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Bringing IT All Together: A piecemeal approach to building data centers that relies on commodity servers, switches and systems management software only leads to inefficient systems that add unnecessary cost and management overhead to IT operations. In an interview with Queuecast host Mike Vizard, Liquid Computing CTO and co-founder Mike Kemp offers a fresh approach to enterprise computing.

March 1, 2007

Topic: System Administration

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Adam Oliner, Archana Ganapathi, Wei Xu - Advances and Challenges in Log Analysis
Computer-system logs provide a glimpse into the states of a running system. Instrumentation occasionally generates short messages that are collected in a system-specific log. The content and format of logs can vary widely from one system to another and even among components within a system. A printer driver might generate messages indicating that it had trouble communicating with the printer, while a Web server might record which pages were requested and when.


Mark Burgess - Testable System Administration
The methods of system administration have changed little in the past 20 years. While core IT technologies have improved in a multitude of ways, for many if not most organizations system administration is still based on production-line build logistics (aka provisioning) and reactive incident handling. As we progress into an information age, humans will need to work less like the machines they use and embrace knowledge-based approaches. That means exploiting simple (hands-free) automation that leaves us unencumbered to discover patterns and make decisions.


Christina Lear - System Administration Soft Skills
System administration can be both stressful and rewarding. Stress generally comes from outside factors such as conflict between SAs (system administrators) and their colleagues, a lack of resources, a high-interrupt environment, conflicting priorities, and SAs being held responsible for failures outside their control. What can SAs and their managers do to alleviate the stress? There are some well-known interpersonal and time-management techniques that can help, but these can be forgotten in times of crisis or just through force of habit.


Thomas A. Limoncelli - A Plea to Software Vendors from Sysadmins - 10 Do’s and Don’ts
A friend of mine is a grease monkey: the kind of auto enthusiast who rebuilds engines for fun on a Saturday night. He explained to me that certain brands of automobiles were designed in ways to make the mechanic’s job easier. Others, however, were designed as if the company had a pact with the aspirin industry to make sure there are plenty of mechanics with headaches. He said those car companies hate mechanics. I understood completely because, as a system administrator, I can tell when software vendors hate me. It shows in their products.


A piecemeal approach to building data centers that relies on commodity servers, switches and systems management software only leads to inefficient systems that add unnecessary cost and management overhead to IT operations. In an interview with Queuecast host Mike Vizard, Liquid Computing CTO and co-founder Mike Kemp offers a fresh approach to enterprise computing.



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