"We've seen the terms "system administration" and "network
administration," in the title of this column for example. There are
some obvious system administration tasks, such as installing or
upgrading system software like the kernel or libraries and managing
user accounts and disks space, so you probably have some idea of
what a system administrator does. What does a network administrator
do, and how do you differentiate between system administration and
network administration? Bear with me while I think out loud on
the subject, and perhaps we'll have some idea by the end of this
"In a small environment, the difference is fairly moot -- the
same person or team will probably fill both roles anyway. In large
IT environments, perhaps a large web-hosting company or a large
ASP, the question has relevance. There will be enough work to have
teams of systems administrators and teams of network
administrators, and at some time it will be necessary to work out
who is going to do what, to what, and when."
"I'm not going to attempt to define the role of the network
administrator in this column. Instead I'll share my thoughts on the
subject and add a dash of the larger context of telecommunications
management in the hope that you might make some sense of it."
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