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The Practice of System and Network Administration

by Thomas A. Limoncelli

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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323577,718 (4.31)None
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 protg. 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 clarificatio...… (more)
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Showing 4 of 4
Must have book! One of the most complete books about system administration. Each chapter includes basics and then the Icing, to help you focus on fundamental tasks first. Highly recommended for junior sysadmins to have a broad scope around day to day, common tasks. ( )
  elsatch | Feb 1, 2010 |
I’ve been reading this book for quite some time now—something like a year.

Not because it’s bad—it’s actually one of the best books I’ve ever read on systems administration. It covers everything you need to know to do the job right from a professional level. You can learn about the technical details for a particular tape drive, server, or desktop operating system anywhere; this book covers the big picture. How to set policies, how to plan for changes, how to deal with problems, how to deal with users and managers. Tom (and Christine Hogan, who isn’t mentioned here on the allconsuming page as I write this entry) know what it means to have the power and responsibility of a system administrator, and provide the tools you need to use that power safely and efficiently and handle your responsibilities ethically.

One of the best things about the book is its inclusion of many short anecdotes that illustrate a point that the authors are making. The stories bring things down from the possibly lofty-seeming policy level to the ‘tween-the-racks level of a working sysadmin.

Oh, yeah, why I haven’t finished it—I made the mistake of thinking I could read it at work. As an SA, of course, interruptions occur continuously, so I’ve actually only gotten to read it in the rest room, while I’m getting my hair cut, and during a few other unlikely situations. During a desk clearing, the book ended up on a shelf, “temporarily”, and I forgot about it as new problems, projects, and books came in and had to be dealt with.

(I've finished reading it since writing this review -- it's definitely the best book on the subject.) ( )
  cmc | Apr 25, 2007 |
if you're a sysadmin, you should own this book. And read it, cover to cover.

That is all. ( )
  quuxo | Apr 13, 2006 |
This book is basically a best-practice manual for systems administration. It's extremely well written, covering both technical and policy issues with examples and short case studies throughout. One really nice feature is that each chapter is broken down into "The Basics" (what you need to do to get something working), and "The Icing" (additional things you can do to be a cut above the rest).

One day I will make time to read this book cover to cover, but in the meantime it's an excellent reference - especially when attempting to communicate with management on sysadmin issues . ( )
  felius | Nov 3, 2005 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thomas A. Limoncelliprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hogan, Christinasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hogan, Christina J.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hogan, Christina J.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hogan, ChristineAuthorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hogan, ChristineAuthorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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 protg. 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 clarificatio...

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