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A system administrator

A system administrator, IT systems administrator, systems administrator, or sysadmin is a person employed to maintain and operate a computer system and/or network. System administrators may be members of an information technology (IT) or Electronics and Communication Engineering department.

The duties of a system administrator are wide-ranging, and vary widely from one organization to another. Sysadmins are usually charged with installing, supporting and maintaining servers or other computer systems, and planning for and responding to service outages and other problems. Other duties may include scripting or light programming, project management for systems-related projects, supervising or training computer operators, and being the consultant for computer problems beyond the knowledge of technical support staff. To perform his or her job well, a system administrator must demonstrate a blend of technical skills and responsibility.

The subject matter of system administration includes computer systems and the ways people use them in an organization. This entails knowledge of operating systems and applications, as well as hardware and software troubleshooting, but also knowledge of the purposes for which people in the organization use the computers.

Unlike many other professions, there is no single path to becoming a system administrator. Many system administrators have a degree in a related field: computer science, information technology, computer engineering, information system management, or even a trade school program.

One of the primary difficulties with teaching system administration as a formal university discipline is that the industry and technology changes much faster than the typical textbook and coursework certification process. By the time a new textbook has spent years working through approvals and committees, the specific technology for which it is written may have changed significantly or become obsolete.

In addition, because of the practical nature of system administration and the easy availability of open-source server software, many system administrators enter the field self-taught.

Many organizations staff other jobs related to system administration. In a larger company, these may all be separate positions within a computer support or Information Services (IS) department. In a smaller group they may be shared by a few sysadmins, or even a single person.

A database administrator (DBA) maintains a database system, and is responsible for the integrity of the data and the efficiency and performance of the system.

A network administrator maintains network infrastructure such as switches and routers, and diagnoses problems with these or with the behavior of network-attached computers.

A security administrator is a specialist in computer and network security, including the administration of security devices such as firewalls, as well as consulting on general security measures.

A web administrator maintains web server services (such as Apache or IIS) that allow for internal or external access to web sites. Tasks include managing multiple sites, administering security, and configuring necessary components and software. Responsibilities may also include software change management.

Technical support staff responds to individual users' difficulties with computer systems, provide instructions and sometimes training, and diagnose and solve common problems.

A computer operator performs routine maintenance and upkeep, such as changing backup tapes or replacing failed drives in a RAID. Such tasks usually require physical presence in the room with the computer; and while less skilled than sysadmin tasks require a similar level of trust, since the operator has access to possibly sensitive data.

A postmaster is the administrator of a mail server.

In some organizations, a person may begin as a member of technical support staff or a computer operator, then gain experience on the job to be promoted to a sysadmin position.



IV. Answer the Questions.

1.What is a system administrator?

2.What are the duties of a sysadmin?

3.Why is it difficult to teach sysadmins?

4.What are the directions of sysadmin’s work?

5.What is the subject matter of system administration?


V. Match the English words with their Russian equivalents.

1. computer-aided systems 2. design engineering department 3. for-profit organizations 4. information systems administration 5. IT-equipment 6. major 7. software 8. software development 9. software maintenance a. автоматизированные системы b. администрирование информационных систем c. вычислительная техника d. коммерческие структуры e. конструкторское бюро f. математическое обеспечение g. профилирующая дисциплина h. разработка программного обеспечения i. сопровождение программного обеспечения

VI. Read the text and answer the questions.

1.What does “Mathematical software and information systems administration” include as an area of science and technology?

2.What subjects are junior students normally taught?

3.What do senior students study?

4.What is the role of foreign languages in training future IT specialists?

5.Which subjects do students study to master the world of computer technologies?

6.Where can the graduates of the “Mathematical software…” program get a job?


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