Network Administration: Routine Chores

Much of the network administrator’s job is routine stuff — chores, the equivalent of vacuuming, dusting, and mopping. Or if you prefer, changing the oil and rotating the tires every 3,000 miles. Yes, it’s boring, but it has to be done. Here is a summary of the routine chores of network administration.

  • Backup: The network administrator needs to make sure that the network is properly backed up. If something goes wrong and the network isn’t backed up, guess who gets the blame? On the other hand, if disaster strikes, yet you’re able to recover everything from yesterday’s backup with only a small amount of work lost, guess who gets the pat on the back, the fat bonus, and the vacation in the Bahamas?

  • Protection: Another major task for network administrators is sheltering your network from the evils of the outside world. These evils come in many forms, including hackers trying to break into your network and virus programs arriving through e-mail.

  • Cleanup: Users think that the network server is like the attic: They want to throw files up there and leave them forever. No matter how much storage your network has, your users will fill it up sooner than you think.

    So the network manager gets the fun job of cleaning up the attic once in a while. Oh, joy. The best advice is to constantly complain about how messy it is up there and warn your users that spring cleaning is coming up.