possible. But hey, compared to being
a SysAdmin, a plumber's got it easy. Afterall, have you ever been in an
office where every employee had their own personal bathroom? Don't even
get me started on the need for taking their bathrooms on business trips
cop. (Okay, I'm not about to say that being a SysAdmin is more dangerous
than being a police officer, but it's definitely tougher than being a mall
security guard.) One of the fastest growing areas in the Information Technology
field is security. There's a fine line between locking something down and
locking it up. We are required to protect resources while allowing proper
access to them. Making something more complicated does not automatically
make it more secure. We, both law enforcement personnel and SysAdmins,
have an obligation to make sure we protect everyone equally. This means
looking for and fixing areas of weakness which may be exploited, reviewing
and refining our own procedures and catching law-breakers.
written this guide based on the exam objectives published by Sun Microsystems
for the Solaris 8 SCSA Exams, Parts 1 and 2. It was a group effort. The
authors are all Sun Certified System Administrators and Solaris SysAdmins
with valuable experience. We think we've provided a unique, powerful and
reliable resource to help anyone who wants to learn.
what we do.
Randy Cook, SCSA