The new year is here and 2016 is a distant memory. You may have a number of personal resolutions this year, but as a system administrator, here are a few professional resolutions for 2017.
1. Be more vigilant with your security.
Security should be at the top of every system administrator’s resolution list. This includes physical security of your console, too. Make sure that your organization’s IT security is top notch to avoid potential breaches that could lead to loss of confidential data. Being extra vigilant will ensure that you never have to worry about data loss, access control issues, or disruption of service ever again.
2. Stay on top of your game.
This new year, stay one step ahead—at all times—to make your job easier. Keep track of major system upgrade schedules and stick to them. Have a thorough understanding of your server environment for easy resolution of problems. Also, follow the next point and thank us later.
3. Document, document, document!
Documentation is key to efficiency and is the path to successful completion of a project. Make note of every event that occurs in your server environment so that no issue arises. This is especially true in an environment with multiple administrators, where you need to keep track of changes made by each administrator. Documentation also comes in handy when you’re searching for a solution to a problem that is similar to one you’ve dealt with before.
4. Always validate your backups.
For once, don’t brush off advice about backup validation. The best way to test your backups is by restoring them to a server. In relation to disaster recovery, make 2017 a problem-free year by testing your backups, from the lowest level up to critical databases, such as SQL and Active Directory. You don’t want to wait until it is too late to be sure.
5. Have a proactive approach to patching.
Remember those times when you immediately applied the latest security patches? Neither do we. This year, make a resolution to apply patches wherever needed as soon as they’re available. Take a look at what the vendor says about the patch, then decide if not having the patch would affect your environment in any way. This way, all known security holes are plugged and your environment is kept secure from hackers who might try to exploit vulnerabilities.
6. Renew required licenses and AMCs.
Run a routine check of the licenses used and the Annual Maintenance Contracts (AMCs) maintained in the organization. Renew employees’ licenses long before they expire to make things easier for both of you. If an employee is not using a particular license, assign it to someone else who may actually need it. Also, when an issue arises this year, make sure you don’t waste valuable time worrying about contracts that were not renewed on time. Look into existing AMCs, so that if any of them require renewal, you can do so immediately.
7. Educate users with best practices guides.
If the users in your environment were aware of security issues and how they could also aid in preventing them, it would be a great load off your back. Educate users and promote a fully secured environment by releasing best practices guides about basic security issues, such as password security.
8. Get certified.
While you may be the master of several tools and technologies, why don’t you look into some system administrator certifications in 2017? There are a number of great options available to choose from, such as MCSE, LPIC, RHCE, Server+, and VCP6-DCV, all of which will help advance you in your career path.
We hope that these resolutions will help make administration of your environment easier in 2017. Here’s to a well-managed server infrastructure and a truly prosperous new year!