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  1. #1

    Arrow Managing Server administrators

    I need to start hiring server administrators because my web farm and business have grown and I need to spend be less time in baby sitting the servers and focus on the strategy side of business.

    However I am quite hesitant to give full admin access on my server farm (mostly windows servers) to any person whom I just hired.

    I dont want ever put myself in a position where some disgruntled or an inept employee locks me out of my own servers and im left completely helpless.

    I am sure many of you are in this situation, so what is the best approach on this manner where I can give necessary access for the system admin to do installs/upgrades/troubleshooting but not give him enough power to delete my own admin account or lower my privilages for example.

    Appreciate any input,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Castle Pines, CO
    Get references from people that they have worked with in the past. Call these references. Email can be good but talking on the phone with these references can usually be a lot better.

    This is what we have done in the past & it worked out a lot better for us.

  3. #3
    Thanks for your input corey. It definatley is very important to have a very good reference on people who have access to critical areas of your business.

    But I am wondering if there is a technical solution for this in windows, maybe a program to use or a certain method to follow...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Castle Pines, CO
    We have not and we have had a pretty good success rate. No SAs have screwed anything up (intentionally). A lot just seem to drop off the face of the earth and come back when they need some money.

    We are fortunate to have one that is a very hard worker and he has been with us for about six months.

  5. #5
    Either get someone you know and trust who you could train or you'll just have to read each perspective employee... Background checks with former employers is a good step too...

    Another tactic would be to give them access to only the specific areas they need be... Group Policy etc..

    Yet another workaround is to lock their account prior to termination... You should keep an accurate count of you user list too and update it frequently...

    Otherwise, you're being a control freak... Build a good team and your scalability is possible... Try to do everything yourslef and like you've already seen, you get maxed out and can't dedicate enough time for specific area's.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    As well make them sign a contract which protects you and you and your business.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Goleta, CA
    I feel for you man. It's pretty darn hard to find a good employee in today's market. That's one thing India can't take from us at the moment. Just keep searching and when you find a good administrator do whatever it takes to hold onto them.
    Patron: I'd like my free lunch please.
    Cafe Manager: Free lunch? Did you read the fine print stating it was an April Fool's joke.
    Patron: I read the same way I listen, I ignore the parts I don't agree with. I'm suing you for false advertising.
    Cafe Owner: Is our lawyer still working pro bono?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Houston, TX
    The problem with freelance talent/administrators is:

    (1) loyalty - they can bail at anytime or demand more later (this happens quite often). Sometimes this is due to getting a better deal/more pay with another company.

    (2) trust - who are you working with and is there an agreement/contingency plan to fall back on if things go awry

    I'd consider working with a proper company that hires out talent under contractual terms that have penalty clauses (both from their side and yours) if you really want to put together a strategy.

    Web Hosting? Been there. Done that.
    I am niyogi.

  9. #9
    Never give away your root password to anyone except a HIGHLY trusted admin.

    Instead, you should use "su" to give root privileges to normal users.

    Then, if they ever leave your employment, you don't have to change the root passwords, etc... you can simply remove their user and it's business as usual.

    This assumes you have set up your server properly for this kind of structure, etc.. (so they can' t just su into root and then change the sudoers file...)
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  10. #10
    Thank you everyone for your input.

    From what I am gathering here, there really isnt a software/technical solution to this. Its a matter of picking the right people and knowing how to manage them correctly.

  11. #11

    1. Try hiring in-house if you can do so.

    2. In any event, DO NOT rely on email. Personally call the admin and do one to several phone interviews if you cannot meet in person.

    Personally call each reference; and if you are hiring remote administrators, references should include some past and current clients.

    Do ask the clients how easy it is to get a hold of the admin, how the admins respond to emergencies both from a technical stand point as well as a character stand point, do ask if billing is fair and what happens if there is a credit request, do ask them if they feel left in the loop when a given situation may take several hours to severl days to complete.

    If your systems really matter, then there are inexpensive background checks you can do from and

    Thank you.
    Peter M. Abraham
    LinkedIn Profile

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