" a landmark book in the field of network and system administration. For the first time, in one place, one can study the components of network and system administration as an evolving and emerging discipline and science, rather than a set of recipes, practices, or principles." From the Foreword by Dr Alva Couch, Tufts University, USA
"Mark Burgess' new book brings an analytical, scientific approach to bear on the general subject of systems and network administration. This original perspective opens up a wealth of ideas and possibilities which will be of interest to both the researcher and advanced practitioner in systems administration." Professor Paul Anderson, University of Edinburgh, UK
Network and systems administration usually refers to the skill of keeping computers and networks running properly. But in truth, the skill needed is that of managing complexity - to save time performing common system administration tasks, to allow safe use of untrained and trained help in maintaining mission-critical systems and to enable efficient centralized network administration.
Mark Burgess describes the science behind these complex systems, independent of the operating systems they work on. Rather than viewing the subject traditionally as a set of recipes for success or communications technologies for monitoring, Analytical Network and System Administration:
- provides models and theoretical tools for analysing the resources, efficiency and security of human-computer systems.
- gives advice and guidance on how to determine optimal policies for system administration.
- employs probabilistic rather than Boolean methods.
- illustrates key points with examples and exercises.
The essence of this book concedes the complexity of human-computer systems and urges readers to make the best of it. Although it tackles many complicated issues, the book offers a lightweight overview, suitable for graduate students and researchers in Networking and Computer Science. Its unique approach to an old problem will also appeal to practicing system managers and administrators.
"An unusual book about system administration in that it describes the theory which relates the components - computers and networks to the users and administrators. It is the only book I know that covers the 'science' underpinning systems administration." Professor Morris Sloman, Imperial College London, UK
Table of Contents:
2. Science and its methods.
3. Experiment and observation.
4. Simple systems.
5. Sets, states and logic.
6. Diagrammatical representations.
7. System variables.
8. Change in systems.
11. Resource networks.
12. Task management and services.
13. System architectures.
14. System normalization.
15. System integrity.
16. Policy and maintenance.
17. Knowledge, learning and training.
18. Policy transgressions and fault modelling.
19. Decision and strategy.
A. Some Boolean formulae.
B. Statistical and scaling properties of time-series data.
C. Percolation conditions.