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Do I need a Network Administrator

By aprybyl ·
Are there any rules or guidelines that will tell me when I need to hire an Onsite Network Administrator for my company?

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Size and level of distribution

by Admin-Stuart In reply to Do I need a Network Admin ...

There are many areas and indicators that can point to the need of dedicated administration of a network, but a few to consider are:

Type of network: Is it a client/server or peer-to-peer network? What is the size of the network? Are resources centralized or distributed and controlled at individual workstations? More centralization, more need for centralized (perhaps dedicated) administration.

Security: Is there a compelling need for a security structure, or is open unsecured sharing OK. Do you have an exposure outside your local network, such as a web server running? More need for security and monitoring, more need for centralized administration of it.

Future changes: Does your company forsee and plan for future expansion of the network or future connectivity to other networks not in place now?

Knowledge level: Do you and the key operators in your network feel comfortable with your current level of knowledge in administering your network and leveraging its capabilities to achieve maximum productivity? Do you feel you are successfully staying current with technologies that impact and offer improvement to that productivity.

Just a couple of things to start off thinking about.

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I'm in 90% agreement but...

by TomSal In reply to Size and level of distrib ...

For the most part I agree *almost* completely with what the "Admin-Stuart" posted before me.

However, the one area I disagree with is size.

Size is not a good indicator of needing an administrator.

The factors that determine if you need a professional admin on staff, could still prove a need and yet you may be a small shop.

1. The first factor may sound like a silly question but its simply : How important is your network to your company's success?

For example my company is not large, we have about 100 nodes but less than 100 employees. But the nature of our business means you could ask me in a month and I could say totally different numbers - we adapt to our clients. So you need to model your network admin decisions around your business model and not vice versa.

2. Admin-Stuart hits the nail on the head, the next factor is "What is the comfort level with existing in-house network admin talent?". Be humble, be honest - do YOU or your current IT staff have the networkskills your company needs for growth, security and expansion?

3. There's what I call the "workload" factor. Perhaps you are skilled in network administration duties however do you have the TIME to do 'round the clock security monitoring, network administration duties, AND your current job duties without stressing out? Proper network administration is a career path all by itself for a reason, there's ALOT to deal with and ALOT to stay on top of. Yes, even for small networks (if you want to dothings right)

I think the most important thing, though, so important that it bears repeating....HOW CRITICAL IS YOUR NETWORK (BOTH NOW AND IN THE FUTURE) TO YOUR COMPANY'S SUCCESS?

If your network is the bread and butter of yoru company (and increasingly its the rule and not the exception) you'd be wise to get a network admin on board with decent credentials.

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If you don't know ...

by admin In reply to Do I need a Network Admin ...

if you need one then you probably don't. Usually people have a large enough consulting bill to offset the cost of having one on staff right before they hire one.


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Outsourced versus Inhouse

by McKayTech In reply to If you don't know ...

I've always been the cautious type so I tend to look for the skills among my existing staff and if they are not found there, I'll look at all the different avenues available to me and those would include a single outsourcing deal to a company or individual as well as outsourcing piecemeal. Generally, I won't create an FTE position until the need has been demonstrated so in many cases I'll use a moonlighter, part-timer or remote LAN management company until the need is demonstrated.

I agreethat size is not the key factor. Far more important in my experience are things like: user skill levels, presence of a proprietary software package that is not adequately supported by the vendor (either because of extensive customization or expiration of the support life), aging infrastructure that requires a lot of TLC or the need for immediate response to downtime.


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or Outsourced and Inhouse

by JasonCCTC In reply to Outsourced versus Inhouse

We have three Netware servers, three NT/2000 servers and two Linux boxes serving approximately 125 nodes (DOS, Win9x, WinNT/2000, Unix, HP printers, etc).

I handle what I can and outsource the rest. We have a contract with a local company to handle emergencies within 2 to 4 hours. So far we haven't needed to bring a dedicated Network Admin into the organization.

Like everyone else has said, examine your needs, skill sets and workload.

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Just don't call it "MCSE"

by eBob In reply to If you don't know ...

Or is it the other way around?

(get it?)

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by admin In reply to Just don't call it "MCSE"

In the future we will all be referred to as "Computer Guy" in our job descriptions *Snicker*


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Turnaround Time = Money

by Former MS Supporter In reply to Do I need a Network Admin ...

So far everyone's inputs have been very good and valid. What I'd consider is response and turnaround time of outsourcing vs. inhouse support. Outsourcing can come at the risk of your support person(s) being tied up on another 'more important' project/repair. So look at the end cost in both manhours paid and lost time and productivity. In addition, inhouse people will have a direct day-to-day relationship with other employees, which in my mind would be an encentive to provide them with a better product, and having a better understanding of their needs and problems.

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by IT Tech In reply to Do I need a Network Admin ...

I was hired a little over a year ago by my present company. The company outsorced all IT up until then. Network down time or 35%, slow response time and little on site administration skills was what caused them to hire me. The company is small 7 servers and 60 nodes. So along with the other post size is not really a major factor. Here most of our business is conducted through the internet so network uptime is the most important factor. Hope this helps ya out. Have a good day.

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In the Same Boat as IT TECH

by radiic In reply to Administrator

I just started about 5 months ago for the company Im working for. 6 servers 50 nodes and 4 wans. All setup by different people from the previous Consulting company. What a nightmare. Everyday I find something else not stardized,configured wrong,not installed properly, I just shake my head, Cuss, and then try to fix it. They ran installs from so many different directories I dont know which one is in use by who. I probably have gigs of info being backed up nightly that I dont need backups of.

Get the Point. I could go on for hours about my headaches, but my point is that once you get an admin inside, he can start making sure that all the equipment, software, and setup is standard, something I think all of us admins want.

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