A Day in the Life of a Network Admin

Here is a little incite to what a day in the life of a network admin can be. This is from one day last week, but it is typical of most days. My day will start at 4:30AM most mornings and end anywhere form 8:00PM to Midnight. It all depends on how much work I have scheduled or any problems that I find while doing my checks. Read on to see what a typical day is like.

The first thing I do everyday is to check the uptime monitors on all the servers. If I see no problems I check my email and reply to any requests for services. If there are problems I login to the server to troubleshoot. If the problem is causing probems with access to any sites I’ll make a change to DNS to point the domains on the server to the backup server so I can troubleshoot without effecting my users. Once I get a handle on what is wrong I’ll fix it. If it is a hardware problem then I’ll start a ticket a my host and track the ticket throghout the day. Once I get notified things are fixed I undo the DNS edit. If the problems was on one of the database servers then I will sync the data before I change DNS to make sure nothing is lost.

On a normal morning with no problems this takes abot an hour. I do this before anything else so  if everything is fine I’ll take a shower and go for breakfast before starting the rest of the day. After that it’s time to check all the sites, replying to threads, checking for new submissions and interacting with the users.

On days when I have scheduled maintenance I’ll start to prepare for the process. If it is a server level software upgrade, php or mysql for example, I’ll post downtime messages on all sites and notify the admins/moderators. I do these types of upgrades laIe night or early morning and always give everyone at least 2 days notice. I’ll then do the prep work. Download what I need to the server, setup the batch files to automate the process and then take the server offline. If downtime will be long say if I am going to upgrade the OS on the server then I will change DNS and point affected sites to the backup servers. I rarely do OS level upgrades. My thinking on OS level upgrades is if you have to upgrade chances are the server has been online for a while and the hardware is dated so why not upgrade to a new server with the new OS? I will normally just add a new server to the network and move sites to it and then take the old server offline. After all prep work is done I’ll go work on client requests. If my workload for the day is small after I finish I’ll relax for a couple hours and then do the upgrades later in the night.

This is a typical day and depending on the amount of client work I have it could be anywhere from 10 to 18 hour day. If major problems arise it could be a continueous arround the clock day.

The life of an admin is never boring.

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