Sep 222014


So what the heck is a SysAdmin?

System administrators. IT pros. The IT guy (or IT gal). Techies. They go by a lot of names, but they all pretty much share a common goal: be the fantastic fixers of all things tech. After all, if weren’t for sysadmins, making copies would require a trusty pen, a steady hand, and a ton of patience.

SysAdmins are always on call, whether it’s updating your company’s antivirus software, replacing that toner waste cartridge or repairing a corrupt SQL database. Here’s a bunch of other tasks IT pros do that you might not have even realized:

  • A SysAdmin unpacked the server for this website from its box, installed an operating system, patched it for security, made sure the power and AC were working in the server room, monitored it for stability, set up the software, and kept backups in case anything went wrong. All to serve
  • Another SysAdmin installed the routers, laid the cables, configured the networks, set up the firewalls, and watched and guided the traffic for each hop of the network that runs over copper, fiber optic glass, and even the air itself to bring the Internet to your computer.
  • When your network connection is safe, secure, open, and working, you can thank your SysAdmin. They make sure your computer is functioning in a healthy way on a healthy network. They take backups to guard against disaster (both human and otherwise), hold the gates against security threats and crackers (not the salty, crumbly kind), and they keep the printers going no matter how many copies of the tax code someone from accounting prints out.
  • A SysAdmin worries about spam, viruses, spyware, as well as power outages, fires and floods.
  • When the email server goes down at 2 a.m. on a Sunday, your SysAdmin is paged, wakes up, and goes to work.
  • A sysadmin is a pro who plans, worries, hacks, fixes, pushes, advocates, protects and creates good computer networks. Why? To get you your data, help you do your work, and bring the potential of computing ever closer to reality.

So if you’re able to read all of this, thank your SysAdmin — and know he or she is only one in a tech army bringing you the email from your aunt on the West Coast, the instant message from your son at college, the free phone call from the friend in Australia, and this very webpage.