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  • #2190152

    Novice Network Administrator Questions

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    by aaronpctech ·

    Hello all,

    I am a long time reader, first time poster. I am somewhat of a novice network administrator/consultant. I was just assigned to this brand new location for a couple days a week and I am supposed to be “THE IT GUY”. I basically have to start from scratch in terms of documentation, mapping out the layout of the network, building up a better relationship with all the managers, improving the efficiency of the company, etc. etc.) My company has all ready installed all the servers, set up the network and all.

    I’m kind of going to be like the hands and eyes of my PM. I really dont want to screw this up.

    What I really want to know is , can you all provide me with some great tips on how to be super efficent and pretty much organize the place. Questions I should ask to learn more about the company and its functions. How to keep great relationships. Things I should look out for.

    Things like that. If you know of any great books I should take a look at that would be appreciated as well.

    Thank you so much much for any help you can provide. If i’m not being clear or whatever please let me know so that I can clarify myself.

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    • #3071212

      One suggestion

      by charliespencer ·

      In reply to Novice Network Administrator Questions

      Rummage through the IT Generalist discussion at http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-11181-0.html?forumID=6&threadID=178668&messageID=1818836. It may do as a starting place.

      You’ve already asked about one of the best things you can do, and that’s learning about the company and it’s business. Their HR and Sales managers are usually great places to start, since they have to explain the company to outsiders on a regular basis.

      Get a good inventory of all hardware and software you’ll have to support. Find out which departments have the most computers; that’s usually a good indicator of which ones will need your support the most. Learn something about the applications that they use most heavily. Talk to those department managers about their needs over both the short term and the long term.

      It sounds like you work for a consulting or third-party support company. Talk to other employees of your company and see how they handle client company relations.

      My, that “One suggestion” really mushroomed.

      • #3057785

        Thank You

        by aaronpctech ·

        In reply to One suggestion

        Tank you so much Palmetto for your reply.
        I need all the help I can get.

        My company does a bit of connsulting and third party support.
        This is my first site where I am pretty much by myself. I’ve had a few hiccups in the past, so I really want to shine here so that I can prove to the company that I’ve got what it takes if you know what I mean.

        Your suggentions are greatly appreciated and right along the lines of what I was looking for. I will definitely look through Generalist discussion and read all posts.

        • #3057719

          On being the only IT guy

          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to Thank You

          It can be an interesting career path, and there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to being the only IT guy on site. Your situation is somewhat different from my experiences. You apparently have your boss right there in town. I’ve always worked several hundred miles away from my immediate supervisor and any other IT department member.

          If you can show you have the self-discipline to work with minimal supervision, and can grasp the priorities of the business you’re supporting, you can tailor your schedule to meet the local needs. On the other hand, you wind up turning to on-line forums (like this one) for technical interaction and feedback.

          Do you have an annual review? Be sure to have your reviewer discuss your performance with the on-site managers. I’ve found if I can keep the locals happy, my boss will factor their satisfaction into my review.

          Good luck. Drop me a private message if you want to discuss the situation in more detail.

        • #3070056

          When there is nothing to do.

          by aaronpctech ·

          In reply to On being the only IT guy

          Here is a good question. What does an administrator do when there seems like there is nothing to do.

          When everything seems like it is running smoothly and no major problems are occuring. What could I be doing instead of sitting on my ass waiting for something to happen.

          Also, can anyone point me to an article or form posting on how to write up a good network assesment.

          Thank you for all your help.

        • #3069878

          Documentation!!!

          by wmcmillin ·

          In reply to When there is nothing to do.

          Documentation is the best tool a Net Admin could ever have. In the slow periods, document everything! Wiring maps of the network, diagrams of the wiring closets, swithes, patch panels, routers, hubs, fiber, cat5! Everything. Don’t trust the old diagrams. Things always change! Keep them updated as often as you can! When the feces hits the rotary oscillator, you will know exactly what is what!

        • #3069876

          Learn a new skill

          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to When there is nothing to do.

          Do you have a machine at this location dedicated to your use? Load a compiler and learn a programming language.

          Got an extra machine available? Load Linux and play with that. It will improve your GQ (Geek Quotient) with the locals.

          Are there any software programs in heavy use that you aren’t familiar with? Load one and see if it has an online tutorial.

        • #3070475

          Survey says …

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to Learn a new skill

          … 89 out of 100 people agreed.

          Good answer!!!

          I’ve learned a lot over the years by using a spare computer for experiments.

        • #3069601

          New Skill

          by aaronpctech ·

          In reply to Learn a new skill

          I guess the best thing for me to do is Learn as much as I can about the current software programs, and then tackle a new language.

          I currently do not know any languages. Which would be the best to start?

          I need to learn Linux as well.

          Geez, there are too many things to learn in IT 🙂

        • #3069557

          “There is no ‘try’; only DO!”, said Yoda.

          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to New Skill

          Expect to spend 15-20% of your career learning new technologies. Being a generalist is a lot tougher than it was even five years ago. You’ll have to focus on those aspects that are important to your current employer. I’ve had multimedia / digital media stuff on the back burner for years. Work priorities have placed other technologies on the front of my “To Learn” list.

        • #3070771

          New Skills are a must

          by ladyadmin ·

          In reply to Learn a new skill

          I am a proponent of learning new things. Being a Relatively new admin at a new job, learning is all I do (besides firefighting).

          This is not an easy field to be in. If you can’t commit to a lifelong commitment to learning, it’s going to be hard. I appreciate the questions Aaron is asking as they are questions we’ve all asked in one form or another in our lives. I’ve never posted before, but this thread compelled me to. I sent an offline message to Palmetto too for that “awesome spreadsheet”; it can only help me here.

          VBScripting is my next “skill” to acquire!

        • #3053614

          Learn Scripting Languages

          by jaytm401 ·

          In reply to Learn a new skill

          You could learn VB script or Java Script for basic Admin functions. VB is utilized a lot on windows platforms. Java Script can be used on Unix/Linux or windows platforms. Both languages are in use and very good place to start learning a programming language. Good Luck. I have gone from being a generalist to helpdesk. You have already have the upper hand. Your boss must have trust in you to have you handle the job. Just give 120%.

        • #3070477

          Monitor systems, talk to end users

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to When there is nothing to do.

          Learning about the work loads on the systems that you administer can help you to be proactive and fix problems before people know that they exist. Also, I like to talk to end users when the corporate environment permits. The end users will tell you a lot in a casual conversation that they will not bother to call the help desk about.

        • #3070763

          When there’s “nothing to do”…

          by sql guy ·

          In reply to When there is nothing to do.

          …is when I would start planning longer term. When “business is booming” you often get tied up in the nitty-gritty details of implementation specifics (running cable, configuring servers, etc.)

          When you do have some down-time start collecting feedback from your users; test new software, hardware, upgrades and service packs (in a test environment of course); if you don’t have a test environment, begin planning to set one up; review your disaster recovery strategy and run tests to make sure it works; implement end-user training classes on software; check your hardware and software for “best practices” compliance – if they’re not using “best practices”, document the justifications (if there are any); start checking your systems for regulatory compliance (HIPAA, SOX, FCRA, FACTA, etc.)

          These are just a couple of ideas, but they demonstrate how “down-time” can help you take a step back and look at your system from a higher level view when you’re not buried in the details of day-to-day operations.

          The are always a billion more things that can be done from a higher level, once you

        • #3068730

          read log files…zzzzzzzzz

          by davidvangelder ·

          In reply to When there is nothing to do.

          Hey Aaron, you’ll learn a lot by going through your Event Viewer and seeing the information bulletins and researching the things that give actual warnings or failures.
          Start-Control Panel-Administrative Tools-Event Viewer.
          This is pretty boring stuff so just grab a little at a time, find one thing that failed and look it up at MicroSoft or toss it in Google and see what you get.

        • #3053441

          When there is nothing to do….

          by recahill ·

          In reply to When there is nothing to do.

          After the documentation is complete.
          Severs
          Layer 4
          Layer 3
          Layer 2
          Layer 1
          SAN
          WAN
          Wireless
          VPN, etc.
          Backups

          And shortcommings resolved.

          Plan for things that have not been implemented…

          Network Management.
          Windows x64
          Windows Vista
          maybe augment backup strategy with Disk-to-disk transfers to Tape.
          Security enhancements.

          You mentioned in one note that you don’t have a scripting backgroud, try VBScript as a entry into programming and network automation.

          Maybe that next certificate.

          Having been in IT for many years there is always things to do and grow. Where are you interested in taking your career? Network Architecting, Management? These are questions you need answered with a little internal self-assessment.

          If I was your manager I think I could find some worthwhile things for you to accomplish so you weren’t so bored that you would post questions here.

        • #3053419

          Reply To: Novice Network Administrator Questions

          by jbush ·

          In reply to When there is nothing to do….

          I don’t think that asking questions is something that isn’t worthwhile, particularly in an industry where knowing facts is less important than being able to access facts quickly.

          And I’ll note that it takes around 30 seconds to type a post, an action that could easily be performed during scheduled time off, so it’s entirely possible that the young man is going the extra distance for his job in addition to fulfilling all of his duties.

        • #3057921

          Backup Verification

          by mfblankenstein ·

          In reply to When there is nothing to do.

          Make sure that data is being written to restorable backups and that applications are stored on disk somewhere (Referred to as a Definitive Software Library or Source Safe).

          Then make sure that you know how to perform restores to a test area…

      • #3070823

        inventory

        by catfish182 ·

        In reply to One suggestion

        If you are the only person there for IT issues this is what i did. Get about 5 machines that are “extra” (or what ever the number) image them and put what is needed on them. Then when you are troubleshooting and see that time is getting tight. Take a backup computer and drop it into the workstation so the person can continue to work while you take that persons computer to the back and can troubleshoot and fix it.
        To pull this off though you need to have a good naming convention and a good inventory.

    • #3069662

      You guys are great

      by aaronpctech ·

      In reply to Novice Network Administrator Questions

      Sorry about the delay in response to this thread. Please do not think I am ignoring all of your wonderful information. Things have been kind of hectic this past week and I have not even had a chance to log in.

      Here is an update:

      I am now gonna be stattioned at the new account 4-5 days a week. Reason being……The original IT guy got let go Monday morning…AHHHHH……

      So now I basically have to start from scratch. HAs anyone else had to go through this?? I dont know many people yet, dont know where the old guy stored all the important documentation, (his office looks like a tsunami ran through it).

      I was looking forward to learning from him where everyhting was located and all the ends and outs about user quirks and all… Imagine my surprise when I got the news.
      HELP!!!!
      🙂

      • #3069649

        Network Inventory

        by aaronpctech ·

        In reply to You guys are great

        What tools do you all use for Network Documentation/inventory.

        Plain ol’ Pencil and paper? Or some kind of software.

        From your experience, what is the best way to go?

        • #3069042

          Pen and paper will work

          by ndcold1 ·

          In reply to Network Inventory

          But I would use an excel spreadsheet…=)

        • #3068944

          Whats excel?

          by aaronpctech ·

          In reply to Pen and paper will work

          Just kidding. Yes Excel is a great Idea. Palmetto provided with an awesome spreadsheet that he uses that is just great.

        • #3059937

          Palmetto’s awesome spreadsheet

          by chris ·

          In reply to Whats excel?

          Hi. Can I have a copy of it? I document as much as I can in my spare time but it would be good to compare to another’s idea of documentation.

          Thanks

        • #3070843

          Send me a private message.

          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to Palmetto’s awesome spreadsheet

          I think Aaron’s description of “awesome” is a giving me far too much credit, but drop me a line and I’ll be happy to send it to you.

        • #3070840

          Palmetto’s awesome spreadsheet 2

          by nlaws ·

          In reply to Palmetto’s awesome spreadsheet

          Hi, I’m in the same boat as chris. I do a lot of documenting and would like to have someone elses to get an idea how they do it.

          Cheers

        • #3070746

          Inventory spreadsheet

          by bagmaster50 ·

          In reply to Whats excel?

          Here’s an inventory speadsheet I use. http://home.earthlink.net/~bagmaster51/Inventory.xls

          Compare it to others and see which one suits your needs best.

        • #3059902

          Reply To: Novice Network Administrator Questions

          by timw ·

          In reply to Network Inventory

          When I wanted to do an inventory of the software and hardware that was plugged into our company LAN, I found a piece of software called OCS INVENTORY. It wasn’t perfect but it was free and easy to use. Take a look.

          As for your situation, I’d personally be really happy with where you are. You’ve got a challenge ahead of you, but it’ll be an interesting and probably fun challenge. Get stuck in 🙂

        • #3070733

          Network Documentation

          by cisco_instructor ·

          In reply to Network Inventory

          Over the years I have used vaious software to document our network. One of the best I have found is Microsoft Visio. There is a bit of a learning curve, but it can be used to make great visual layouts of infrastructure wiring, both logical and physical, as well as wiring closet layouts. I use Excel for port mappings, IP address/MAC documentation, Computer naming etc. Microsoft offers a 30 day trial for Visio 2003. http://www.microsoft.com/office/visio/prodinfo/trial.mspx (If the link is not allowed, Google for it).

        • #3070633

          Network Diagramming

          by minion ·

          In reply to Network Inventory

          I like LAN Surveyor http://www.Neon.com It’s what i bought after examining most every product available. It has auto discovery and builds a diagram from there. There’s several other handy features to for remote management…

      • #3060170

        Good luck!

        by tink! ·

        In reply to You guys are great

        But have fun! I started my IT career in a company that didn’t even have an IT department. So I had to start from scratch as well.

        And my current company had their network setup by an employee who hadn’t been around for several years! And of course he didn’t leave ANY info.
        I do pencil and paper first, excel 2nd.
        I like to draw a blueprint of the offices and the layouts of the jacks. Then I trace the cable routes from the hubs to the ports, routers etc. Thankfully I’ve worked with smaller networks so it’s not a HUGE rat’s nest of cables, but still it does take time to clean it all up.
        Phone networks are just as much fun.

        Everything I know, I learned from experience. That is, learning as I do it for the first time. with a little help from the all-knowing Internet!

        PS. I’ve officially ordered our new server and computers yesterday! Don’t be surprised if y’all see me on here in a couple weeks with installation problems! =-)

        Tink

        • #3060101

          Layout or Inventory first

          by aaronpctech ·

          In reply to Good luck!

          Which do you all think should come first? Inventory of all the computers/printers etc. or a layout where all the drops are and things like that. This may be a dumb question, but Im new, so I jsut want to be sure.

        • #3059898

          Two birds

          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to Layout or Inventory first

          If you have to physically walk around to each piece of equipment to inventory it, you might as well carry a drawing or blueprint with you. When you get to a piece of equipment, mark where it’s drop is and any identifying numbers on the drop.

      • #3060157

        Starting from scratch is good

        by kfellows ·

        In reply to You guys are great

        There are no rules.

        Create some rules.

        I just inherited responsibility over a very large network as the result of a merger. My counterpart at the acquiring company didn’t stay so I had no insight into half of the now merged network. I discovered that even though there was a large staff, no one person had all of the picture so I had to go out and discover it. That led to me asking questions about things everyone took for granted.

        This process of discovery (and document what you find and take notes) is good because you can re-examine the rules and the status quo. Maybe passwords shouldn’t be changed every 30 days, maybe 60 is good enough and it would cause fewer support calls.

        So set some standards because there probably aren’t any and make your life easier. Discover the network and document it. Then ask a lot of questions about how things are being done. If no one knows then set a standard.

        Sone good tools can be found at http://www.snapfiles.com and the Microsoft Download site if you are a Windows shop.

        • #3070795

          Just general thanks

          by cburwell ·

          In reply to Starting from scratch is good

          I was browsing through this site and low and behold found this discussion. I am new to the IT field and have not had anyone to really help me along with this stuff. Not good on terminology so I call it stuff. I am thankful though for all of the good comments that were made in this discussion. I will be sending questions for sure and hope that they do not sound too awful stupid as I really don’t know this stuff. Thanks again.

      • #3070796

        I’ve been where you are right now…

        by scmgithd ·

        In reply to You guys are great

        When I started here I was doing admin tasks (payroll, A/P, etc.) and started sticking my nose into the IT area (my real interest/background) because we outsourced everything and the bills were unbelievable. I started doing some of the “easy” stuff, putting in new hard drives, swapping monitors, etc. Then I was put in charge of all the PC/network stuff. Then we lost our DP Supervisor so I inherited the AS/400 and practice management software as well. I do everything from helping a user format a document to planning out the network structure for a new building we have going up.

        I still feel lost some of the time, just because I don’t know as much as I’d like to. I really liked the discussion on the IT Generalist. That’s really where I fit and thankfully where my boss expects me to be. They wanted someone that could know/understand our network and find the resources to fix problems if they come up.

        I did have to go through and document the network. That was tough, we have so many things that are pieced together. I can’t wait to dump our old building so I can start fresh. Our other three sites are a lot newer and organized a lot better!

        Good luck!

        Donna

      • #3070739

        The quick road to enlightenment

        by jackuvalltrades ·

        In reply to You guys are great

        Aaron, you already have all of the prerequisites; the right attitude, good sound plan of action for documentation, and the desire to do well. I am assuming that you are skilled enough technically and with your approach to this, I have no doubt of your abilities to learn new things.
        Most of what you will be doing involves people, not technology. I would suggest that you speak to all of the department heads and ask to spend some time with the front line people in each department, actually learning how their daily work is related to the company overall. It will also give you great insight into the applications needed by each department and how they are used. The real benefit to this is that you build personal relationships with your customers, which is the real job you are there for.

        Good luck! Sounds like you have an exciting opportunity in front of you.

    • #3060008

      Been there, still feel like I am there

      by ravensisters ·

      In reply to Novice Network Administrator Questions

      Hey Aaron, This is a very familiar situation to probably most IT personnel when they started out.

      I started a few years ago in an environment that had absolutely no documentation. Fortunately I did have the admin password. The first thing I did was to document the network layout; servers, routers, printers, workstations… everything (used Word, Excel, Visio, pen and paper, copy and paste).
      Then I figured out what software was networked and who the users were. As I am only one person working with 300 plus computers/500 plus users I made sure to… one develop a good relationship with the users, and two be firm about what I was responsible for knowing in regards to the daily use of their software be it networked or not. (I don’t feel that my job should entail helping someone format their Word document). That meant working with management to have key personnel properly trained in the use of their software so they could train the other users.

      The other thing is to have your patterns down; first thing I walk in is check in on all the servers and routers. Look at the event viewer, check network traffic, the virus protection, the hard drive didn’t fill up during the night with a dump or other exciting events, printer spools for the network printers..darn users always leaving a jam somewhere..generally poke around and see if you pick up on a problem.

      The idea of a computer to load and work with software is excellent…as I work in a Citrix environment and have used a dummy server to see if applications will crash the Citrix session. I have to say the best input is to touch base with discussion groups like this. My Citrix group gave me a heads up on possible problems in a Citrix session that my dummy server did not show me.

      I just “discovered” these discussion groups yesterday. Have visited TechRepublic for awhile but first time here at the boards.

      As to your question of what to do when it is slow…been five years and that hasn’t happen yet, so I usually duck out the back door for a coffee run. Good luck to you!

    • #3070770

      Two Words

      by sql guy ·

      In reply to Novice Network Administrator Questions

      Document Everything.

    • #3070722

      5 Bullet Points

      by minion ·

      In reply to Novice Network Administrator Questions

      Hello,

      * Talk to the different department heads and learn what the names and functions are of the software they use. If they have support phone #s that’s helpful! Try to learn how they use the apps, what they do, & how they relate to the business.

      * Belarc Advisor *FREE* http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html is great for getting an inventory of PCs and servers. It gives all the hardware specs, software that’s installed and windows updates that are installed. It will also show if any Win Update failed. I have seen some failed updates that I was not otherwise aware of until running this report.

      *Lan Surveyor (Neon Software http://www.neon.com/)for auto discovery and graphically mapping your network. I ended up with this product after spending a couple weeks examining 10-15 different options.

      *Document your servers. Note the RAID configs, what programs run on each box, and how they relate to what the end users do.

      *Data backups. Ensure they run consistently, perform some test restores to verify the integrity. Note the schedule, what the routine is (full, differential, gfs, etc) and what directories are included. The point is to be able to reinstall the software or re-create any server in the event of a failure.

      I work for a small bank that owns 2 other companies with about 100 total employees over 4 locations and 3 networks. Like you, I’m it for I.T., at least as far as end user support, LAN, and server administration.

      -corey

    • #3070651

      Book I recommend

      by think_it ·

      In reply to Novice Network Administrator Questions

      For general efficiency and organization the book I most recommend is by David Allen, Getting Things Done. Time invested reading the book, and following through, will be well spent.

    • #3070601

      Pretty exciting opportunity.

      by 32bitswide ·

      In reply to Novice Network Administrator Questions

      My advice would be:

      1. Be honest with yourself (on what you know/dont know)and your users/co-workers.

      2. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know but I will find out and get back to in x days/weeks/minutes”

      3. Look for some good resources and hone your research skills.

      4. factor in continuing education. IT is a vast field of study and no one can be an expert on everything, but if you strength your skill set on what you do like, now where to find the rest you’ll stay in the game.

      Good luck and enjoy the ride…

    • #3068737

      Similar Situation

      by jbush ·

      In reply to Novice Network Administrator Questions

      G’day

      I’m in a fairly similar position, though on a smaller scale. I’ve just started at a company that’s never really had any sort of admin, it’s all been fobbed off to ‘good friends who know all about computers’, as a result, there’s no documentation, no policies of any sort, and absolutely no structure.

      My induction consisted of “There’s your computer and umm there’s the server thingy. I’ll leave you to it.”
      I didn’t know the server admin password, but it was logged in and I was able to set it without knowing the previous one.

      I started with documenting network layout and hardware inventory – this has helped me form in my mind a vague plan for upgrade paths as well. From there, I moved to looking towards a software inventory (only to find a CD rack half full of empty cases, a few disturbingly burned-looking CDs and no licensing information).

      I’ve got a list of all the software installed on the machines, and my next step is to run a survey of the users to try and work out whether the software they’re using is the right stuff for the job and if training is required.

      My advice is (and I don’t know if it’s fully applicable to you, Aaron) to be firm on your recommendations. If you come up with some big plan with intricate interdependancies which is the most efficient roadmap to a stable and secure operating environment for the network and its users, don’t allow managers to pick the features they like out of it and prioritise them.

      My first big fiasco was when I implemented a password policy (passwords were people’s first name and EVERYBODY knew everyone else’s password – an account monitoring nightmare) which I’d recommended should come after a survey and a standardisation of installed software (so that people aren’t using others accounts to access specific software).

      My boss wanted Outlook Web Access, and when I said it couldn’t be done until we implemented a secure password policy, he said “You can draft that this afternoon and we can put it into effect on Monday.”
      The plan was to let the department heads do the education part of the policy rollout as I’d just started and a mass mail type situation wasn’t personal enough.

      Come Monday morning, it turns out that nobody knew their passwords were going to expire, couldn’t understand why they had to have letters AND numbers, and believed couldn’t get vital jobs done because x was sick and nobody knew their password.

      If you’re paid to give advice, letting people who have no idea what’s involved change what you’ve recommended isn’t doing your job (that’s not to say you can’t negotiate, but there are some things that you shouldn’t bend on – particularly if it means more work for you later).

      My first thought was a mental shrug along the lines of “Well, he’s the boss,” but it meant a full whole lot of firefighting, a week’s worth of reduced productivity across the business, and user education that could easily have been avoided.

      • #3068590

        Good Point.

        by fuslit ·

        In reply to Similar Situation

        I am in the same situation that you are, except when I started my job I had to do a server upgrade within 2 weeks.

        Always do as much research as you can about something before you implement it. You want to have a plan B and C if it doesn’t work. There was some documentation but the problem wasn’t the stuff that was documented, it was the stuff that wasn’t. There were some parts of the old server (it had been upgraded from server 2000 to server 2003) that did not translate to the in place upgrade that had to be done.

        Also, the particular server was a domain controller/exchange server. Not recommended by Microsoft, but everything was ordered before I got there.

        I worked for a month straight getting familiar with the network, three weekends of failed server installs because of various problems that came up.

        Be persistent and remember to have your backup plans.

        -Todd

    • #3071717

      My 2 cents

      by bigbellyfoo ·

      In reply to Novice Network Administrator Questions

      I too started in an ultra small shop of 4 managing a couple hundred, and now am in an even smaller shop of 1 managing 30 users.

      My suggestions: Get a good handle on what’s around (software & hardware inventory), do a network assessment to understand how and where data travels around the company, and do yourself a favor – document everything.

      Two things that have been countless in my successes are my emergency contact sheet and my TO DO list.

      My emergency list contains the contact information for all of my major hardware/software vendors, what models/software versions employed, my sales and account manager contacts, my phone company support line, my Internet/network providers support line, and various customer/account numbers related to each.

      My TO DO List lists my daily/weekly tasks (things that need to get done every X day/week), tasks that have been completed, and then finally a wish list of things to learn(down time) and do/want.

      I leave you with this – learn to prioritize, its hard but try not spending the entire day firefighting, and do first what you don’t want to do

    • #3044580

      Same scenario

      by dwilliams ·

      In reply to Novice Network Administrator Questions

      Thanks all for the postings. I am in the same scenario. After years of front line tech support dealing with the public’s inablilty to type smtp correctly I have been moved to a LAN Admin position. I am to make sense of an ad-hoc windows LAN in a mostly UNIX based ISP. The UNIX boys don’t want to deal with the LAN anymore and I’m “da guy”. Active Directory is being used incorrectly and a mish-mash of workgroups take the place of a smooth running Domain Controller. I therefore will be learning the wrong way and then the right way. The tips on this thread have been great. I feel my first step is to create a “LAN Map”. Then a visual walkthrough sounds like a must. Thanks again

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