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Skills in Technical Administration

Administrators normally work on a server as opposed to many workstations. The server often supports many workstations though. This means that administration relatively requires less people contact, having said that - it does not imply it. An administration consultant may work mostly with people when consulting is the type of business.

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Server Administration

Server Administrators are responsible for maintaining the servers which keep computer networks together. Servers are used to centralise networking functions like email, internet, backups and security.

There are mainly two types of server operating systems: Microsoft (Windows Server, Terminal Server, Small Business Server etc.) and UNIX (SOLARIS, HP, AIX etc.) / LINUX (Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu etc.).

Database Administration

Databases form the basis of any IT Information system. Consisting of tables which were designed by the application designers, they are residing in a physical database which has to be maintained and monitored by the Technical Database Administrator. The DBA is responsible for the database installation, software version updates, resource usage on the server, performance, tuning, backups and more.

The main databases in the industry nowadays include relational databases like Microsoft SQL Server, ORACLE, SYBASE, MYSQL, DB2 etc. Older generation are still widely used like ADABAS.


ERP Administration

These administrators specialise in the administration of a enterprise - wide software product with multiple users. Issues like application deployment, physical installation and update control, user security etc. In the case of SAP, security and authorisations are such an important subset, that it is a subset of SAP Basis Administration.

Examples of ERP products which require full-time administrators are : SAP R/3 Basis administration, LOTUS NOTES administration, SIEBEL Customer Relationship Management administration.


Career Development in Technical Administration

A typical career path in technical administration would start as a Desktop (PC / Workstation) Support Technician who specialised in the technical upkeep of end user PC's.

If the person is technically inclined, he / she would proceed to Server Administration. If more people inclined, he / she might decide to go into sales of IT infrastructure.

A small local area network would normally need one or two servers to support up to 50 workstations. A Server Administrator would then proceed to administering multiple servers of his company and if then maybe to a consulting environment where he will support other server administrators in client companies.

A server administrator could proceed to become a Database Administrator or an ERP administrator of a company. If employed by a consulting company, he / she might also support in-house administrators in companies.

Remember the word 'Consultant' should only be used when a company sells it's services to other companies. The person interfacing to the clients of such a company will be called a consultant and the person receiving the services in the buying company, is an In-house Administrator.

Typical job names found in the server administration field is: UNIX Systems Administrator, UNIX Server Administrator, LINUX Systems Administrator, LINUX Server Administrator, RHCE, LINUX Red Hat Certified Engineer, LPI (Linux Professional Institute) Technician, LPI Engineer, Microsoft Systems Administrator, MCSE, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Active Directory Administrator, MS Exchange Administrator.

Typical job names found in the database administration field is: