Network Administrator Career Brief synopsis of my work by Bill Kuhl
Computers are increasingly integrated into more aspects of almost every organization. The goal for the people that support the operation of those systems, is to keep the systems operating perfectly 100% of the time. To do that every possible type of failure must be considered; power outage, hardware failure, data corruption, program errors, and security concerns.
The Role of Computers in the Work Place Computers traditionally have been used for accounting and word processing functions.
Increasingly computers are becoming part of other systems. Cooling, phone systems, and heating are examples.
IP phone operates over computer network, using the computer infrastructure. This saves costs in some ways but if the network is down, so are the phones.
Internet Protocol Server used in Voice Over IP installation.
Increasingly credit cards are acceptable payment in more locations, small credit card scanners connect to computers.
Increasingly business and government are putting more systems online to better serve their customers or the public. It is very important that these systems operate reliably and that they are secure. Some systems save money by reducing labor costs, paper, and postage. Online Systems
An online document imaging system gives public access to documents with search capabilities.
Online G eographic I nformation S ystem gives public access to local property information.
Online bill payment is common computer application.
<ul><li>Attention to detail and ability to work with many small details. </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to think ahead and consider many possible scenarios. </li></ul><ul><li>Need to constantly learn new things. </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to do research. </li></ul><ul><li>Need to be organized and be able to prioritize. </li></ul>Skills for Computer Support Work
<ul><li>What I like About Computer Support Work </li></ul><ul><li>Challenging work which makes it interesting, but can be stressful at times. </li></ul><ul><li>Everything changes very quickly so it is rarely boring. </li></ul><ul><li>Doing research is a big part of the job which I enjoy. </li></ul><ul><li>It is such a thrill when you are putting in a new system and everything comes together. </li></ul>
The ability to think ahead and consider many scenarios is essential.
Backup traditionally has been to tape which has steadily improved in capacity and speed. Creating reliable backup systems is one aspect of thinking ahead, when data is lost you must be able to recover it quickly.
Tape backup systems are being replaced with disk to disk backup systems. Data can be recovered to any 15 minute interval.
Typical application programs available in disk to disk backup system.
RAID technology in servers allows the server to operate when one hard drive is not working.
Battery backup is used on all servers. A system that is connected to the servers detects when servers are on battery power and shuts the servers down in orderly fashion after specified time.
Computer servers are the backbone of any organization large enough to have a computer network. Almost all the data resides on the servers, many application programs run from servers, and other functions such as printing depends on servers. Close to 100% reliability is essential.
Network switches and wiring are the backbone pieces that connects the individual computers with the server resources.
Fiber optic cable connections have made the Internet possible by moving a huge amount of data at high-speed using light.
What Does a Network Administrator Do? <ul><li>Upgrades and Installs </li></ul><ul><li>Troubleshooting </li></ul><ul><li>Patching Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring for possible problems </li></ul><ul><li>Transferring Computers </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Adding and Deleting Users </li></ul>
Installation of Software The installation of software is a big part of the job and would appear to be very easy but often there are problems. At that point it is often necessary to do research.
Many upgrades had been done before this one with no problems but for some reason there were permissions problems in registry keys that halted the install. It is best to plan for problems, allow plenty of time.
A single error can have many causes, the error could be a software problem or a hardware problem.
This error was from an incorrect setting in the BIOS of a new computer.
Compatibility – hardware and software; many of the problems are because of replacing the old with the new. Combinations of operating systems, applications, and hardware. Sometimes you can download an updated driver or an upgrade to a program. Installing New Hardware
Patching Systems Installing software updates is part of the duties and can be the solution for both compatibility issues and bugs in the software. Sometimes you are loading code into the BIOS of the computer or in other devices such as printer. Updating for security concerns is done constantly.
Hardware manufacturers often give information about compatibility issues with new software on their websites.
Individual components of the computer hardware often require separate updates to be compatible with new software.
Transferring Computers A big part of the job is putting a new computer in front of someone. This could be a new out of the box computer or a previously used computer that has been re-loaded. The biggest challenge is bringing over all the data and settings from their old computer. There does not seem to be any one solution for this and for many applications, settings and data locations are not well documented. Doing research may help.
Outlook “AutoComplete” email addresses are stored in the “Outlook.NK2” file which is normally hidden. Many people really appreciated that I could transfer these frequently used email addresses from their old computer. Example of transferring settings from old computer to new computer.
Fixing Computer Hardware Problems Computer hardware is normally reliable but there can be failures at times and a component will have to be replaced.
Monitoring Systems If it is at all possible, it is best to catch small problems before they become large problems. Systems are monitored for possible problems with storage, viruses, and security.
It is important make sure disk storage is working good with plenty of free space.
With more systems online, it is important that bad people are not stealing your data or slowing your system down to a crawl. Systems to monitor for such activity need to be monitored by humans.
Threats to computer systems can come from anywhere in the world.
Enterprise virus scan has picked up trojans on a couple of computers.
Monitoring for “botnets” is another proactive tool to detect malicious programs running hidden on computers on a network.
Installing Security Updates is an important part of keeping network pc’s running well.
Firehouse Installation Notes General Notes Log-on to computer as Administrator – Use typical install Procedure Put the CD ROM in the computer, when the install program automatically starts, close out of it. Go into the Control Panel and select Add/Remove Programs Select the file FH5setup.exe and run install from this, always click to continue. Install icons and shortcuts NT [ get exact wording ] Double-click icon on desktop – Click OK through expire message Bring-up Firehouse on workstation In Tools main menu click Options – Local – Database Notes From Server Install 4/1/2004 Downloaded DBTools from website, this is version 5.5.3 Sample Installation Notes That I had Created: I have been working on a style of writing the installation notes. For menu selections I used bold, if I need to get clarification on something in the next install I put notes in brackets. Do NOT assume you will remember anything, because sometimes it can be a long time between installs. Documentation