System Administrator

A system administrator, or sysadmin, is a person who is responsible for the upkeep, configuration, and reliable operation of computer systems; especially multi-user computers, such as servers. The system administrator seeks to ensure that the uptime, performance, resources, and security of the computers he or she manages meet the needs of the users, without exceeding the budget. To meet these needs, a system administrator may acquire, install, or upgrade computer components and software; provide routine automation; maintain security policies; troubleshoot; train and/or supervise staff; or offer technical support for projects add admin

Top 5 SysAdmin Certs

System administration is a very popular area of IT. After all, every IT shop needs a competent SysAdmin. Those who aspire to become System Administrators listen up -- these are the best system administrator certifications for 2015. When it comes to managing modern enterprise data centers, there's a long laundry list of tools and technologies SysAdmins need to master. There are also a number of certifications that can help validate knowledge and skills in those areas.

In addition to servers and clients that make up enterprise environments, there are a lot of crucial applications and network services that system administrators need to understand. The list includes: directory and name services, network addressing, database services, Web and applications, email and a whole lot more. Making sense of all of the different system administrator roles and accompanying certifications is no easy task. After examining the different credentials, we came up with a list of our five best system administrator certs for 2015.

Microsoft MCSA & MCSE: Windows Server

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) is Microsoft's prevailing mid-range IT certification. It covers most administrative job roles, including system administration at both desktop and server levels, as well as more specialized job roles that include SQL Server and Office 365. The MCSA is a prerequisite to all of the various flavors of Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification, which have long ruled the hearts and minds of those who work on Microsoft-based systems and servers. MCSE certifications focus on the latest technologies for servers, desktops, private clouds, databases, business intelligence, messaging, communication and collaboration.

But when it comes to system administration topics, the brightest lights in this group are those that address Windows Server at the enterprise and server administrator levels. While these credentials don't all specifically use "system administrator" in their descriptions, though many do, or refer to servers instead, they all fall well inside system administration job roles and responsibilities. They're also in fairly high demand in job postings and classified job advertisements, too.

Windows Server 2012 is a gateway certification that feeds into the MCSE: Server Infrastructure, MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure and MCSE: Private Cloud certifications, so we focus on the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification in the table below. And, if you currently hold the MCSA: Windows Server 2008 or one of the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certs, you can upgrade to the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification or one of the aforementioned MCSE certs. With Windows 10 and a new version of Windows Server due for general availability in the second half of 2015, it's likely that additional certifications for Windows Server will be announced and forthcoming soon. Though it will take time for organizations and enterprises to catch up with those new versions, there will be more opportunities for system administrators to add to their cert portfolios as a result.

Bus Topology

A bus topology consists of a main run of cable with a terminator at each end. All nodes like workstations, printers, laptops, servers etc., are connected to the linear cable. The terminator is used to absorb the signal when the signal reaches the end, preventing signal bounce. When using bus topology, when a computer sends out a signal, the signal travels the cable length in both directions from the sending computer. When the signal reaches the end of the cable length, it bounces back and returns in the direction it came from. This is known as signal bounce. Signal bounce will create problem in the network, because if another signal is sent on the cable length at the same time, the two signals will collide.

OSGi (Open Service Gateway Initiative)

OSGi (Open Service Gateway Initiative) is Java framework for developing and deploying modular software programs and libraries.

OSGi has two parts. The first part is a specification for modular components called bundles, which are commonly referred to as plug-ins. The specification defines an infrastructure for a bundle's life cycle and determines how bundles will interact. The second part of OSGi is a Java Virtual Machine (JVM)-level service registry that bundles can use to publish, discover and bind to services in a service-oriented architecture (SOA).

The work behind OSGi began in 1999 when embedded systems vendors and networking providers came together to create a set of standards for a Java-based service framework that could be managed remotely. OSGi was originally conceived to be a gateway for managing smart appliances and other Internet-enabled devices in the home. The gateway consisted of a Java software framework embedded in a hardware platform such as a cable modem or set-top box. The framework acted as the central message broker for the device on the home's local area network (LAN). The goal, in essence, was to create a standardized middleware for smart devices and make managing cross-dependencies easier for software developers.


There are multiple paths to becoming a system administrator. Many system administrators have a degree in a related field: computer science, information technology, computer engineering, information systems, or even a trade school program. On top of this, nowadays some companies require an IT certification. Other schools have offshoots of their Computer Science program specifically for system administration.

One of the primary difficulties with teaching system administration as a formal university discipline is that the industry and technology changes much faster than the typical textbook and coursework certification process. By the time a new textbook has spent years working through approvals and committees, the specific technology for which it is written may have changed significantly or become obsolete.