Paperback: 1056 pages
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 2 edition (July 15, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 2.1 x 9.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #46,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #12 in Books > Computers & Technology > Operating Systems > Unix #16 in Books > Computers & Technology > Networking & Cloud Computing > Networks, Protocols & APIs > Networks #47 in Books > Textbooks > Computer Science > Operating Systems
I bought this based on the positive 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.
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.
"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.
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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