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37 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More helpful then I thought
At first, I thought that this book might be too basic but that is not the case. It explains how to build and maintain a computer network - servers, workstations, network devices - and explains how to make decisions based on your requirements, not just how to make things work. Making things work is very important. But to be a world-class network administrator, you've got...
Published on July 24, 2010 by S. Edmondson

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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A "career overview". Not recommended if you have experience.
I bought this based on the positive Amazon reviews. I am an experienced system administrator and IT Manager and my intent as a reader was to help me assess my own practices and give insight into things I hadn't considered or had overlooked. I would say if you have significant real world experience then this book isn't for you. However, if you are newer to the field and...
Published on February 14, 2010 by D. Granja


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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A "career overview". Not recommended if you have experience., February 14, 2010
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This review is from: The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition (Paperback)
I bought this based on the positive Amazon reviews. I am an experienced system administrator and IT Manager and my intent as a reader was to help me assess my own practices and give insight into things I hadn't considered or had overlooked. I would say if you have significant real world experience then this book isn't for you. However, if you are newer to the field and want to get an idea of the type of things systems/network administrators work with, then I don't think I've seen any other book that covers as much ground, nor that does it in a more friendly manner. It's very general so just don't consider the information to be authoritative or to offer you tools that you'd use in the work place after getting some years of experience in the field.

I actually found it very hard to review this book. Based on their "resumes", the authors have extensive industry knowledge and perspectives. The frustrating thing is that it doesn't come out in this book. There is no real in-depth look at different options or methodologies, nor do areas of discussion seem comprehensive by any measure. I kept asking myself, "Where's the meat?". True, at times there are actually solid recommendations and new ideas, but it just isn't the nature of the book.

On the other hand, when I looked at it as an introduction to the career of system/network administration, I had to admit that the friendly and approachable tone is refreshing and appropriate. The ambition of its scope is laudable. I see it as a high school "overview of this career" book, but written for an older audience. If you are that audience, then this book will be helpful to get you started, and I think you will appreciate it. However, after a few years in the field when you come back to this book you may find that you have outgrown it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More helpful then I thought, July 24, 2010
This review is from: The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition (Paperback)
At first, I thought that this book might be too basic but that is not the case. It explains how to build and maintain a computer network - servers, workstations, network devices - and explains how to make decisions based on your requirements, not just how to make things work. Making things work is very important. But to be a world-class network administrator, you've got to understand how to make decisions, and how to weigh options. This fabulous book takes you into the problem solving, decision making minds of two experienced administrators. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to go past twiddling configurations into the realm of building a useable, stable, maintainable enterprise network. System administration books tend to focus on how to accomplish particular, important tasks - along with providing background information on computers, networks, and services. Those books are tremendously valuable, because they centralize information and often explain system details that documentation leaves out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a top pick, September 7, 2007
This review is from: The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition (Paperback)
The first edition of PRACTICE OF SYSTEM AND NETWORK ADMINISTRATION covers modern IT methodology, and this updated second edition provides a revision of four major areas of knowledge relating to system administration, reviewing key elements of successful network systems, how to build and run reliable services, building data centers and addressing security issues, and more. It's a top pick for any library serious about catering to advanced web programmers, computer professionals, and students of network administration - as well as for practicing administrators.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rehab for Rockstars, February 21, 2014
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This book is wonderful, and my personal favorite, beating out even the legendary 'Unix and Linux System Administration Handbook'

Don't get me wrong, you really need to read both, and 'Time Management for System Administrators' while you're at it, but this book is far more about a high-level overview of how and why to build a good SA team and methodology behind offering services *in a way that is useful to the business*, rather than just what MTA to use, for example.

This book covers "what do I call my servers", and so many other boring things you're going to overlook until it's far too late. It is geared more at office sysadmins than datacenter sysadmins (what I do), but in my experience, there is so much you can get from this as a datacenter sysadmin as well.

In my mind, this is the sort of stuff that separates a junior sysadmin from a midlevel sysadmin - a junior sysadmin can sit down and give you a long, nuanced, and extremely passionate overview of nginx vs apache... yet they probably don't have a very good server inventory or monitoring, just some minor stuff.

And then there's extremely junior SAs... you know, the rockstars. Documentation? Man, they don't write something unless it's untested code in some language that was invented last week and is trending on Reddit and is going to run at 80 million connections a second from the minute you start it up until the minute it forkbombs the server off the net. Which is only five minutes later, but they won't have the monitoring or profiling to know that. Rockstars don't *need* monitoring, and they certainly don't need an inventory or documentation.

Businesses do though, and eventually they get tired of their production environment looking like a rockstar's used and abused hotel room.

Reading this book is the first step to recovery.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars System Administration as a Profession, April 6, 2013
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This review is from: The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition (Paperback)
"The Practice of System and Network Administration" is different from most of the other technical books on a professional SA's bookshelf. This book is about how to become a professional system administrator.

The profession is about more than knowning obscure options to different commands. To become a professional, a system administrator needs to change mindset from a straight-ahead techie to a member of the team who has specialized expertise.

System administration has not always been recognized as a profession. System administrators themselves are partly to blame for that. We have tended to focus strictly on technology and not on how to structure our work to benefit both ourselves and the organizations we work for. Limoncelli, Hogan and Chalup have put togeter a great standard reference for people who are ready to transition to being professional system administrators.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for all new network and system admins, October 6, 2011
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This review is from: The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition (Paperback)
This should be required reading for all new network and system administrators, and for those people thinking about becoming a net/sysadmin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive overview of System Administration, June 18, 2009
By 
Jeremy M Page (Durham, NC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition (Paperback)
If you've been or are planning to be in the hot seat when it comes to running a orginization's computer systems than this book is for you. I read this after being an SA for 12 years for some of the biggest names in the business (IBM, EDS, NetApp, Sprint) and it still has information that's useful to me. I'm no slouch but the fact is that most of us have learned how to do our jobs by feeling pain and working to make that pain go away. This book lets you learn from *others* pain, as well as taking a step back from the "I NEED IT NOW" we all deal with to look in a logical and comprehensive fashion at the many aspects of system administration. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

I don't agree with everything the authors say (I think DDNS is a decent system for most companies for instance), but informed discusion on these topics is a must even if you (as you should) come to your own conclusions. If you're not an SA and you have not read this book chances are you're not doing as good a job as you could be. Seriously.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fundamentals in the first few chapters, June 10, 2013
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This review is from: The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition (Paperback)
This book is great for even seasoned IT workers looking to enter the field of SA. On top of the detailed things, there is lots of good general purpose knowledge, and it is well written!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, February 19, 2013
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This book is easily read from front to back, and is well structured as a reference. I doubt even the most experienced administrators could read this and not come away with useful thoughts. The kindle version is well formatted and looks fine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book for Sysadmins!, February 13, 2013
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This review is from: The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition (Paperback)
This book is a comprehensive guide to being a good, productive sysadmin. You will not find any technical details about any particular technology in it, but a high-level view of how to do all-things-sysadmin and why: how to avoid common mistakes, how to support a small group of users or build a large sysadmin team, how to manage your managers... with any luck this book will help you reach the holy-grail of sysadmin: user education :-)

Definitely a must-read, whether you're doing sysadmin in the small or in the large.
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The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition
The Practice of System and Network Administration, Second Edition by Christina J. Hogan (Paperback - July 15, 2007)
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