Archive for the ‘General’ Category

The challenges facing SysAdmins today

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Most of the challenges and issues that a system administrator faces today are not really new, but an extension of past trends. In a competitive marketplace, the demands to “do more with less” will never abate. While new technologies can help in some ways, they often bring their own new variations on old problems.

Some clear themes are:

  • Ever more moving parts – the number of components in the environment
  • Changing legal and regulatory requirements
  • Security threats
  • Managing product lifecycles & the pace of change
  • Keeping the environment flexible
  • Stability and resilience
  • Personal learning
  • Cost control


Business Agility and how IT supports it

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

The “Agility” concept has been a buzzword in business management science (what you might call the MBA crowd) long before it reached IT and software development. It was based on the ideas of lean manufacturing, such as just-in-time, continuous improvement, quality circles, and so on.

In order to meet the challenges of the marketplace, companies need to change frequently to introduce new ways of working, new functions, and connect to new customers, partners and suppliers. Even a non-commercial organisation has to adapt to changing legal, political and social pressures, and try to improve cost-efficiency. Any organisation that has moved beyond paper-and-pencil will need its IT to adapt accordingly.


What is System Administration?

Friday, March 6th, 2009

This blog contends that SysAdmin does not receive the attention that software development does; in research, debate and publication. But let’s first define our scope – what is SysAdmin? (Also, what is software development, and come to that, are there any other fields we’re excluding/including?)

Intuitively, software development is easy to describe – the process by which new software is created. In today’s integrated views of this process, development should not be separated from specification, design, testing or delivery, and it also includes the planning process for all these.

System administration is just about everything else. Simple! Well…

Possible topics

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Here are some of the articles I’m thinking of writing.  Basically they divide into categories – general thoughts and overview of the world, specific practices you might want to follow, and perhaps something on skills and personal development for the individual administrator.  I might also lead on from the practices to try to devise specifications for tools that would ideally support them, and try to provide links and reviews of the applications that are actually out there.