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NewsForge: The Fifth Commandment of System Administration

May 25, 2005, 05:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Warshawsky)

"If you're a good administrator, you pride yourself on developing a fundamental understanding of the systems you build. After a while, as you begin to comprehend the complete complexity that goes along with building and maintaining your infrastructure, the commands and procedures to control them become second nature. You have to look at the documentation less and less, until eventually people refer to you as a guru. Having this kind of understanding of your servers is important, but it does no good if you aren't available when something crashes. By creating detailed written policies detailing the ins and outs of your systems in advance, you can provide critical background information to your backup admin who can use it to restore functionality in your absence.

"V. Thou shalt document complete and effective policies and procedures..."

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