As the strapline suggests, this site is all about System Administration.  How can we improve on the current “state of the art”?

  • What are the Best Practices, the ideal place we should be?
  • How to get from here to there?
  • How can you measure your progress?
  • What are the signs you’re not there yet?

The inspiration for this is of course the whole Agile movement in software development. Why are there oodles of books for developers that rise above technology-specific “how-tos”, but so little for System Administrators? No, I don’t think we can take the rules of Agile development and apply them wholesale to SysAdmin, pretending that running an environment is the same activity as programming an application. Maybe Agile will turn out to be a bad name for what we come up with. But let’s be inspired by the principles they are following, and their attempts to sort the good theories from the bad.

ITIL and its friends apply a very broad brush, but try to avoid specific recommendations of “you must do this“. Well, let’s work out what this should be, and not be afraid to state that “we think that this is the best way”. Then at the very least someone can come and argue that another way is better.

Apologies for the very plain site so far – making it look pretty, or moving away from its off-the-shelf template are not priorities for now.

I’m now midway through writing up various ideas for best practices and the tools that might support them. Much of this already exists, in my extensive collection of disorganised scraps of paper, so it’s really just a case of getting it into halfway-public shape.

As an intro, here are the slides and script for the “lightning talk” I gave at the London Solaris User Group (LOSUG) on 17/12/08.


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