Top windows system administrator skills needed to get the job.

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What are the top 3 traits or skills every windows system administrator must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your windows system administrator expertise?

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JeffreyK in Columbia, Maryland

83 months ago

Gene Anthony in White Haven, Pennsylvania said: What I've learned is most important is careful planning, not trying to be too clever, and contingency plans in case of issues.

Gene, good answer. Drives are getting cheaper, you can afford to have near-line backup using hard drive storage units and do tape backup from these backup drives. Use RAID 5 arrays for the redundancy and failover, plus keep spares on hand for hot swapping failed drives.

I would add that you should ensure your management and budget people know that you have to expand storage regularly. You need to maintain about 15 percent free space. When you add drives, get free space up to the 50 percent mark; that will provide room to grow. Some large organizations have staff who do nothing but add drives to the Storage Area Network (SANs). Not my specialty, but necessary.

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Mr. Moo in Vista, California

59 months ago

To get the Job:
1) Education: You need Certs, MCSE. VM ware is a good on too as many orgs are consolidating and visualizing, and some sort of backup system. The certs are so that the prospective employer knows you are not BSing. A degree doesn't hurt.

2: You need experience. Because good employers know that you can get certs and not actually know anything on how to do the job.

3: People/sales skills. Because you need to make the connection and sale yourself to actually land the job.

To do the job:
1: You need the ability to learn and adapt because the real world is nothing like school. New tech is always coming out and you need to be able to adapt.

2: You need to know how to program/script. Because working smarter and not harder is the only way to stay ahead of all the work.

3: People skills again. "Plays well with others" is always a good thing.

And ad Mr. Anthony said. Backup Backup Backup. Have a disaster recovery plan and test it 2-4 times per year. Recover a file from your backups at least once per month if not once per week.

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jmhpolar in Benson, North Carolina

55 months ago

LOL - learn Linux. It seems to be all companies want right now.

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AmlalMH in Fairfax, Virginia

30 months ago

[I agree, and thank you" Gene Anthony in White Haven, Pennsylvania"]What I've learned is most important is careful planning, not trying to be too clever, and contingency plans in case of issues. For example, don't upgrade to the latest and greatest unless it's necessary. For example, if Firefox 3 comes out and you're on 2 you don't need to upgrade it. If Office 2007 is out you don't need to replace 2000 or 2003. Don't get a newer server unless the old one is on it's way out or you need to redo it anyway. Don't roll out changes to everyone at once unless it's necessary. Some minor changes can have random effects on different people. Never do more than 1 change at a time if feasible. It makes it hard to troubleshoot. Plan for problems because it's hard to think on your feet when fires are all going on at once. Also backup, backup, backup. Another thing is try to keep things uniform and centralized as much as feasible. It makes things easier later. Web servers for application hosting are becoming really nice for application hosting.

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