Responsibilities of the Network Administrator

Network Administrator Job Purpose: Maintains computing environment by identifying network requirements; installing upgrades; monitoring network performance.

Network Administrator Job Duties:

Skills/Qualifications: Network Performance Tuning, LAN Knowledge, Network Design and Implementation, Problem Solving, Strategic Planning, Multi-tasking, Quality Focus, Coordination, Technical Understanding, Quick Stu

Responsibilities of the Network Administrator

As a network administrator, your tasks generally fall into the following areas:

Each task area corresponds to a phase in the continuing life cycle of a network. You might be responsible for all the phases, or you might ultimately specialize in a particular area, for example, network maintenance.

Designing the Network

The first phase in the life cycle of a network involves creating its design, a task not usually performed by new network administrators. Designing a network involves making decisions about the type of network that best suits the needs of your organization. In larger sites this task is performed by a senior network architect: an experienced network administrator familiar with both network software and hardware.

Chapter 5, Planning Your TCP/IP Network describes the factors involved in network design.

Setting Up the Network

After the new network is designed, the second phase of network administration begins, which involves setting up and configuring the network. This consists of installing the hardware that makes up the physical part of the network, and configuring the files or databases, hosts, routers, and network configuration servers.

The tasks involved in this phase are a major responsibility for network administrators. You should expect to perform these tasks unless your organization is very large, with an adequate network structure already in place.

Chapter 6, TCP/IP Administration contains instructions for the tasks involved in this phase of the network life cycle.

Maintaining the Network

The third phase of network administration consists of ongoing tasks that typically constitute the bulk of your responsibilities. They might include:

"Configuring Network Clients" explains how to set up new hosts on an existing network. "General Troubleshooting Tips" contains hints for solving network problems. For information on network services, refer to Chapter 29, Solaris NFS Environment, Chapter 33, Introduction to Mail Services, the Solaris Naming Administration Guide, and the NIS+ Transition Guide. For security-related tasks, refer to the System Administration Guide, Volume 1.

Expanding the Network

The longer a network is in place and functioning properly, the more your organization might want to expand its features and services. Initially, you can increase network population by adding new hosts and expanding network services by providing additional shared software. But eventually, a single network will expand to the point where it can no longer operate efficiently. That is when it must enter the fourth phase of the network administration cycle: expansion.

Several options are available for expanding your network:

"Configuring Routers" contains procedures for setting up an internetwork. "Extending Your Network With PPP" explains how to set up networking connections for nomadic computers. Chapter 25, Overview of UUCP explains how to use UUCP to exchange information between your machine and other UUCP systems.