Navigating Non-Technical Aspects of System Administration

Started by dbs0K, Mar 04, 2023, 12:07 AM

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dbs0KTopic starter

Greetings, everyone! I would greatly appreciate advice from those who have encountered similar Administration issues and can offer guidance based on their experience.
To begin, I will outline my skills and responsibilities in this position, as well as the questions and concerns I have encountered thus far.
I possess an education in network technologies, with a proficiency in Server Administration for both Windows and Linux systems. Additionally, I am skilled in working with domains and have experience with virtualization platforms such as VMware and Virtual Box. Furthermore, I am knowledgeable in configuring switches and routers of level 2 and 3, including D-Link and Cisco devices, and have some experience in repairing small machinery and laying cable.

In terms of responsibilities, my current job involves supporting the operation of roughly 20 stations within the company while ensuring the functionality of the network and associated devices.
As for my concerns, I have several questions that have arisen since beginning this position:

1. How should I organize my work? For example, how does one request funds for equipment repairs or organize check-ups of company computers?
2. How should I interact with employees? Specifically, how should I manage situations when they request illegal software installation or make complaints about system issues?
3. What are the best methods for technical issue tracking and diagnostics within the company's network? Are there established protocols or resources available for such tasks?
4. How can I protect the company from illegal software installations without disrupting employee workflow? For instance, how can I prevent previous admins' actions from reflecting poorly on me?

Lastly, I am curious about the concept of "Free for non-commercial use." As I understand it, this means that certain software such as Ubuntu cannot be installed on the company's servers, but I would like to know more about such limitations.
Thank you for reading and for any advice you might have on these topics.


Let's keep Level 1 switches confidential, shall we? And what about OSI models?
Regarding your questions:
1. Funds are typically planned a year or quarter in advance. If something breaks or needs replacement, explain the situation to management and request the necessary amount. Ask for more than you need in case of unexpected costs. As for checks, it depends on the issue. For viruses, it's best to perform checks at night or on Fridays, with the computer turning off or on accordingly.

2. Users are important – explain things to them clearly and patiently. Don't install pirated software, but explain why and if forced to install, consider the risks.

3. The OSI model is relevant regardless of the scale of the company. I suggest installing a monitoring system and using scripts if there aren't many servers to manage.

4. Use substitutes for illegal software after explaining the situation to users and management. GLPI system might help with this.

"Free for non-commercial use" means just that – it can be used at home but not for commercial purposes. Installing Ubuntu on a server shouldn't be an issue.

In summary, work closely with management and explain issues and solutions clearly to users.


If something is broken, report it to the authorities with a specific request for a new item at a certain cost. Leave it up to the authorities to purchase and replace the item. Employee behavior may vary depending on the specific company. Diagnosing 20 stations shouldn't take too long. During employment, it's important to coordinate and control access. Use domain controllers to reset access and only install necessary software. Pirated software requests should be denied due to legal violations. Ubuntu is completely free and allows for unrestricted commercial use, see for more information.


Different organizations have their own practices and standards may not exist. If the organization is young, you can create new orders. Your behavior determines how users interact with you, so strive to benefit them while maintaining your authority. Keep track of programs, licenses, and hardware using a software monitoring system or other record-keeping method. When taking inventory of installed software, it's not your responsibility to check licensing unless otherwise specified. However, software you install yourself should be licensed properly to avoid legal problems. Be cautious when taking risks with unlicensed software, as you must take responsibility for any consequences. Don't write documents acknowledging installed pirated software.


As a novice system administrator, it's important to acknowledge your lack of experience. Mistakes may occur while working with organizations, putting your job at risk if important data is lost. To avoid this, create backups on external drives or network storage before performing complex actions with the file system or hardware and software settings. Regularly backup user data and operating systems, identify critical services, and organize RAID arrays.

Quickly restore OS, data, and services in case of emergency. Search for answers through official sources, including the manufacturer's website, professional forums, and general internet searches in order of priority. Increase competency by reading books, courses, and instructions. Remember that knowledge of English can be useful for understanding instructions even with professional translations.


I'll do my best to provide some guidance based on your questions and concerns.

1. Organizing your work: To request funds for equipment repairs or organize check-ups, it would be best to follow your company's established protocols. Communicate with the relevant department or individual responsible for budgeting and maintenance to understand the process and requirements.

2. Interacting with employees: When employees request illegal software installations, it's important to educate them about the risks and consequences involved. Make sure to adhere to your company's policies and guidelines regarding software installations. Regarding system issues, maintain a professional and helpful approach. Document and prioritize their concerns, and try to resolve them as efficiently as possible.

3. Technical issue tracking and diagnostics: There are several established protocols and resources available for tracking and diagnosing technical issues within a company's network. Use tools like ticketing systems or service management platforms to track and prioritize issues. Additionally, make use of network monitoring tools and diagnostic utilities to identify and resolve problems.

4. Protecting the company from illegal software installations: Implement strict software installation policies that align with your company's guidelines. Regularly communicate and educate employees about the importance of adhering to these policies. Employ endpoint protection tools to monitor and prevent unauthorized software installations.

Regarding previous admin actions reflecting poorly on you, maintain transparency and ensure documentation of your own actions. Communicate any inherited issues to your superiors or the appropriate parties, explaining the steps you're taking to address them and prevent future incidents.

Lastly, "Free for non-commercial use" typically means that certain software can be used for personal or non-profit purposes but may not be suitable for commercial or business use. It's important to understand the licenses and terms of use for software before installing them on company servers. Consulting legal or licensing experts can help provide further clarification on any limitations.

Remember, it's always beneficial to consult with your supervisors or colleagues who have relevant experience within your company for the best advice tailored to your specific situation. Good luck with your role!