The Practice of System and Network Administration: Volume 1: DevOps and other Best Practices for Enterprise IT

With 28 new chapters, the third edition of The Practice of System and Network Administration innovates yet again! Revised with thousands of updates and clarifications based on reader feedback, this new edition also incorporates DevOps strategies even for non-DevOps environments.Whether you use Linux, Unix, or Windows, this new edition describes the essential practices previously handed down only from mentor to protégé. This wonderfully lucid, often funny cornucopia of information introduces beginners to advanced frameworks valuable for their entire career, yet is structured to help even experts through difficult projects.

Other books tell you what commands to type. This book teaches you the cross-platform strategies that are timeless!

  • DevOps techniques: Apply DevOps principles to enterprise IT infrastructure, even in environments without developers
  • Game-changing strategies: New ways to deliver results faster with less stress
  • Fleet management: A comprehensive guide to managing your fleet of desktops, laptops, servers and mobile devices
  • Service management: How to design, launch, upgrade and migrate services
  • Measurable improvement: Assess your operational effectiveness; a forty-page, pain-free assessment system you can start using today to raise the quality of all services
  • Design guides: Best practices for networks, data centers, email, storage, monitoring, backups and more
  • Management skills: Organization design, communication, negotiation, ethics, hiring and firing, and more

Have you ever had any of these problems?

  • Have you been surprised to discover your backup tapes are blank?
  • Ever spent a year launching a new service only to be told the users hate it?
  • Do you have more incoming support requests than you can handle?
  • Do you spend more time fixing problems than building the next awesome thing?
  • Have you suffered from a botched migration of thousands of users to a new service?
  • Does your company rely on a computer that, if it died, can’t be rebuilt?
  • Is your network a fragile mess that breaks any time you try to improve it?
  • Is there a periodic “hell month” that happens twice a year? Twelve times a year?
  • Do you find out about problems when your users call you to complain?
  • Does your corporate “Change Review Board” terrify you?
  • Does each division of your company have their own broken way of doing things?
  • Do you fear that automation will replace you, or break more than it fixes?
  • Are you underpaid and overworked?

No vague “management speak” or empty platitudes. This comprehensive guide provides real solutions that prevent these problems and more!

Users Comments:

  • This book is a great starting place for new system administrators, and also contains valuable information and ways to think about problems for senior system administrators. I own the first edition, and the third edition is full of more new things, but equally accessible and easy to read. Start with any chapter and you can learn something useful, or read it front to back for a wholistic view. I am the interrupt sponge (see p10) for my team, but I use this book as a resource for teaching and mentoring.
  • This book is a crucial library item for any System or Network Administrator regardless of how many years you have under your belt. I picked up the second edition when I first became a sysadmin and it helped me a lot throughout my career. I was very excited when it was announced that this third edition was coming as the second edition has not aged well. The third edition is the perfect, much needed update to the second edition. This new version is definitely now up-to-date and should hopefully give us another decade of service. I definitely recommend this book for the sysadmin in your life or in your office. I always recommend it to my colleagues as it contains valuable information for your career. In fact, buy a few copies because if you loan this book out, I doubt you’ll get it back!
  • This is an amazing book and was very excited to see this new edition come up. I work in the IT field and wear many hats and this book provides me with guidance to be successful in all areas in IT from service desk to Infrastructure to Web services. IT can be a rough spot for many but this book really sheds some great insight, practical tools, and positive ideas to get through not only through the technical facets, but also what I feel were left out from the OSI model – Layer 8 the political layer. 😀 I admire these authors and the experiences they have shared in this book. Kudos to them and I hope they continue to share more in future editions to come.
  • I haven’t read the second edition, but a handful of chapters in this is a great book that I am sure compares favorably.
    It is well-written and very readable – Limoncelli uses anecdotes, analogies, real-life examples, and other devices to demonstrate crucial concepts. He concludes each chapter with a summary and some exercise questions. It is also funny! I loved his examples of Sisyphus and the Dennis Nedry.
    One of my favorite things so far is that much of what he writes is beneficial to people outside of SysAdmin positions. Time management, big vs. small batches of work, leadership, and more are all covered.
    I’m only a few chapters in (and will update this review accordingly once I’m further), but so far the information definitely seems like it would help Junior SysAdmins more than Senior ones. However, he does write broadly enough so that this text is relevant to teams of all shapes and sizes.
  • Are you a system administrator who is seeking a deeper insight into the best practices and strategies available today? If you are, then this book is for you! Authors Thomas A. Limoncelli, Christina J. Hogan, and Strata R. Chalup, have done an outstanding job of writing a 3rd edition of a book that will help you understand what is behind your day-to-day work.
    Authors Limoncelli, Hogan, and Chalup, begin by showing you a lot of useful information about how successful system administrator teams stay successful. Then, the authors focus on three IT-specific examples of how the small batches principle method applies and the benefits that follow. They continue by discussing how to improve our efficiency by minimizing variation. Then, the authors cover infrastructure as a code, a system administration strategy where infrastructure is provisioned and managed through machine-processable definition files rather than manual labor. They then show you the many technical and nontechnical decisions involved and how they determine the type and quality of the service that users experience. Next, the authors discuss the three fundamental strategies related to workstation hardware. They continue by presenting an overview of how to install and maintain the software that runs in our companies. Then, the authors show you how to install the operating system of a machine and prepare it for use. Next, the authors focus on onboarding new employees, how the IT department fits into this process, and how to make the process work best. They continue by showing you a typical enterprise organization that mostly purchases off-the-shelf hardware and software, with a limited number of homegrown applications. Then, the authors cover high-level issues related to server hardware. They then introduce you to the decisions one makes when purchasing an individual server. Next, the authors present an overview of services and service requirements. They continue by focusing on third-party products. Then, the authors examine a number of design patterns related to improving the resiliency of a system or its performance. They then discuss the launching a new service such as an email system, a VPN server, an OS installer, or a web-based application. Next, the authors focus on two ways of replacing a risky big launch with many smaller launches. They continue by touching on two general approaches to service conversions. Then, the authors concentrate on the electronic data aspects of Disaster Recovery. They then discuss the design of office networks, datacenter networks and the wide area networks that connect them. Next, the authors describe the best practices for monitoring, managing, and supporting an enterprise network; including recommendations for tools and organizational structures to facilitate supporting the network, particularly in large enterprises. Finally, the authors show you how to remove fellow system administrators from your site, because they’ve been terminated.
    This excellent book gives you a framework (a way of thinking about system administration problems), rather than narrow how-to solutions to particular problems. In addition, this great book is unique, because it looks at system administration from the holistic point of view, whereas most other books for system administrators focus on how to maintain one particular product.

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