How to get ramped up for a System Admin Position?

N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
What would you focus on if you had a few weeks to prepare?

This would be for file and print servers and back ups using a software application.

This is for MS 2003 and 2008 server environment.

The servers are Proliants.

Would you focus more on the hardware or the OS or a little of both?

Sorry for the rushed request.

Comments

  • xenodamusxenodamus Member Posts: 758
    Everything you listed above is covered in the 70-290 exam for the 2003 track. I'm not sure what the equivilent is for 2008.

    If you're looking for something to read in the next few weeks that could only help.
    CISSP | CCNA:R&S/Security | MCSA 2003 | A+ S+ | VCP6-DTM | CCA-V CCP-V
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    xenodamus wrote: »
    Everything you listed above is covered in the 70-290 exam for the 2003 track. I'm not sure what the equivilent is for 2008.

    If you're looking for something to read in the next few weeks that could only help.


    Thanks for the heads up!

    I actually own the book and have 2003 on a Vm session. Thanks again

    Which means I haven't do much with it. I am going to have to really bang out some reading and labbing. This is going to be the ultimate cram!

    Obviously no guarntees, but man this would be a dream come true.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313
    N2IT wrote: »
    What would you focus on if you had a few weeks to prepare?

    This would be for file and print servers and back ups using a software application.

    This is for MS 2003 and 2008 server environment.

    The servers are Proliants.

    Would you focus more on the hardware or the OS or a little of both?

    Sorry for the rushed request.

    Sounds like you have a site based system admin role on the cards?
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    Turgon wrote: »
    Sounds like you have a site based system admin role on the cards?

    Just a possibility. There have been some defections and I am one of the best performers in my area.

    There is hope I'll leave it at that and I want to be as prepared as possible!
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313
    N2IT wrote: »
    Just a possibility. There have been some defections and I am one of the best performers in my area.

    There is hope I'll leave it at that and I want to be as prepared as possible!

    Ok. Well you will already be known to the people interviewing you so I wouldn't try and bluff it too much.

    Concentrate on the basics. If it's proliants then get the specs and study them on the HP site. Understand what goes into a box and the upgrade options. For backups, try and find out the backup software and bone up on that on the vendor site. Consider what backup hardware is employed. Dont cram, think stuff over a bit.

    From there, understand the OS from the point of view of installation and server performance. Also the utilities to administrate a server. Dont forget performance tuning and the networking a server needs.

    Servers need to be looked after, so consider what precautions you need to take to do that, and how to plan maintenance. Impact on dependent systems and endusers, the right communications to send out to people affected or who will be affected.

    Finally disaster recovery. Look into redundancy for servers, NIC teaming, disks, clustering, and be aware of the 'process' you need to go through to recover from a crash, and what preparations you should have already done for when it happens. Recovery disks, backups, system settings etc.

    Before you go for a bare metal restore, be sure to demonstrate what troubleshooting and recovery steps you understand you have at your disposal to try and fix the system before doing something more drastic.
  • Geetar28Geetar28 Member Posts: 101
    N2IT wrote: »
    Just a possibility. There have been some defections and I am one of the best performers in my area.

    There is hope I'll leave it at that and I want to be as prepared as possible!

    Well here's wishing you good luck bro. I would definitely take Turgon's "no bluffing" advice to heart. If they ask you about something you don't know about, just say something to the effect of "I'm familiar with the concept (assuming you are..ha ha) but haven't had the opportunity to delve into that technology in my curent role..."

    One thing I've noticed is that the guys at the top can sense when you're out of your depth...and to try o BS your way through is just stupid. I've even said as much in interviews..."I'm out of my depth on that ..etc.etc.." ...of course thinking on it now that may be why I don't friggin have that 'next job'...LOL ...hell forget all of my previous statements..just be sure to smile and nod alot...ha ha ha
  • earweedearweed Member Posts: 5,192 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Best of luck, Bro. You probably know enough already to get through the interview from having read about your experience up to now in other threads. Turgon sounds like he's giving sound advice.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • mikedisd2mikedisd2 Member Posts: 1,096 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Geetar28 wrote: »
    One thing I've noticed is that the guys at the top can sense when you're out of your depth...and to try o BS your way through is just stupid. I've even said as much in interviews..."I'm out of my depth on that ..etc.etc.." ...of course thinking on it now that may be why I don't friggin have that 'next job'...LOL ...hell forget all of my previous statements..just be sure to smile and nod alot...ha ha ha

    My approach would be to say that although not familiar with, say Xenserver, I have used VMware extensively. Or, I don't have experience with McAffee whatever, but I have administered Trend Micro. Explain that knowledge/experience of the concepts can be transferred to other vendor products, which usually it can.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    Thanks a lot guys for your response.

    However a new twist has come up. A fortune 500 company is looking for hard ware refresh team to come in as a contract set up. It would be a PM, Team lead (me), and 3-10 techs, refreshing machines and doing break fixes. Not as glamourous on the outside, but a much large glass ceiling and I'd be learning from a awesome project manager. The guy has over 30 years experience and is ultra polished. SInce this is a project, even though I am not a PM, I would like to leverage this experience into my hours for the PMP. I already have 6 months of project experience and a bachelors degree, so that would defiently help me get into the PM world with a strong certification and even stronger experience.

    I have to meet the clients today so wish me luck. This is suppose to be a 3 years project, so if I can make it through the whole show I should have my time requirements for the PMP and learn a ton about leadership, management, and project lifecycle.

    Only part I am nervous about is the hardware replacement. I am a OS guy so I am stepping out of my comfort zone a bit. But honestly reimaging machine with Alturis is nothing, and replacing ram and drives should be cake. Boards will be a little nerve racking, but I have done it so I can improve there and become more effecient.

    The part I am excited about is creating new processes and being a lead to the other guys. Gives me an added responsibility. One other thing I am concerned about is there are some users who have Red Hat Linux on their machines. I will responsible for getting them reimaged if needed. Not sure if this is deployed or off a disk. The amount of users is relatively small compared to the Windows users.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313
    N2IT wrote: »
    Thanks a lot guys for your response.

    However a new twist has come up. A fortune 500 company is looking for hard ware refresh team to come in as a contract set up. It would be a PM, Team lead (me), and 3-10 techs, refreshing machines and doing break fixes. Not as glamourous on the outside, but a much large glass ceiling and I'd be learning from a awesome project manager. The guy has over 30 years experience and is ultra polished. SInce this is a project, even though I am not a PM, I would like to leverage this experience into my hours for the PMP. I already have 6 months of project experience and a bachelors degree, so that would defiently help me get into the PM world with a strong certification and even stronger experience.

    I have to meet the clients today so wish me luck. This is suppose to be a 3 years project, so if I can make it through the whole show I should have my time requirements for the PMP and learn a ton about leadership, management, and project lifecycle.

    Only part I am nervous about is the hardware replacement. I am a OS guy so I am stepping out of my comfort zone a bit. But honestly reimaging machine with Alturis is nothing, and replacing ram and drives should be cake. Boards will be a little nerve racking, but I have done it so I can improve there and become more effecient.

    The part I am excited about is creating new processes and being a lead to the other guys. Gives me an added responsibility. One other thing I am concerned about is there are some users who have Red Hat Linux on their machines. I will responsible for getting them reimaged if needed. Not sure if this is deployed or off a disk. The amount of users is relatively small compared to the Windows users.

    That will be a very challenging job. You will need to manage the tension between the PM and the techs very carefully. Certainly an opportunity for you. The PM will be very reliant on you for the technical task breakdown. The techs will be very reliant on you when the PM is being unreasonable. It's likely there will be turnover of key people during the 3 year lifecycle so pace yourself. First thing you need to do is work out the requirements. Remember your PM needs to survive his meetings so make sure you give him what he needs so he can protect you.
  • earweedearweed Member Posts: 5,192 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Best of luck. Sounds like a good opportunity.
    I've aprticipated in a few of these (as a tech) and unless this is in one big site you'll be travelling a lot and you'll have to deal with new tech teams everywhere you go.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,313
    earweed wrote: »
    Best of luck. Sounds like a good opportunity.
    I've aprticipated in a few of these (as a tech) and unless this is in one big site you'll be travelling a lot and you'll have to deal with new tech teams everywhere you go.

    Yup. It helps if you are a people person. Dealing with us techies can be challenging. Dealling with a stressy PM even worse.
  • Chris:/*Chris:/* Member Posts: 658
    Turgon wrote: »
    Yup. It helps if you are a people person. Dealing with us techies can be challenging. Dealling with a stressy PM even worse.

    Agreed on all counts and best of luck.
    Degrees:
    M.S. Information Security and Assurance
    B.S. Computer Science - Summa Cum Laude
    A.A.S. Electronic Systems Technology
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    Turgon wrote: »
    That will be a very challenging job. You will need to manage the tension between the PM and the techs very carefully. Certainly an opportunity for you. The PM will be very reliant on you for the technical task breakdown. The techs will be very reliant on you when the PM is being unreasonable. It's likely there will be turnover of key people during the 3 year lifecycle so pace yourself. First thing you need to do is work out the requirements. Remember your PM needs to survive his meetings so make sure you give him what he needs so he can protect you.


    I'm pretty wigged out to be honest lol

    I have solid confidence and a demon like work ethic. I am a people person, I have always been called a natural salesman.

    So hopefully I can leverage those skills sets into capbilities. The problem is we are taking over for a vendor who has been doing this for 14 years. Now we walk in and it's time to shine.

    The Charter has been hashed out, but there are some assumptions that need to be nailed down. I hope they keep this scope as tight as possible for now.

    I am expect to come up with a check list for deploying and as the project matures I will develop processes to help my techs. I am a little light on Linux :) and systemboard replacement, but everything else I am 100% confortable with. I care and I am a big time self starter. The CEO said to us that there are two things he looks for. Someone with aptitude, you can't teach that and a self starter, you can't teach that either.

    I am just trying to keep my nerves down and focus on the project.


    I was wondering what a technical task break down entailed. I am familiar with a Work Breakdown Structure.
  • Daniel333Daniel333 Member Posts: 2,077 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Oh, go snag a copy of backup exec or what ever backup application they use. Install it, run some backups and restores.

    I would snag some windows 2003 CBTs on 70-290 and do everything you see under windows 2008 so you have seen it both ways.

    What other apps are they using again? Exchange? Sharepoint?
    -Daniel
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    Daniel333 wrote: »
    Oh, go snag a copy of backup exec or what ever backup application they use. Install it, run some backups and restores.

    I would snag some windows 2003 CBTs on 70-290 and do everything you see under windows 2008 so you have seen it both ways.

    What other apps are they using again? Exchange? Sharepoint?

    Thanks again Daniel/

    However gears have switched.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,172 ■■■■■■■■■□
    The project thing sounds like a great opportunity that might not come along as often as the next chance to jump into Jr. Sysadmin. My $.02
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • erpadminerpadmin Member Posts: 4,165
    N2IT,

    The foundation for any system admin position on the hardware side will be knowing the different RAID levels and when to use them. The popular ones are RAID 1, 5 and 10 and there are times you will use either.

    Since you are also going for Server+, my advice would be to download the objectives and look up each one on the Web, especially RAID, since there isn't a system admin on the planet that can't do a RAID configuration (and if that person does exists, he's not a system admin...period). Whether RAID is done on local storage on your Proiliants/Poweredges/whatever servers, or on shared storage in a SAN/NAS environment (yeah, know the difference of both of those as well). RAID is not the end all/be all, but it does differentiate a system admin from a desktop support/help desk guy and is a great foundation.

    Now, of course, O/S server technologies are just as important, but I just wanted to give you an idea of what to bone up on.
Sign In or Register to comment.