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Duties of a system administrator

I. Topical Vocabulary.

log ‒ регистрация, запись; журнал регистрации

issue ‒ расхождение, несоответствие

audit ‒ проверка

backup ‒ резервная копия

reset ‒ восстанавливать

query ‒ вопрос

tuning ‒ настройка

ensure ‒ гарантировать

demarcation ‒ разграничение


II. Pre-reading discussion.

1.Do you think the responsibilities of sysadmins are similar or different in large and small companies?

2.Where is it more difficult to work as a sysadmin in a large company or in a small one?


III. Read and Translate the Text.


A system administrator's responsibilities

A system administrator's responsibilities might include:

ü Analyzing system logs and identifying potential issues with computer systems.

ü Introducing and integrating new technologies into existing data center environments.

ü Performing routine audits of systems and software.

ü Performing backups.

ü Applying operating system updates, patches, and configuration changes.

ü Installing and configuring new hardware and software.

ü Adding, removing, or updating user account information, resetting passwords, etc.

ü Answering technical queries and dealing with often frustrated users.

ü Responsibility for security.

ü Responsibility for documenting the configuration of the system.

ü Troubleshooting any reported problems.

ü System performance tuning.

ü Ensuring that the network infrastructure is up and running.

In larger organizations, some tasks listed above may be divided among different system administrators or members of different organizational groups. For example, a dedicated individual(s) may apply all system upgrades, a Quality Assurance (QA) team may perform testing and validation, and one or more technical writers may be responsible for all technical documentation written for a company.

In smaller organizations, the system administrator can also perform any number of duties elsewhere associated with other fields:

ü Technical support

ü Database administrator (DBA)

ü Network administrator/analyst/specialist

ü Application analyst

ü Security administrator

ü Programmer

System administrators, in larger organizations, tend not to be system architects, system engineers, or system designers. However, like many roles in this field, demarcations between system administration and other technical roles often are not well defined in smaller organizations. Even in larger organizations, senior system administrators often have skills in these other areas as a result of their working experience.

In smaller organizations, IT/computing specialties are less often discerned in detail, and the term system administrator is used in a rather generic way ‒ they are the people who know how the computer systems work and can respond when something fails.

IV. Answer the questions.

1.What are the main responsibilities of a sysadmin?

2.The duties of system administrators and system engineers are the same, aren’t they?

3.Were you right answering the question about the responsibilities of sysadmins in large and small companies?


V. Max is an IT major. Read his letter to his American friend and put the verbs in the brackets into correct tense forms.

Hi, Alex!

How are you doing?

Terribly sorry for my long silence, but really I _______ (to be) too busy to write… The whole June I _________________ (to take) exams at my college. I’m so proud to say that by July I _________ (to be) successfully through with them. And now I’m a second year student!

As a first year student I mostly _________ (to learn) general educational subjects – history, culture studies, math, English, PT… stuff like that. Now I __________ (to face) a difficult semester as we ___________ (to go) to study some special subjects, such as, programming, computer software, computer simulation, information systems management and others. So as you see the study __________ (to get) harder and harder each year and I ____________ (to have to) spend a lot of time getting ready for seminars and labs. But that’s OK! I __________ (to look) forward to getting down to my major since I ____________ (to enter) my college. You know, my dad ___________ (to graduate) from this college some years ago and I ________________ (to follow) in his footsteps, so I’m greatly interested in mastering my future profession. I ____________ (to plan) also to participate in the students’ research conference this semester. Last year I _____________ (to have) such an experience – I ___________ (to make)a report on IT terminology for the Language Studies conference. I’m sure the university _______________ (to provide) me with all the necessary facilities for achieving my goals.

You know, in the 3rd year, after we ____________ (to study) special subjects and (to work) in specialized laboratories, we ________ (to take) a professional training as IT specialists at some city enterprises and companies. In the 5th year we ______________ (to be to) submit a graduation paper. So, according to our major we ___________ (to be able) to work as computer specialists at any institution. And if I ____________ (to graduate) successfully I _______________ (to have) a chance to apply for a job in a big foreign IT company. So I _____________ (to go) to continue learning English so that not to fail my interview.

Best wishes,



VI. Work in pairs: you are Max and his friend. Ask and answer the questions.

1)ask Max if he has passed his first year exams successfully;

2)ask Max if it is difficult for him to study;

3)ask Max which of the special subjects interests him most;

4)ask Max if he takes part in scientific research work;

5)ask Max if he has started working at his graduation paper;

6)ask Max what his major is;

7)ask Max if he has already made up his mind where to work;

8)ask Max if he is planning to continue to learn English after the 2nd year of studies.


VII. Prepare a report “SYSADMIN”.


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