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Administering Your Computer Networks: 5 Essential Skills

The administration of systems and networks has developed strongly over the past 30 years due to the generalization of “all distributed” with the TCP/IP standard, which has imposed itself. Operating systems have evolved to converge mainly towards Unix/Linux and Windows systems. On local networks, Ethernet was the big winner, while at the same time, the “Cisco Academies” developed to train hundreds of thousands of people in CISCO network technologies.

Today, the Systems and Network Administrator must be able to master the most common operating systems and configure their interconnection equipment (switches and routers) to manage their entire environment. The Administrator’s activity has gradually evolved towards automation, planning, and the execution of repetitive tasks in the context of formalized processes around changes, in the ITIL sense of the term, in a context where the servers, or even the workstations, are managed by a virtualization layer ( VMWare Vsphere, Microsoft Hyper-V ). 

Global knowledge must include fundamental concepts such as backup, restoration, security, the roles of the different architecture bricks, load balancing, fault tolerance, redundancy, virtualization, or maintenance in operational conditions. (MCO) . The 5 essential skills for the Systems and Network Administrator!  

Understanding Of Network Concepts And Hardware Used

Many concepts must be understood to understand the overall functioning of a  distributed TCP/IP environment, the software and hardware components used, the client-server, the network topology, the services involved,  virtualization, business continuity—activity, as well as the solutions implemented to ensure this continuity: redundancy, and backups. The principle of OSI layers remains important for detailing each function through a standardized model.

Knowledge, The Main Network Operating Systems, And Virtualization

Minimum knowledge of Windows and Linux systems is essential. Installing and configuring them allows you to acquire minimal knowledge on the subject. As these are often executed within a hypervisor, it is important to understand how virtualization also works: allocation of virtualized resources and network integration between host and guest…

Through them, how connectivity is implemented through IP addressing is paramount; routing sub-networks in an interconnected environment constitutes an essential prerequisite for administering the systems. Virtualization being ubiquitous, it is important, as a user of the solution, not only to understand the concepts involved.         

The Configuration Of Network Equipment (Switches, Routers)

To be comfortable as a Systems and Network administrator, it is necessary to understand the operation of interconnection equipment: level 2, level 3. Understanding how they are configured and act according to the OSI model is essential if one wishes to be recognized as a Systems and Network Administrator.

Implementing an environment comprising the switch and router-type equipment makes it possible to validate the understanding of the tasks incumbent on the Administrator. The Administrator must also be able to propose a  global IP addressing plan including all  TCP/IP parameters and taking centralized configuration into account.

We Are Securing Systems

Security is everywhere today. Systems must always be up to date with the latest security patches, but it is also necessary to be equipped to detect security problems. Today, analyzing security vulnerabilities, or monitoring system updates, is one of the important activities of the Administrator, whether for Windows or Linux systems.

Troubleshooting A TCP/IP Network Environment

The detection of erroneous IP configurations  (mask, gateway) must be part of the Administrator’s duties; it must also be able to capture network frames, whenever necessary, to understand what is happening. He must also have a global vision of his network, the subnets in place, the VLANs used, or the routing implemented.

In Conclusion

Many concepts must be assimilated so the System administrator is as comfortable in a Windows Server environment as in Linux. He must also be able to configure the interconnection elements  (switches, routers). He must understand many concepts, in particular those related to the IP configuration in the internetwork, and be able to propose an appropriate IP addressing plan. He must then be able to secure all the environments while following the updates of the Systems which come into play.

Also Read: Internet And New Technologies At The Service Of Real Estate

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