The Best Sysadmin Articles of 2015 (So Far)

The first quarter of 2015 is already over and it’s time to take stock of what happened in the system administration world recently, what sysadmins are talking about and what lessons have been learned or ignored.

So without further ado, here’s a roundup of the top sysadmin posts of 2015, so far:

#1 80 Linux Monitoring Tools for SysAdmins

Well there’s no surprise why this one is #1 – a massive list of sysadmin monitoring apps & services! Actually the wording there could be misunderstood by some (yes I’m looking at you Mr NSA – don’t get too excited! 😉 ) – it’s not a list of tools for monitoring sysadmins, its tools to monitor all manner of systems, networks, logs and such like, a task every system administrator knows and loves.

The list includes all the well known names such as Nagios, MRTG, Zabbix, along with lots of command line tools and many many more, including several I’d never heard of before. Very handy!


#2 9 Things You’ll Love About vSphere 6.0

Apparently vSphere 6.0 from VMWare finally left beta and it came with a host of new features making it bigger and better than ever. The Lone Sysadmin covers nine such features in this informative article so if vSphere falls within your sphere then you’ll be wanting to see this.


#3 An NSA spy, a Fed and a Sysadmin walk into a bar – that’s Prez Obama’s new cyber-security order

In an effort to bolster security for networks and systems in America (and presumably those US Gov/Biz owned systems outside the US as well), Obama signed an executive order to facilitate two-way sharing of critical information between sysadmins and the government spooks. El Reg spills the beans in this article.


#4 Dream job: Sysadmin/F1 pit crew member with Red Bull racing

El Reg yet again, this time spilling the beans on what could very well be a dream job for some lucky sysadmin, working for the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team’s (IRBRT) Formula 1 team. Part of the job requires very fast reactions (it is F1 after all) and so you will be provided with a personal trainer and physiotherapist to ensure you are in tip top shape.. something which is perhaps not overly common amongst the typical sysadmin crowd.

This is not a typical job though so you’ll just have to take the bitter with the sweet. As long as you don’t end up working with the recently fired Clarkson, otherwise you’d also need to learn to roll with the punches.


#5 Sysadmin Vs Desarrolladores #programadorIO

In the number five spot we have this Spanish article and video from DesarrolloWeb which proves that there are actually sysadmins outside the English speaking world! Since I don’t actually speak Spanish I can’t comment much on the content or merits of this particular article but as it’s at #5 I have to assume it’s a good one!


#6 Securing File Servers: All You Need to Know

It’s highly likely that as a sysadmin you have at some time, and perhaps right now, had to manage a file server of some description. Having a server filled with precious files and the data contained therein, presents a nice juicy target for those with less than honorable intentions. Fortunately in the second action packed issue of Sysadmin Magazine, everything you want and need to know about securing your file servers is explained. Nicely done!


#7 Time for sysadmins to learn data science

Science is hard, not like MCSE hard, I mean really hard. It requires years of high level edumacation to make any sense of it all and then when you finally have that eureka moment, everyone tells you it’s all just a “theory” and not actually true at all or your hot but somewhat educationally challenged partner gets a job paying double what you earn and the really smart people did mathematics anyway.

However, Sysadmins are often found to be managing vast amounts of data – storing it, crunching it, moving it around and taking actions based on it and this is where Data Science steps in to rescue us from information overload. All of a sudden we can make “data driven” decisions & applications, predict and detect problems before they become disasters, be more efficient, more effective, become masters (or doctors) of data!


#8 Australian sysadmins cop brunt of data-retention burden

Speaking of massive quantities of data – way down under, Aussie sysadmins are being faced with the prospect of a relentless tidal wave of new data and related issues as a result of the governments mandatory data-retention legislation. According to ZDNet, there appears to be something of a divide between those who oppose and those who support this legislation.


#9 Why Use SD Cards For VMware ESXi?

The Lone Sysadmin makes the top list again with this controversial (to some) post about using SSD cards in servers. He provides a well reasoned argument in favor and there’s some good discussion at the end.


#10 Surface Pro 3 update has so much new stuff for sysadmins, we can’t fit it all in one headline

Just squeeking into the top 10 is The Reg with this article on the latest update to the “fondleslabs” (have to admit that’s the first time I’ve seen that name.. maybe I need to get out more) which provides a wealth of new features to make life easier for the always overworked and sometimes underpaid IT Department.


#11 Open Source SysAdmin Resources

The good folks at n0where published this “list of amazingly awesome open source sysadmin resources”, even if they do say so themselves. 😉 I tend to agree though as there’s loads of handy links included covering everything from web servers to monitoring, configuration management, security, ticketing, editors and much much more! Well worth a bookmark.


#12 SharePoint Security with SysAdmin Magazine

Sysadmin Magazine is back with more important security stuff, this time all about SharePoint, so if you’re into SharePoint or planning to swing that way at some point then you should go check out this guide.


#13 Is the Sysadmin Dead? Linux Systems Administration and Management in the Age of the Cloud

The chaps at LinuxIT ask “Is the Sysadmin Dead?” and personally I rather hope not, but if he is then I would hope they at least remove the body from the datacenter before it starts to smell, or turns to a zombie – we sysadmins dislike zombies more than most! No doubt the DevOps crowd will have a tool for resurrecting and/or duplicating the dead soon anyway…


#14 Latest ESXi Turns Off Transparent Page Sharing, So Watch Your RAM

I suppose one advantage to being a lone sysadmin is that there’s nobody around to see you writing articles for your blog instead of working and perhaps that explains why The Lone Sysadmin has yet again made it into the top 20! That and perhaps also because he has some interesting and useful sysadmin articles.. 😉


#15 Ridiculous things sysadmins go through

Sysadmins and Helpdesk people certainly come across some odd questions and bizarre situations but honestly who here hasn’t turned their monitor upside down to make the picture right?? 😉


#16 Sysadmin Casts – Episode #44: Patching the GHOST glibc gethostbyname CVE-2015-0235 bug

Not much can be said about this one -it’s a screencast all about patching the CVE-2015-0235 bug so if that’s something you still didn’t do, then you should probably watch this and then get patching.


#17 A new one on me – user physically attacked me this morning

Technically this was posted last year on Reddit but it is still popular enough this year to stay in the top 20 – no doubt everyone is just completely gobsmacked about the MySpace reference.. I mean really?! MySpace?? Oh yeah and that knife thing… but MySpace?!


#18 SysAdminBoard – El sueño de todo SysAdmin

Well this one starts off in Spanish (I think) but don’t be fooled as it soon changes to English if you scroll a bit further down the page. How cool is that wall mounted panel filled with all sorts of charts and stuff?? I’m always partial to some fancy visualizations in the workplace, the more the merrier. I’m assuming the one shown is the “sysadmin board” referenced in the title – hopefully it is also equipped with a “boss key” to quickly switch between important looking work data and the latest episode of Game of Thrones, because winter is coming.


#19 Microsoft Virtual Academy : Les nouveaux cours français (SysAdmin, Windows 10, Intune, Azure, BYOD…)

If you’re French, or at least speak that language, and are of the sysadmin persuasion, then this may well interest you – a course from Microsoft Virtual Academy for sysadmins, covering Windows 10 , Azure, Windows Server migration and more. C’est Bon!


#20 Deduplication & Write Once, Read Many

Oops.. thats gotta hurt, in more ways than one.

So there you have it, the SysOps quarterly roundup of the top Sysadmin articles on the web so far in 2015 – read them, share them (and this!), comment there and if I missed any good ones – let me know!

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