Module 1, Topic 1
What is System Administration?
What is Excluded
For the purposes of this course, we will exclude the following scenarios.
Single-user systems running MS-DOS, MacOS, etc.
These are also excluded even if they do have access to a network service like
email or the WWW via an ISP.
Single-user systems running a multi-user operating system like Unix.
Small peer to peer systems of two or three PC's.
Home access to email and the net doesn't qualify either.
What is Included
System Administration includes:
A collection of machines of the kinds mentioned above, if there are some services
provided on a network-wide basis, such a backup, printing, file service.
Multiple machines connected via a network operating system.
System wide activities which service all nodes do qualify.
Also, of course, the usual LAN, such as Novell, which includes network access to
system and application files, as well as such hardware as printers, modems, and
other forms of input and output devices.
System Administration also includes responsibility for:
Standard multi - user computers, ie classic mainframes, etc.
Standard Local Area Networking of PC's or similar. That is, machines providing
network-wide services which are sufficiently important to prevent other machines
on a shared LAN from working if they fail. For example file servers.
Note also, multi - site organisations often need network functionality across town,
or across the country.
In this case:
Who has responsibility for managing the overall net?
Do you have site managers, and a senior manager responsible for all sites?
Could this mean that sites could become slightly different? If so, what are the
implications of this lack of uniformity? Does this generate incompatibility, and
how do you prevent this?