Saying thank you the right way, on SysAdmin Day

Rick Vanover, Director of Product Strategy

@RickVanover

Published date: July 28, 2017

Friday, July 28 is System Administrator Appreciation Day. At Veeam Software, where Availability is key, we want to take a moment to truly recognize and thank the IT professionals that keep our data and applications Available 24.7.365.

Given the date is also the launch of The Emoji Movie, there’s no better way to potentially show what’s going on inside the head of our superhero sysadmins as they answer not only the tough 1f4aa-1f3fc, but often absurd questions 1f926-1f3fb-2642 that pass across their desk on a daily basis.

Here are some of the more “interesting” scenarios sysadmins have shared with us:

 

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When developers are not making in-house applications efficient and relying on the system administrator to just “throw more hardware” at a bad application.
Q - In-house system developer: Do you have anything you care about in the test cluster? We would like to take it offline for maintenance this afternoon.
A - Sysadmin: No, all production systems are in the production cluster.
Q - In-house system developer: Where is my system, TEST001?
A - Sysadmin: I thought you said there was no production in the test cluster?

 

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When modern users have no patience for downtime, especially when it comes to critical applications, even planned maintenance can be perceived as a disruption to their work. Just remember, patience is the key!
Q - User of a critical application: Can we perform maintenance on the system tonight?
A - Sysadmin: Sure!
Q - User of a critical application: What happened to my critical application last night?
A - Sysadmin: Didn’t you just authorize us for maintenance on the system? (Then you hang up and walk away)

 

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As digital transformation continues to accelerate across the globe, growing cloud usage and the capabilities of mobile devices, system administrators must deal more and more with remote users and their various demands. Technology can fail, but it is human factor that “keeps it interesting!”
Q – End user: Nothing is working, what happened?
A - Sysadmin: Something happened. What did you do? (Of course, the answer received will likely be, “I didn’t do anything!” This is why we have logs. The logs don’t lie. Use them!)
Q - Call center: (You don’t even want to know the question or problem the user has)
A - Sysadmin: You have two options: Run away (recommended sometimes!) or just give this person less technology. The less technology some people have, the better. Tablets in the workplace are a great example here!

 

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Yes, resolving users’ issues is hard, but dealing with developers can prove to be as challenging. The ‘magic power’ of real sysadmin though is reading between the lines. It makes you to be a bit of a psychic too – reading people’s minds and foreseeing the future.
Question to a developer of an in-house system: What kind of hardware and software specifications are needed for the new version of XYZ application?
Answer: What can you give me?

 

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When the Sysadmin forget to ensure users/callers know what offline means!
Question from an end user: I deleted a file from the server, can you restore it?!
Answer: The server, that narrows it down! Let’s just hope the user knows a bit more about WHAT, WHERE or WHEN they deleted it!

 

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When you rarely take the chance to go into Clark Kent mode – but realize that a Sysadmin is never allowed to exist without their superpowers.
Q – Accosted at Water cooler: So, for my home computer… How do I…...?
A - Sysadmin: We have all been here! End users and their home technology needs. There was a time where young IT pros may be interested in payment in the form of beer or money (for beer) but it only takes one bad situation to never do this again. This is a classic example of mixing business and personal interests and classic in that it’s recommended not to mix!

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There will always be more odd questions that come up from users of all types, and the System Administrator is at the end of the line fixing problems of all types and making systems available and Always-ON. So, when you have a chance to see your system administrator this day, be sure to thank them!

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