Happy Sysadmin Day!

A very happy Sysadmin Day to Boing Boing's own Ken Snider (@orenwolf on Twitter), and to all the others who toil in the server room coal mines. Without them, you would not be reading this blog post.

Snip from sysadminday.com:

A sysadmin unpacked the server for this website from its box, installed an operating system, patched it for security, made sure the power and air conditioning was working in the server room, monitored it for stability, set up the software, and kept backups in case anything went wrong. All to serve this webpage.

A sysadmin installed the routers, laid the cables, configured the networks, set up the firewalls, and watched and guided the traffic for each hop of the network that runs over copper, fiber optic glass, and even the air itself to bring the Internet to your computer. All to make sure the webpage found its way from the server to your computer.

A sysadmin makes sure your network connection is safe, secure, open, and working. A sysadmin makes sure your computer is working in a healthy way on a healthy network. A sysadmin takes backups to guard against disaster both human and otherwise, holds the gates against security threats and crackers, and keeps the printers going no matter how many copies of the tax code someone from Accounting prints out.

A sysadmin worries about spam, viruses, spyware, but also power outages, fires and floods.

When the email server goes down at 2 AM on a Sunday, your sysadmin is paged, wakes up, and goes to work.

A sysadmin is a professional, who plans, worries, hacks, fixes, pushes, advocates, protects and creates good computer networks, to get you your data, to help you do work — to bring the potential of computing ever closer to reality.

So if you can read this, thank your sysadmin — and know he or she is only one of dozens or possibly hundreds whose work brings you the email from your aunt on the West Coast, the instant message from your son at college, the free phone call from the friend in Australia, and this webpage.

(Image: Shutterstock)


      1. I retract my ridiculous question now realizing the obvious answer.  Happy holiday!

  1. As a former SysAdmin I recommend actually getting know your SysAdmin and thanking them personally.  A beer or a cup of coffee, cupcakes for the team, just a small token of esteem as a handshake and  knowing their name goes a long way.  They may have powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men but they are human at the core.  (Most of them anyway.)

  2. My name is Drew, and I am a sysadmin – Hooray! My boss showed me his appreciation by buying me a gyro today. After 16 years as a sysadmin at so many places, this is the first time I’ve had anything on sysadmin day. Thanks, Will!!

  3. Here’s how I know being a sysadmin is hard. My brother is co-founder of  of a mid sized web hosting company. One of his dogs runs to him with a worried look every time he gets a text, because so many texts are customer issues.

    But heavy air conditioning is really a thing of the past. Servers should really be stripped of their fans and submerged in vats of mineral oil. A few pumps and chiller similar to the ones used on saltwater reef aquaria can keep the servers cool at a fraction of the cost of air cooling.

  4. You guys all rock. Thank you :D

    This is my fifteenth year as a “Professional” Sysadmin, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    But man, 15 years really cements in the Pavlovian response when you get a page, let me tell you!

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