What are System & Network Administrator Roles?

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As the use of information and communication technologies has spread, profiles of professionals dedicated exclusively to managing these technologies have been born. Today essential for any company. This is why 30 years ago, the figure of the systems administrator was born. 

The roles of a systems administrator are, mainly, to implement, configure and ensure the correct functioning of computer systems. It carries out tasks such as installing and configuring the different systems, hardware or software, guaranteeing the best planning about possible growth, ensuring the longest possible use time, avoiding system failures, and stopping the production somehow. Everything optimally concerning the demanded requirements.

Table of Contents – Roles of a System and Network Administrator

The profile of the systems administrator has extensive basic knowledge because their field of work is vast. Depending on the sector, services, company or function, a system administrator must perform certain functions; I will mention some of them grouped into sections:

Users Management

Depending on the industry, users can be the system administrator’s main problem.

  • Assistance must be provided, remotely or in person.
  • Install and configure the programs you need, email (on your computer and/or your phone).
  • In many cases, they are responsible for the problems that the administrator must solve. Either by incidence, by software or hardware problem or by human error.
  • It is an excellent idea to be careful against users and limit their actions to not, for example, delete a backup.

Hardware Management

  • Provide hardware according to needs. You have to know the needs and find the most suitable hardware.
  • Maintain it through a life cycle forecast and replace it to avoid unsolvable catastrophes.
  • It is essential to have spare parts for critical parts that may fail if they are not redundant.

Software Administration

  • Install and correctly configure the necessary programs, optimize them for the required use and keep them updated mainly for security and efficiency improvement. Although some updates should be tested before applying them.
  • Know the company’s needs or the client to propose the best and most appropriate software to meet current and future needs.

Recommended: Linux System Administration Concepts with Essential Skills You Should Have

Prevention

  • A systems administrator must always be thinking ahead. Although, indeed, we cannot modernize all the software we have, either because our company needs to work with software that has become a bit outdated, or due to lack of resources in the hardware spectrum, we must always be prepared, such as for remotely jobs, as has currently gone through the pandemic we are experiencing.
  • Forecasting growth, provisioning space, for example, not running out of space on hard drives, not running out of nozzles on switches, increasing or scaling as it grows, but always being forward-looking, if you need 16 more ports, put 32.
  • Automate processes and tasks.

Network administration

Install and maintain network access points. Make sure network services are operational. Register, manage and maintain the devices connected to the network. Maintain networking. In many cases, the tasks and work are those that any hosting technician would carry out. 

Types of networks

Depending on the size of the networks, they can be categorized into the following:

  • LAN => (Local area network) Local area networks, networks for small and medium enterprises. Even home networks (any home).
  • WAN => (Wide Area Network) Wide area networks, for large corporations.
  • Others => Like, for example, the Internet.

QoS

Quality of service for the users that make up the network.

Internet connection

Check that there is always a connection to the network of networks and foresee communication failures with it.

Network security

Check and guarantee network security, guarantee secure connections and prevent possible attacks.

Cybersecurity

  • Securing the data and the equipment, the first security that your company must have is physical security; you must make sure that no one outside the company touches your devices.
  • Implement a protocol of good practices for users, where use tips are collected.
  • Periodically check that the software used is allowed and is duly updated.
  • Know the data protection law and other aspects related to security and data processing.
  • Plan and schedule backups, and check them daily.
  • Monitor every connected device, including new connections, critical temperatures, and receive SMS alerts from critical systems and services.

Prevent and remedy disasters

Acting in the event of a disaster is the primary duty of a systems administrator. Whether it is a “minor disaster” such as an internet connection outage, or a fire, the systems administrator acts as life insurance for the company in these cases. He has to be responsible for services that do not depend on him, so he will deal with the telecommunications company or the firefighter in the event of a fire if he considers that he must enter the hard drives.

How to become a System Administrator and work from it?

A systems administrator will rarely be out of work. It is a highly demanded profession. It is also a job in the office; perhaps the worst thing is the schedule because, given the roles of a systems administrator, he must be available for enough time. Not always “working or doing tasks.” Many work on “guard” shifts. So that there is always a person available to solve possible incidents.

In the world, if you want to work as a systems administrator, you have several possibilities, from professional training to a degree in Computer Science. I tell you…

The most important is the  Higher Degree Training Cycle ASIR (Administration of Computer Systems in Network), which will allow you to work in companies of different sectors within the IT department. Performing the functions discussed in this article: installation, maintenance, operation and support of the computer system and networks.

It is made up of the following modules:

  • Implementation of Operating Systems
  • Network Planning and Administration
  • Hardware Basics
  • Database Management
  • Markup languages ​​and information management systems
  • Training and career counselling
  • Operating Systems Administration
  • Network and Internet Services
  • Implementation of Web Applications
  • Database Management Systems Administration
  • Security and High Availability
  • Company and Entrepreneurial Initiative

As well as a final project and 3 months of internships in work centers (companies).

I hope you like this article on the figure and roles of a system administrator. You can leave any questions in the comments; I will be happy to help you with them.

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