The system administrator in an unapproachable company. The unbearable burden of being?

    Being a system administrator in a small company not from the IT sphere is another adventure. The head considers you a parasite, employees in bad times - the deity of the network and hardware, in good times - as a lover of beer and tanks, accounting - as an application to 1C, and the whole company as a driver for the successful operation of printers. While you are dreaming of a good Tsisk, and not a whistle-box of Iota for organizing a corporate access point, they are already methodically preparing a new dirty trick: a virus from the home collection, crooked hands wound on a wire (or vice versa), a game on a production server, unlicensed Photoshop and download the whole new series to watch on the way in traffic. Oh yes, they also asked to fix the electric kettle. It’s not up to Kubernetes and DevOps to survive, survive and get out of this raid by the boss. Oh, pah, do KPI and don’t die. Allegorical? Well no,

    Non-IT Companies: Guys at Risk

    Small and medium-sized businesses not from the IT sphere sometimes use the achievements of this same IT sphere carefully, casually and with a great deal of skepticism - it’s not enough what this software will do on that server, and then remove it after us, repair wiring ... And, oddly enough, relations with system administrators are very different, and they determine how effective the company is, how it approaches customer management and whether it survives in the market in principle. We list the possible combinations.

    • The company does not have a system administrator; all work is carried out by employees or an enikey who receives a call. In this case, the threats are obvious: simple in work processes, excessive costs due to the randomness and often urgency of service, security holes, lack of IT infrastructure as such. In fact, the principle of "every admin is working for itself" works, and the only thing that makes you think about technology is a failure in telephony or the Internet.
    • The company has its own enike on salary - a student, a novice system administrator or a very unfortunate developer. In this case, much depends on the diligence and interest of the responsible, but most often it is limited to solving basic tasks and minimizing the life support of IT processes in the company. Infrastructure, as a rule, is out of the question.

    Prepare the cooling system correctly

    • The company has a programmer, he is a typro programmer, he is also a system administrator. The option is slightly better than the previous one, if only because the programmer easily copes with setting up, configuring, and even finalizing corporate software (for example, 1C or CRM), and, as a developer, automates its activities using scripts, cmdlets, etc. The main problem in this situation is the employee overload, the second problem is the superficial fulfillment of the duties of the system administrator (relatively speaking, why would he love to build the topology of a small network for the company, when heaps of requests for uploading data or finalizing another business software hang on it? Does it work, does not fall - and ok, let them say thanks.).
    • The company does not have a system administrator, but an agreement has been concluded with an outsourcing company. This is a good option for small and medium-sized businesses: experienced guys (you will not save and find an outsourcer by an ad on the porch?) Are responsible for IT infrastructure, and you sit on a subscription and breathe freely (well, or sit on a one-time hourly fee and breathe not so free anymore). There are many pluses: efficiency, experience, best tools, responsibility. There are no fewer minuses: expensive, strictly regulated scope of work (a little more - pay), the imposition of services and software (for example, RegionSoft CRM would suit you, because business processes, planning, KPI and the primary are important to you, and Romashka CRM will be sold to you without all this, but because Romashka-Soft LLC unfastens the dealer interest to the outsourcer), surcharges for urgency in case of force majeure and for the complexity of major changes in the company.
    • The company has a good, experienced CIO-level system administrator - The person who is responsible for the development of the entire IT infrastructure. This is logical, convenient, but quite rare. It is always available, the entire infrastructure is in the same hands, it is responsible for physical and information security, it is actively involved in business processes and from the inside knows how to optimize costs and what the business really needs. However, for some reason, the leadership of small companies believes that it is unprofitable to maintain such an administrator, while forgetting that they not only give money, but at the same time pay for the stability of equipment and software, security, the availability of quick solutions to incidents, qualified communication with vendors, and the absence of problems with licensing and so on. In the IT sector, this is understood much better (in fairness - not always).

    At the same time, in such companies there are a number of problems that should be addressed, otherwise you can get into unplanned costs, fines or inefficient work.

    • Difficulties with the organization of infrastructure - you need to strike a balance between requirements, quality, economy and convenience. At the same time, management can even consider IT a fashionable chip, and not an essential tool.
    • High equipment costs. Indeed, the purchase of equipment, a server, updating the fleet of working machines is a tangible waste for a small company.
    • Difficulties with the implementation and support of business software. We need an internal expertise that will help to do this correctly, in accordance with the requirements and business processes (which may also not be).
    • Low speed of fixing problems: either the outsourcer requires money for urgency, or the admin is overloaded with tasks, or problems are identified late. And if you also need to find some resource, consider everything, are stuck.

    By the way, we’ll immediately make a reservation about outsourcing so that no one considers it a magic pill for everything.

    And we are pleased to announce that we have released a simple, fast, easy-to-learn help desk ZEDLine Support - a cloud service designed to process your customers' requests. So that your client can ask a question to the customer service, he only needs to register with the service. Immediately after registration, the client will be able to create calls (tickets) that will arrive at your company.

    Sysadmin or outsourcing - which is better?

    A question that worries many companies. We tried to analyze prices and draw conclusions.

    We went to the websites of Moscow IT outsourcers of the standard category (not large system integrators and not famous offices), calculated on their website calculators the average price tag for admin duties based on the configuration of 15 people and 1 server. The spread turned out to be colossal, from 6300 to “hoo, that’s not what we do,” but the average cost per month was 19,700 rubles. with 2 planned visits, a minimum of 1C. The median salary of the system administrator according to the My Circle service is 70 thousand rubles, according to - 35 - 50 thousand rubles, according to our data for the indicated sphere - 40 - 50 thousand rubles. Let us dwell on moderately optimistic 60 thousand rubles. In the normal month, 176 slaves. hours, a total of 340 p. / hour. “Why do you count the clock, since the stump is clear that 60,000 are more than 19,700 ?!” - perhaps one of the readers will think. But why. If the basic package of services dramatically ceases to solve the company's problems, outsourcers have an average price of 1,200 rubles per hour for basic services and 1,800 rubles per hour for server services (almost all with a reservation of at least 2 hours). That is, an outsourcer is cheaper exactly up to the first extraordinary case (which happens pretty soon).

    In addition, the outsourcer with a high degree of probability will not be at all or will be at an additional cost:

    • collect requirements and communicate with the vendor when implementing enterprise software;
    • work with peripherals, consumables and every flash drive;
    • solve various cloud problems and butt with the provider for compliance with SLA;
    • Help with personal questions to employees and, most importantly, management;
    • not just make backups, but also test them;
    • solve security problems if they arise due to the human factor or are a fact of unlawful behavior of employees.

    In fact, this list is easy to continue, because outsourcers see most of the services “beyond the package”, and it would be strange to blame them - only business.

    Your system administrator in the state is a professional who will know the entire infrastructure, ensure security, work with users and you can ask him because he is professionally responsible. But this does not mean that it needs to be turned into a slave lamp server and network.

    And he also has a figurative understanding of the ring of omnipotence.

    Let's look at what is included in the tasks of a system administrator in an unwritten small and medium-sized company.

    The duty of the system administrator in the company

    He really owes

    • Provide network and information security. We, as a developer of security-sensitive software, CRM systems, we know about the problem firsthand. This, of course, is the topic of the entire hub, “Information Security,” but in general there are several basic tasks. First of all, it is necessary to configure user security policies and provide “protection from the fool” in order to minimize the impact of employees on the IT system. Next, protect your business data, customer base and processes: configure a firewall, use intrusion detection systems, etc. In corporate systems, such as CRM, it is necessary to configure the separation of access rights, provide backup and verification of backups, if necessary, use additional security measures, for example, a physical USB key for access, etc. A separate huge task is managing passwords and access to all systems, antispam mail protection, antiviruses, etc. In order not to miss anything, draw the whole network, Mark weaknesses and potential gaps and proceed to protect them. Well, a banal advice: remember, the main security hole sits in front of each monitor.
    • Create a streamlined office IT infrastructure. Infrastructure should be connected, stable, stable. It should not be a combination of disparate machines, devices, and networks - largely because a logical and unified structure is easier to maintain, monitor, and administer.
    • Maintain cloud services. It’s only cloud vendors who say “set and forget”. No, well, if you are ready to store your data in a public cloud, then yes, it is, your only interface (as long as you rent it). And so the cloud requires management, configuration, security (the same backups). Therefore, it is better to choose your cloud server, configure policies and configuration for yourself, and then roll services.
    • Support users and solve their technical problems as part of work tasks. The system administrator must create and configure user profiles when applying for a job, manage policies, kill or archive entries after the dismissal of an employee. In the process of work, an important (in many ways key) task is to work with incidents, preferably in some ticket system, so that all knowledge and data are stored centrally, and tasks and problems are described as accurately as possible.
    • Plan infrastructure development and provide data for budgeting (budget yourself). This is a mandatory point, because any costs for small and medium-sized businesses (read - the owner) is a very painful thing. The more practical, accurate and more rational you plan and calculate the budget, the higher the likelihood of convincing management and modernizing the infrastructure. Although there is no sadder story in the world than a story about a full budget :-)
    • Maintain the smooth operation of the Internet, IP-telephony and telephony (if required), create access points. Ideally, if you will do this using professional routers, because it is safe, stable and functional.
    • Keep equipment in good order and in good condition, provide the minimum necessary replacement fund. The issue of equipment in business is always acute: it must work perfectly, be professional, withstand the load (a tiny advertising business can kill a printer on one primary documentation in a matter of months), be so modern as to solve current problems (yes, it’s not necessary to buy an HPE server , but all the characteristics should correspond to the current year, and not be used from 2008, although in principle modern used servers are a good option). Try not to save on key equipment and choose business-class equipment that will last 3-5 years. If you buy the "home" version, you can overpay due to frequent replacement. Form a replacement fund based on the number of incidents and depreciation, so that there are no downtime in the work. Although, again, everything depends on the budget: a replacement fund is very difficult to break through when "well, it works."  
    • To buy and store peripherals and consumables in the amount necessary for uninterrupted operation. A trifle that needs to be strictly monitored.
    • Work with the vendor in the process of implementing software. As our experience of implementing RegionSoft CRM shows , the admin vendor is not always an ally - who wants to take another business-critical software on board, and even train employees, work on implementation in conjunction with engineers, etc. However, everything should be exactly the opposite: firstly, you will automate your users and avoid part of the routine, secondly, you will receive a client base protection tool and you will sleep more peacefully, thirdly, this is another skill and an important hook to in which case, to stay at work, because without Word or without mail without spam, users will exist normally, but without CRM their work will roll back to the Stone Age (well, let's joke, joke, it just becomes a crowded routine again and unsafe from the point of view of the client base).
    • Ensure licensed cleanliness and timely update of the entire software fleet, optimize the number of required licenses based on business objectives. Everything is extremely simple here: there should not be pirated licenses, there should not be extra licenses. If the manager insists on unlicensed software, try to show him the law enforcement practice, tell about the amount of fines and cases of landing. Usually impressive the first time.
    • Document your work. There are many goals in this action: transferring knowledge to the future generation (alas, or fortunately, sooner or later you will outgrow your position), turning to your own practices, accounting system. Thanks to documentation, you can reduce the time it takes to solve work problems, analyze work and learn to anticipate and prevent potential problems. By the way, documenting your own work is also an excellent document to show your real work.
    • Make backups. We traditionally take this item as a separate one, although it is nothing more than a part of information security. Only for some reason everyone either forgets to do them, or they do and “put them on the shelf”, which is fundamentally wrong. It is necessary to configure the frequency of backup creation, develop a backup strategy and test backups. Otherwise, consider what you did, what not - by chance. Once upon a time we came across an excellent wording: "If you do not check the backups, you do not have backups." It should be printed and hung in a prominent place.
    • Train employees, explain the rules for using infrastructure components, conduct educational program on information and physical security.

    Well, in general, a good system administrator is an adherent of automation, not a fighter with it. This is where professionalism begins.

    He doesn’t have to (although he can)

    • Being an errand boy and performing secretary duties: ordering food and water, cleaning coolers, ordering forms, receiving and sending paper mail, sorting documents for approval, phoning customers and so on.
    • Repair a coffee machine, a marketer's bike, a salesman’s car, wash a cappuccino machine, change taps, clean blockages, etc.
    • To be a programmer and modify or develop software that is not related to the profile of his activity.
    • Manage cleaners, movers, warehouses and storekeepers, etc.
    • Solve personal issues of employees (repair and configure personal gadgets, process photos, download software and books).
    • Provide a corporate globe for the personal needs of employees.

    Well, and, probably, there is a border duty - ensuring physical security. Yes, in small and medium-sized businesses, in the absence of a security service, its responsibilities are assigned to the system administrator.

    What does a system administrator get in a non-IT company?

    On the nerves . In the brain . Lyuley . The highest salary in the market . Today's labor market for system administrators has undergone great changes: you can study microservices, Docker, Kubernetes, DevOps, DevSecOps, develop practice and reach a high level of income. So is it worth it to start in a small, and even non-IT business? Is this a career suicide?


    1. Work in such companies provides an invaluable skill - a vision of the business as a whole. You do not just deal with your narrow front of work, you go through great practice and see all the processes in conjunction with the IT infrastructure, in fact you are on the client side and in the future this will give a huge plus to you as a specialist.
    2. Small companies do not have standards - you won’t be forced to suffer from ISO, write endless forms and regulations, work on strictly defined equipment, use only those providers that are recommended by the technical director, etc.
    3. You can allow yourself certain experiments (only not during working hours and not on a live system) and try out some schemes and innovations that you yourself designed. In large companies, this is difficult to coordinate.
    4. You are solely responsible for the whole complex of software and hardware, cover all tasks and understand all the connections.


    1. The responsibilities of a system administrator are often combined with the responsibilities of a support service.
    2. Often there are universal tasks: receiving goods, security and video surveillance tasks.
    3. There is a career ceiling: there is nowhere to grow especially, you will be pumped as part of the business requirements of the company, but do not master new horizontal skills if they are not in demand by the company.

    In general, this is an interesting start and an interesting job for experienced professionals, so do not neglect such vacancies: competition is lower, and future skills are more valuable. In any case, this is a comprehensive practice that will do good service to your career.

    It is impossible not to say about the important aspect - the moral. When a manager does not delve into IT issues and considers them not as an investment, but as a waste, it’s hard to work - sometimes it seems like you are breaking against armored glass. You need to speak his language - the language of benefits. But employees in such companies like system administrators :-)

    And one more tip from a real and sad story. Perhaps not very fair advice. If an employee is actively fulfilling your duties, try to stop this process. The management always strives for optimization and may refuse the work of the system administrator. By the way, you can agree and offer your services on outsourcing, thereby starting your business.

    History.In one IT company there was a system administrator who solved strictly admin tasks, worked responsibly and was generally well done. At some point, the administrator of the commercial service decided to survive (billing, payments, license generation, setting up test and demo stands) - he was able to convince the director that he was ready to take on the duties of a colleague for 50% of his salary, he began to catch on the little things, follow behind that, at home or in the dining room, for example. Employees stood behind the admin wall, but he was fired by a decision of his will. However, the winner did not last long either - he became noticeably worse at doing all the work, and in the end he was fired. Although life did not teach the leader anything: the responsibilities of the guys are spread out by developers and testers, as a result, at a major meeting of partners, a burned-out projector, a dropped network and an unpaid service for webinars were waiting.

    What to use in the work and be sure to do?

    Each system administrator chooses his own set of tools with which he likes to work, so you can not make any kind of universal list. We will name several tools that are often found or among which you need to choose something of your own.

    • Infrastructure monitoring system - there are paid ones, open source ones, the main thing is that you can always monitor the network, users, equipment and the state of the software (something like an ITSM system). Comprehensive monitoring is a business requirement for any business with a web presence because a system failure reduces revenue.
    • The system for registering requests and incidents (ticket system) is a system in which users (employees) will enter problems and tasks, and you can mark the stages, time, resources, and the result of the work. For example, we have a proprietary solution with a web interface. The system documents what requests are received, when and by whom. It also documents a client agreement that the request has been completed. On the net you can find many similar paid and free apps.
    • Notepad ++ is the perfect syntax-highlighted notepad for configuration, code, scripts, and more. The most convenient editor.
    • Wireshark is a traffic analyzer software for Ethernet computer networks. It helps to analyze all packages, find the necessary ones, detect anomalies, remove dumps.
    • Set up a network inventory system (for example, Spiceworks) - it will additionally help you track incidents and suspicious activities.
    • It is advisable to explore the possibilities of using scripts to automate system administration tasks: Bash, Perl, Python, PowerShell. This will free up a lot of time, especially if the company undergoes frequent changes or it grows (the number of users changes or increases), there are business tasks that depend on the state of the infrastructure component (virtual PBX settings, backup, etc.).
    • If you are installing an external business software, ask the vendor about the possibilities and ways to integrate, administer and manage new software. For example, in RegionSoft we have a RegionSoft Application Server for creating custom scripts, scheduled backups, data exchange, etc. Application Server solves a number of tasks that are functionally important for the CRM system and greatly simplifies administration.

    By the way, what tools do you use? Tell us about the experience in the comments.

    The system administrator is no longer a dude with a beard in a sweater and with Baltic under the table. Today it is the guide of the company into the world of efficiency, quick work and cost reduction in the long run. This is an employee who is not worth saving on, and a professional who is always in development (otherwise, after a year, he will not understand where he is). So, it's time to forget the jokes from bashorg and develop IT infrastructure in order to be ahead in two buildings and conquer the market, customers, profit with the help of digital tools, rather than brandishing a stone ax. Nobody is afraid of him.

    From June 10 to 23, we have the action 13 years of RegionSoft CRM. Forget superstition - thanks for the trust! ” with favorable purchase conditions and discounts.

    Also popular now: