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103

You do it the same way you protect the company from head of Sales running off with your client list, or the head of Accounting embezzling funds, or the Stock manager from running off with half the inventory, largely: Trust, but verify. At the very least, I would require that all passwords for all Administrator accounts on systems and services under IT be ...


84

Once upon a time I had an opportunity to decide on a naming scheme. So I went round and asked my developers, who after all were the people who had to work with these names on a day-to-day basis, whether they preferred functional names (that is, names which represent, in some encoded form, the purpose of the machine) or mnemonic names (that is, names drawn ...


80

This largely comes down to whether your servers are pets or livestock. Pets get individual names. They're distinct from each other, and we care about those differences. When one gets sick, we usually try to nurse it back to health. Traditionally, servers have been pets. Livestock get numbers. They're mostly identical, and what differences there are, we ...


55

Honestly, I would find another job, unless your current task is just to keep everything running until they hire a new SysAdmin. You are being setup for failure. You are doing the job of at least two people if this is all hosted locally and nothing is documented. Don't worry about the scripting or programming anything just yet. Get a handle on keeping ...


51

First off, look at Zoredache's link to the Beginning Sysadmin question. It's a lot of info but will get you where you need to go. That being said, it's a lot of data dumping. Second, seriously, look for a new job. If your employer regards everyone as interchangeable widgets you're better off not being there anyway. But it's a bad economy, and that might ...


45

One that works well is using different background colors on your shell for prod/staging/test servers.


44

There are several benefits to using sudo over handing out the root password. In no particular order: You aren't giving out your root password As a general rule, if someone leaves your company and they knew the root password(s) you now have to go change those passwords everywhere. With proper configuration management this is a minor annoyance. Without it ...


34

Every previous answer is working (as google suggest too), but they are dirty and inelegant. The right way to change the listening port for a launchd handled service on Mac OS X is to make the changes the dedicated keys available in ssh.plist So the solution is as simple as to use the port number instead of the service name. An excerpt from my edited ...


34

According to postqueue(1) you can simply run postqueue -f to flush your mail queue. If the mails aren't delivered after flushing the queue but are being requeued instead, you might want to check your mail logs for errors. Taking a peek at postsuper(1) might also be helpful. Maybe the messages are on hold and need to be released first.


31

How do you keep your bookkeeper from embezzling from you? How do you keep your sales staff from taking kickbacks from your suppliers? Non-IT people have a misguided notion that we IT people practice a black art that we wield from the line bordering good and evil and that on a whim we will resort to some nefarious machination soley for the purpose of ...


30

My opinion on this may not be popular here but I think she's right, HR is a very specific role in most businesses, requiring one very key skill - absolute discretion. IT people have to have a very wide range of skills and while discretion is important it's not the 'be all and end all' that it is with HR. Typically recruitment of IT people is less thorough in ...


26

Before We Begin: Having quality people will save you money. Just like having a good Lawyer (possibly NSFW for swearing) or an accountant, having a quality SysAd will probably save you money, often by simply helping you to avoid costly mistakes. You may not have the money to pay for the expertise now, but as soon as you can, you should make that investment. ...


22

From server manager, go to Features, then add Expand: Remote Server Administration Tools Role Administration Tools Active Directory Domain Services Tools and then check Active Directory Domain Controller Tools it includes: Active Directory Users and Computers Active Directory Domains and Trusts Active Directory Sites and Services ... Server 2008 R2 ...


21

Wow - really? gutsy question to ask on serverfault, don't be alarmed if some are offended by your question, though I do understand. Ok, practical solutions; you could insist on (and frequently test) having your own administrator/root equivalent accounts on everything, randomly take one of the off-site backups home and restore it, obviously try to recruit ...


21

Find a new job. Let that company fail. They clearly need a lesson. Your stepping up to help will quickly become unappreciated and chances are, won't lead to anything else but more stress and abuse.


19

There is no such thing as "admins per server". You can not apply "miles-per-gallon" metric here. It's possible to have 5 smart guys administering a well designed farm of 4,000 servers. It's also possible to have 5 dumbasses not knowing how to administer a single Windows server even though they had all the right acronyms on their resumes. UPDATE: I am ...


19

Yes. In small and medium-sized businesses, it is not uncommon for IT departments to be deeply involved in (or even entirely responsible for) furniture. Why? Because your predecessors demanded it. At some point in the past, an office manager or secretary was tasked with organizing a furniture build-out. When it came time for the new employees to move in, the ...


18

In no particular order: Freak out because you have spare time Test your backups Check your Anti-Virus Check your updates (WSUS) Update network documentation (eg: Touch up your SysAdmin Wiki) and possibly the most important... Answer lots of questions on ServerFault!!!


17

If you are starting from a bare metal install, you can slipstream updates into your installer disc so it already has updates in it (this depends on how many installs you're doing to make it worth it). WSUS will not reboot your computer for you. It only keeps track of your updates and will act as a repo for updates so that rather than updating 300+ meg of ...


17

The primary difference is that users authenticate to sudo using their own password, whereas with su or direct root login the root password is used. This means that you don't have to share the root password with all and sundry, and that if you need to disable root access for one or two users in the future, you can just disable it for them, instead of having ...


16

This has been covered here before... My recommendation is a combination of functional names and mnemonic names... If you're writing an application and it needs to address ccts-logserver1, use that name throughout, but make that a CNAME or an alias. The real hostname can be whatever you want: a fruit or vegetable, greek mythology or Seinfeld character... ...


15

Do you have centralized logging yet? Get to it! Set this up ASAP. I had all my windows and UNIX machines sending event log / syslog entries to a central syslog server, and a perl script in cgi-bin parsing this, highlighting scary things, filtering out the mundane, and displaying other things for categorization. The ability to read through the logs of ...


15

It largely varies on a few things like what industry you're in (the following applies to the USA only)... Health Care: HIPAA Education: FERPA If your company is traded with the SEC: Sarbanes Oxley If your company does credit card transactions - PCI DSS A lot of the smaller jobs I've worked have been pretty bad about PCI DSS storing CC info in ...


15

GUIs can be beginner-friendly, but after that - they're more hostile than helpful. They place a layer between you and the problem that you're trying to fix - and that "proxy" rarely addresses all the functionality that you are after. The developer who wrote it at the time thought of "what would be required", and after then sealed off your freedom with ...


14

Have a back out plan in mind before you start. ZIP up a file/directory instead of deleting it right away set the (cisco) router to reboot in 'x' number of minutes and don't 'wr' right away make sure the interface you are changing is not the one you entered the system on. This could be the router interface you telnet'd to or the ethernet port VNC'd to. ...


14

You can compress it, but it is unlikely to save much disk space. By its nature, encryption rarely leaves a file compressible by much. Try it for yourself to see if there is any file size savings. One data point: -rw-r----- 1 gene gene 2428671 2009-06-02 12:39 test.log -rw-r----- 1 gene gene 134524 2009-06-02 12:39 test.log.bz2 -rw-r----- 1 ...


13

My toolset for these operations is painfully sparse (SSH into the box, edit files in VIM, WGET remote files that I need), and I suspect there is a much better way to do it. I'm curious to hear what other people in my position are doing. Sparse? What on earth do you mean? Excuse me for ranting, but dismissing ssh, vim and wget as painful is ...


13

I think that PgAdmin is pretty popular. There's also PhpPgAdmin, which is rougly analagous to the very popular phpMyAdmin.


13

There's already plenty of information(Questions/Posts) in ServerFault for a beginner Linux administrator: Linux How-to/Tutorial sites Setting-up Linux at home Tools you should absolutely know as a Windows/Linux Admin Good Linux Podcasts/Links for beginners Hidden Features in Linux How to recruit a Linux Guru What a beginner should know about a SysAdmin Job ...


13

Keep your passwords safe, and make sure you don't share any accounts with this hire. Make new admin accounts for whoever you hire. This takes care of two objectives: Ensures that you don't get locked out of your network/systems Gives you something of an audit-trail, in the event something bad does happen There isn't much you can do to limit what someone ...



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