A systems administrator, or SysAdmin, is a person who is responsible for the upkeep, configuration and reliable operation of computer systems, networks and high functioning computers, such as servers. The systems administrator seeks to ensure that the uptime, performance, resources and security of the computers he or she manages meet the needs of the users, without exceeding the budget. To meet these needs, a systems administrator may acquire, install, or upgrade computer components and software; automate routine tasks; troubleshoot; train and/or supervise staff; and provide technical support.
Perhaps the most important skill for a systems administrator is problem solving—frequently under various sorts of constraints and stress. The SysAdmin is on call when a computer system goes down or malfunctions, and must be able to quickly and correctly diagnose what is wrong and how best to fix it. They may also need to have teamwork and communication skills; as well as being able to install and configure hardware and software.
Systems administrators are not software engineers or developers. It is not usually within their duties to design or write new application software. However, SysAdmins must understand the behavior of software in order to deploy it and to troubleshoot problems, and generally know several programming languages used for scripting or automation of routine tasks.
Since networks are an important part of business, network and computer systems administrators are needed as firms invest more in new technologies. Systems administrators are needed to help organizations use technology to communicate with consumers, clients, and fellow employees. The need for information security will also drive the need for network and computer systems administrators.
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