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What to Do When… CPTE 433 Chapter 1 Adapted by John Beckett from The Practice of System & Network Administration by Limoncelli, Hogan, & Chalup.

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Presentation on theme: "What to Do When… CPTE 433 Chapter 1 Adapted by John Beckett from The Practice of System & Network Administration by Limoncelli, Hogan, & Chalup."— Presentation transcript:

1 What to Do When… CPTE 433 Chapter 1 Adapted by John Beckett from The Practice of System & Network Administration by Limoncelli, Hogan, & Chalup

2 Building a Site from Scratch Organizational structure Business priorities Namespaces Solid data center Solid network Scalable services Software depot Core application services: Authentication & Authorization Desktop life-cycle File service & Backups Printing Remote access

3 Growing a Small Site Helpdesk Checklists for new hires, desktops, servers Build a NOC Organizational structure –Statistics Dashboard Prepare to scale up

4 Replacing Services Know the process Factor in dependencies –Network –Service Server names versus service aliases DHCP lease times DNS TTL (time to live)

5 Moving a Data Center Before Schedule windows versus redundancy Design for current use & expansion Back up everything just before moving it “Fire drill” on backup Test cases –Before and after Label every cable and device Moving In Establish minimal services at new site Test new environment –Networking, power, UPS, HVAC… Identify vanguard customers Run HVAC hrs, replace filters Dress Rehearsal

6 Moving to / Opening a New Building 4weeks: Get access Radios or walkie-talkies PDAs Order WAN & ISP 2-3 months in advance Prewire offices during construction Get a moving company to help planning “Inventory” person to keep track of everything –Label fanatic Preprinted labels for each person’s workstation stuff Plastic bag for all PC cables More boxes than you think –Use plastic crates

7 Handling a High Rate of Office Moves Work to limit moves to one day a week. –Develop a routine Establish procedure & form to capture all info –Have SA find nonstandard gear Connect & test network ahead of time Customer powers down & collects stuff Can users help? Moving company moves equipment Helpdesk is prepared –Communicating about common problems related to move Formalize the entire process

8 Assessing a Site (Due Diligence) Use book headings as an outline for investigation Reassure existing people –Looking for ways to improve process –Input welcome Private document repository for your team Document physical equipment Document services & security Analyze ticket-system ratios & trends

9 Dealing with Mergers & Acuisitions - 1 Get into the early part of the loop Connect expectations with legal situation CIO should be involved before announcement SA: Who at the other company can make big decisions? Clear, final decision process One designated go-to lead per company Dialog with SAs at other company –Establish informal relationships –Begin with F-F meeting –Get to technical details, starting with namespace

10 Dealing with Mergers & Acuisitions - 2 Adopt best practices of both, not just the bigger company Be sensitive to corporate culture differences Both teams need a high- level overview diagram and detailed map of their area Determine how the new network architecture should work Find out corporate identity issues –Account names – –Address format –Domain name –Separate identity or merged? Customer issues with merge

11 Dealing with Mergers & Acuisitions - 3 Security issues: –Privacy policy –Security policy –Interconnection with business partners Check Router tables –Do you use the same off-net address space? Consider a firewall between companies

12 Frequent Machine Crashes Establish temporary workaround –Tell users it is temporary Find the real cause Fix the real cause, not symptoms –If hardware, buy better hardware –If environment, fix the environment –Replace the system if necessary Give SAs better training on diagnostic tools Get production back into production quickly –Get a backup if you don’t have one –Don’t do diagnostic games on production!

13 Surviving Major Outage Use ICS model –Define escalation before Notify customers on channel they use to contact you Form “tiger team” –Short meeting to establish goals Establish costs of fallback versus downtime Let businesspeople determine how much time to spend attempting One hour gathering info Hourly updates on progress Stay with stakeholders to know when they see success Beware of loose cannons Feed your team

14 What Tools Should SAs have? Laptop with network sniffing etc. Terminal software & serial cable Spare PC or server for trying new configs Portable label printer PDA Screwdrivers Cable tester Splicing scissors Patch cables of various lengths incl 100’ Big USB disk drive Radios Cabinet w/tools & spares Library of ref books Memberships Headache medicines SA Code of Ethics Snacks

15 Getting Your Tools Back Label them Open a helpdesk ticket if one is borrowed Some tools won’t be returned Team toolbox –Rotate responsibility to check and get things back Give screwdriver kits out free –Normal size –Eyeglass repair Don’t give a software person a screwdriver

16 Why Document Systems & Procedures? Good docs say why and how to When you do things right, they work right You need a vacation You want to move on to other projects You will be viewed as an asset Save yourself scrambling when investors or auditors ask for it

17 Why Document Policies? Comply with federal health & business regs Avoid appearing arbitrary People can’t read your mind Communicating expectations for your own team Avoid being unethical Avoid needless punishment Let people change their ways before trouble happens

18 Identifying Fundamental Problems in the Environment Look at Basics of each chapter Ask the management chain that funds you Ask 2-3 customers who use your services Ask all customers What consumes your time the most? Ask helpdesk people what is most common Ask field people what is most common Use the “whiteboard” complexity test

19 Getting More Money for Projects Establish the need (for project) in minds of managers Find out what management wants, and show how your projects will serve that goal Become part of the budget process Do more with less – time-management is prime Manage your boss Learn how your management commnicates with you, and work with that method Don’t manage by crisis – show “real cost” of policies & decisions

20 Getting Projects Done - 1 Get out of fire-fighting mode Get a management sponsor Do SAs have resources? Hold staff accountable for milestones Communicate priorities to SAs, move resources to high-impact projects Make sure people have good time-management skills Designate dedicated project times –Shield from interruptions Reduce the number of projects Don’t spend time on projects that don’t matter

21 Getting Projects Done - 2 Consider out-sourcing Hire junior staff for mundane tasks Hire short-term contract programmers to write code to spec

22 Keeping Customers Happy Make a good impression on new customers Communicate more with existing customers Go to lunch and listen Create System Status Web page Create local Enterprise Portal Terminate worst performers Move up the chain of command for your most costly customers

23 Keeping Management Happy Meet with them in person and listen –Don’t try to do it via Find out the manager’s priorities, and adopt them as your own Understand how your manager communicates with you Make sure specialized people understand their roles

24 Keeping SAs happy Learn how to manage people Make sure executives support the management of SAs Make sure they take care of themselves Good fit for their roles? Overloaded? Time management, getting more people and divide Fire dissenters Hire people with positive attitudes

25 Keeping Systems From Being Too Slow Define slow Use monitoring to find bottlenecks Look at performance-tuning info Recommend a solution Know what the real problem is before you try to fix it Do you understand latency versus bandwidth?

26 Coping with a Big Influx of Computers Know desktop versus server hardware Establish small number of standard hardware configs Automate host install, config, updates Check power, space, HVAC capacity Small computer closets should have cooling New employees – see next page

27 Coping with a Big Influx of New Users Make sure hiring process includes computer provisioning –Workstations –Networking –User accounts Stock standard desktops Automate installs Games on new computers? Do you have enough power? Start them in waves so you can batch processes

28 Coping with a Big Influx of New SAs Assign mentors Hold orientations –Key processes –Where to go for help Documentation (wiki is good) Get them reference books Bulk-order tools

29 Handling a High SA Team Attrition Rate When an SA leaves, lock them out of all systems Be sure HR performs exit interviews Listen to complaints in private Anonymous “upward feedback” path Find out what you’re doing wrong Do morale-increasing things Have them all read about Being Happy If a bad apple is making people miserable, get rid of him –Good reason to avoid nepotism

30 Handling User Attrition Establish a pipeline from management –So you can lock out the right people Make sure they return all company-owned equipment –Need a procedure for this Take measures against theft of stuff Take measures against theft of intellectual property –Restrict access –Termination agreements

31 Being New to a Group Before you comment, ask questions Meet all coworkers one-on-one Meet customers informally & formally Make a good first impression Give credence to coworkers re problems, don’t reject out of hand –“That can be a problem” Don’t blindly believe complainers – verify

32 Being the New Manager of a Group - 2 Establish weekly group staff meetings Meet your manager & peers one-on-one Show team members you have faith in them Meet with customers informally & formally Ask everyone what the problems are –Listen, verify, make up your mind Ask before you call a shot Underperforming group: “Postpone major high-risk projects until team is fixed” –Boss probably hired you to do that project! –Maybe that project is how to fix the team

33 Looking for a New Job Why are you looking? What role do you want to play? What type of organization do you enjoy? Meet future coworkers Never accept the first offer – negotiate Negotiate in writing what’s important Interview your future boss Have a lawyer look at contract

34 Hiring Many New SAs Quickly Use as many recruiting methods as possible Make sure your recruiter knows what a good SA is Determine the number and skill sets you need –See SAGE level classifications Move quickly when you find a good candidate After hiring one, refine other job descriptions

35 Increasing Total System Reliability Determine your target and how far you are form it Set up monitoring Deploy end-to-end monitoring for key apps Reduce dependencies –Nothing in the data center should rely on anything outside the data center –Dependencies should be clearly documented

36 Decreasing Costs Centralize some services Review maintenance contracts Review datacomm bills Reduce running costs through outsourcing Can you use standards or automation to reduce costs? Improve support docs & training Distribute costs more directly to those who incur them If people aren’t willing to pay the cost, maybe it isn’t important Take control of ordering & inventory

37 Adding Features Interview customers re needs Know the requirements Maintain existing service Altering service: have back-out plan Consider new system versus altering current Do you need a maintenance window? Decentralize so local needs can be served Test Document


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