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
"V. Thou shalt document complete and effective policies and