Burgess approaches both network and system administration from the perspective of principles and ideas which do not change on a day-to-day basis. A great deal of attention is paid to the heuristics of system and network administration; technical and sociological issues are taken into account equally and are presented thoughtfully with an eye to teaching not what to do as a system or network administrator, but how to think about problems that arise in practice. As a result, the author keeps the reader looking forward to what comes next and how to implement what he or she has learned. The focus is on strategic issues, how to keep systems maintainable and how to manage configuration files across an enterprise. During the 80s and most of the 90s the frontiers of system administration were about understanding what the job entailed and building tools in order to manage networks more efficiently. The next phase is about standardization of management and practice, making system administration more formal and less ad hoc, and burgess' book is one of the first to begin to push into this area. Whilst there are multitudes of ways to become a systems administrator, many employers prefer to hire people with some formal college education. Certification and practical experience demonstrating these skills will be essential for applicants without a degree. Systems administrators must keep their skills current and acquire new ones. 1. Introduction 2. System components 3. Networked communities 4. Host management. 5. User management 6. Models of network and system administration 7. Configuration and maintenance 8. Diagnostics, fault and change management 9. Application level services 10. Network level services 11. Principles of security 12. Security implications 13. Analytical system administration 14. Summary and outlook
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