Tech Support Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here is my situation, I am new to my job as a network administrator, fresh out of school and the company I'm working for is rather small.

Our current setup is as follows:
Server 1 - Domain Server(AD) & Exchange (Windows Server 2003)
Server 2: SQL (Windows Server 2003)
Server 3: Terminal Services(Windows Server 2008 R2)
Server 4: Database Server running JobBoss
Server 5: Not currently used, but will be implementing Synergy (JobBoss addon)

We currently do not have a backup solution, but will be implementing one soon (when we switch from DSL to cable). I have emphasized the importance of this numerous times to my co-workers.

I am having a lot of trouble not falling asleep at my desk from lack of guidance and have absolutely no training at all besides what I teach myself and my experience in PC repair. I have already posted a similar thread to this, but am looking for some more input as that thread is closed. I have done some fixes and installs of software, but for the most part I am a person that needs work to do and am finding it hard to get any.

My question is what does a network admin do all day? I don't have any backups to test (yet), I set up a bunch of performance monitoring logs/counters, but don't toally know what to make of that data. A lot of times someone will have a problem but won't get off their computer to let me fix it. I typed up a guide to implementing a disaster recovery plan and gave that to my boss, he said we will have to wait to implement that until we upgrade to cable also. Some of the performance changes I can make I would have to do after hours and I am unsure how to go about some of these (don't wanna come in after hours and wreck stuff basically, or have problems that wouldn't be corrected in time). Most of the projects/daily activities I could be doing seem to really be hindering on this upgrade to cable so I can test our online backups, and implement/create our disaster recovery plan.

I've been occupying my time reading forums, reading microsoft techcenter info, watching training videos on our database, staring/trying to make sense of perfmon logs, and wanting to make a difference at my new job but not sure how to go about it.

There has been some positives such as, I fixed a database task that wasn't running correctly though task scheduler, upgraded some users to Win7 64bit, a couple AD problems, some registry editing for security/trusted sites, one disk quota adjustment, installed some updates, drivers, basic software installs, and found a few potential performance bottlenecks (that we cant touch unless after hours....). Also I would like to note that everyone around me seems to act very busy, but I think most people are "acting" more than anything. Only reason I say that is, basically I know I'm not the only one with down time here, but I know I have the most right now, and I'm going crazy.

Lastly, I would say my boss is more of a programmer/DB admin and I would like to take on all the network admin roles. While currently he has more experience with the network admin roles than I do, I believe I am learning quickly and know some things that he does not.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
802 Posts
Firstly LOL to your commends about your colleagues 'acting' busy.

In any IT Environment a backup is essential! You will find it extreamly difficult to recover a server without a good backup. I am sure this is something that you are already aware of but some boss's fail to see the importance. If I were you I would spend some serious time looking at how to recover one of your servers if it stopped working tomorrow.

The upgrade of your DSL to cable is an un-reasonable excuse for not being able to sort out a backup soltion asap. Tell your bosses that there is no point in having an internet connection unless you have PCs/Servers to connect to it.

Have you thought about studying for any IT Exams? It would be a good use of time in my opinion.


Dave
 

·
Team Manager, Microsoft Support
Joined
·
31,421 Posts
Don't worry. As you get better acquainted with the firm's needs, you'll be making positive contributions. When the users get more confidence in you, they'll be asking for services that you can provide. "It's a great life if you don't weaken".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
I'm in the same position as you. They kind of threw this IT roll at me since our Internet manager was a horrible pretend IT manager. I find myself fixing a multitude of problems by looking up solutions on google but I am at the point where the answers I find lead me to more questions... My point is there is a seeming endless amount things you need to know to be a IT god so keep reading like I do !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
You should really work on getting an in-depth understanding of Active Directory. This will lead to an easy certification for you if you get enough expertise, and you will probably end up screwing around with AD a lot more than you realize.

Also, make sure you understand all of the basics of the network hardware you are running, and this will lead to a CCENT / CCNA certification.

Take the time to get such qualifications while you have the time. As time goes on, your responsibilities will inevitably increase, and you will be wishing you had all that free time on your hands. Take advantage of it, and I guarantee you job will be more pleasurable and fulfilling if you keep busy learning new things.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,162 Posts
Backup, Backup, Backup...that's what you need to do first and last. Guaranteed that you will be blamed for any loss of data and I'd assume they've hired you to know what to do with your time. Worst case scenario is to take an old computer, put some HD's in it, load Linux with SMB support and start backing up to network disks. I've used FOG as a way to backup workstations and servers in the past. Basically what you need to do is start documenting what you currently have, come up with a disaster recovery plan, and really PUSH to have it implemented. They have no idea how difficult it is to recover from a server crash and more importantly from a DC crash. Make sure you have a current ASR disk and good backups.

All the other stuff is irrelevant if the DC fails and you have no way to recover it. FOG can be used to image all workstations and servers, but having a comprehensive backup of the DC is important.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
I was wondering how much do they pay you? If you want it kept private you can message me. It sounds relaxed ik you wanna do more most IT ppl do but your getting experiance as a "Network Admin" for future jobs! Also just study more and if it never gets challenging by the time you get enough experiance for a more productive admin job you will have the skill set from your studies!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
820 Posts
Completely agree with everything said above.
I would add documentation. Start writing up everything about everything in your department.
You could map up all the network connections : the RJ45 sockets in the various offices, to the patch panels, and to the switches. Print it all out on neat tables and paste up on the server room wall. It looks impressive and points to initiative.
Make sure you've got a good filing system for the printer drivers.
It might be stepping on toes, but you could investigate cheaper toner cartridges for the business - that always impresses bosses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the information guys, I have some good news. We have set some plans in motion and I don't see me waiting for work much longer.

One of the servers we have setup we are not even using and we just bought 2 fire/water proof hard drive enclosures (isoSafe is the company). So the plan is take the unused server and put it down the block at our other building and do daily backups from it over there, and I will be able to test all backups on that server. The other harddrive enclosure will be doing nightly backups of our main building system. We looked into online backup's but a little too pricey for our operation here and at least this will be one off site solution. We only have about 600GB's total so it shouldn't be to bad, gonna be using eSata for transfer means.

Also we purchased a couple of seats for a web based program that couples with our database, so we are going to be going paperless. This is going to be a decent sized project, and I've already started going through our 200ish internal documents to see which are obsolete and start organizing a method of user friendly storage, and one that follows appropriate security measures through the program.

I was looking at trying to benchmark our current setup using perfmon, SQL profiler, some load generating tools, and excel/cleartrace to make sense of all the data, but have a question regarding that.

I could do this one application at a time on the server we are not using and than gauge those metrics against our real data, but just curious if you guys think this is worth time/effort? Would be some good information to have regarding our current performance, and great experience for myself at performance tuning. By the way about what I'm getting paid, I can't complain with it, probably a little low for network admin, but for area I live in it's not to bad, and I think I could get a raise if these projects go well and I can prove my worth.

Once I get these things rolling a bit more, I am definitely gonna do some more studying and get some cert's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
What i would do is learn your performance logs and security and lock down what you can if your the head admin create vlans watch who is accessing what going to which ever sites talkto your boss about the seriousness in backup write up a disaster recovery plan try and learn about your servers more and how to operate them assine AD rules for host better if needed there is alot to do then just sit there and surf facebook lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Do your know if the network is running the best switch configs? maby you need to add firewall rules? Check and see if any ACL are usfull? maby think about virtualization for some of the servers and run backup and one with a NAS
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top