Ansible, Part IV: Putting It All Together

Roles are the most complicated and yet simplest aspect of Ansible to learn. more>>

Ansible, Part III: Playbooks

Playbooks make Ansible even more powerful than before. more>>

Learning IT Fundamentals

Where do IT fundamentals fit in our modern, cloud- and abstraction-driven engineering culture? more>>

Ansible: Making Things Happen

Finally, an automation framework that thinks like a sysadmin. Ansible, you're hired. more>>

Rapid, Secure Patching: Tools and Methods

Generate enterprise-grade SSH keys and load them into an agent for control of all kinds of Linux hosts. Script the agent with the Parallel Distributed Shell (pdsh) to effect rapid changes over your server farm. more>>

Advice for Buying and Setting Up Laptops When You're Traveling or On-Call

Why stress over losing that expensive personal or work laptop? Buy a cheap one for risky situations.

In a previous article, I wrote about how to prepare for a vacation so you aren't disturbed by a work emergency. As part of that article, I described how to prepare your computer: more>>

Avoiding Server Disaster

Worried that your server will go down? You should be. Here are some disaster-planning tips for server owners. more>>

Sysadmin Tips on Preparing for Vacation

Read on for ways to help reduce the chance that your vacation will be interrupted by sysadmin issues. more>>

Ansible: the Automation Framework That Thinks Like a Sysadmin

I've written about and trained folks on various DevOps tools through the years, and although they're awesome, it's obvious that most of them are designed from the mind of a developer. There's nothing wrong with that, because approaching configuration management programmatically is the whole point. more>>

Sysadmin 101: Patch Management

A few articles ago, I started a Sysadmin 101 series to pass down some fundamental knowledge about systems administration that the current generation of junior sysadmins, DevOps engineers or "full stack" developers might not learn otherwise. I had thought that I was done with the series, but then the WannaCry malware came out and exposed some of the poor patch management practices still more>>

Testing the Waters: How to Perform Internal Phishing Campaigns

Phishing is one of the most dangerous threats to modern computing. Phishing attacks have evolved from sloppily written mass email blasts to targeted attacks designed to fool even the most cautious users. No defense is bulletproof, and most experts agree education and common sense are the best tools to combat the problem. more>>

Update Tickets from the Command Line

In the April 2017 issue, I wrote about how to use ticketing systems as a sysadmin to organize your tasks better. more>>


Many proprietary high-availability (HA) software providers require users to pay extra for system-management capabilities. Bucking this convention and driving down costs is LINBIT, whose DRBD HA software solution, part of the Linux kernel since 2009, powers thousands of digital enterprises. more>>

Tracking Down Blips

In a previous article, I explained the process for setting up Cacti, which is a great program for graphing just about anything. One of the main things I graph is my internet usage. And, it's great information to have, until there is internet activity you can't explain. more>>

Sysadmin 101: Leveling Up

This is the fourth in a series of articles on systems administrator fundamentals. These days, DevOps has made even the job title "systems administrator" seems a bit archaic like the "systems analyst" title it replaced. more>>

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