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needed knowledge of third-party software for an MCSA

Discussion in 'Networks' started by Unemployed Diogenes, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Unemployed Diogenes

    Unemployed Diogenes Nibble Poster

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    Which software must a network admininistrator have knowledge of besides the MS-certificates?

    I was thinking of:

    * an image program (Norton Ghost, Acronis True image...)
    * Virtualisation program (VM Ware..)
    * a backup tool
    * packet Sniffer (wireshark, Kismet...)
    * antivirus (Norton, Kaspersky....)
    * hardware firewall
    * ....

    What else do you think??
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
    Certifications: A+, Bachelor IT
    WIP: CCNA
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Actually....

    An image program would probably be the likes of WDS, MDT or SCCM 2007, the virtualisation platform would be Hyper-V, the backup tool likely to be Backup Exec, Net Backup or DPM. AV is likely to be Forefront or Symantec and the firewall a Cisco ASA.

    I would also add that as a network admin you wouldn't really be expected to deal with any of those with the possible exception of the hardware firewall, as a windows system admin however you are likely to use most if not all of them.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  3. Unemployed Diogenes

    Unemployed Diogenes Nibble Poster

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    yes, in theorie you can almost all with MS software, but in real world here there is in most enterprises usage of third-party tools.
     
    Certifications: A+, Bachelor IT
    WIP: CCNA
  4. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    That depends on the enterprise, in my last three places of work the tools of the trade have all been the tools I have mentioned (I am currently rolling out DPM (replacing Backup Exec) and SCCM (replacing WDS\MDT) and they are also using ForeFront Client Security).

    You would be better off getting to know Enterprise level technology (and my previously mentioned applications are just that).

    As far as VMware is concerned, I agree with you that having that experience is well worth the time and money but as an entry level MCSA the chances of getting your hands on the console or vCenter server fully are fairly slim, even more so when it comes to storage.

    And talking of the enterprise, you have to understand that the more you work in the enterprise the less you will work with a variety of application types, you start being put into a Server or Firewall or Security team, the only time you will really get to work with all aspects is working with a smaller company.

    You also do need to understand that a Network Administrator is usually the one with the Cisco CCNA\CCNP, the person with the MCSA is usually the 2nd line server engineer. There is a difference in the role and types of work. A network engineer is less likely to be dealing with servers on a day to day basis so you need to decide whether you want to be a Network or Systems Engineer.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  5. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    I disagree with most of what you say above Simon. Taking the solutions mentioned one by one:

    Imaging - most places you are more likely to encounter Ghost than pretty much every other vendor put together. Ghost is proven, has a long track record of being used for mass deployment and has the toolset behind it to be utilised in any environment, from ten-person networks right the way up to global enterprises. I've never seen any other vendor's product used for multicasting of images, for instance. Microsoft's imaging is laughably inefficient, difficult and failure-prone - and I'll be honest and say I've never seen it used anywhere other than small shops.

    Backup - I don't know anyone who uses DPM. MS have been pimping it out for a while now, but it is unreliable, expensive and I don't know anyone who uses it apart from people who get it free with some sort of MS bundle. Even those places use Backup Exec for their 'real' backups. Backup Exec is the de facto standard - despite Symantec doing their level best to ruin it since they bought Vertias out (I've had BE grief this week, but that's for another post).

    Security - Does anyone know anyone who uses Forefront? I understand there are a few people using it for Exchange, but is it ever used anywhere else in the real world? Even its market share at the gateway is laughable compared to Trend, Ironmail or Websense/Surfcontrol

    Firewall - This is just as likely to be Juniper as it is Cisco. The last four jobs I've worked at couldn't have been more different - all of them used Juniper. Other vendors make up a sizable chunk of the firewall market as well - people like Checkpoint, Watchguard, Borderware etc (though they're ususally in the smaller end of the market). In fact, for true enterprise class you simply can't beat Juniper's Netscreen (unless you pay way over the odds for a Stonegate) because of the absolutely seamless failover. Not saying Cisco isn't widely used (that would be a silly thing to say!), but Juniper is as widely used as Cisco where firewalls are concerned

    Virtualisation - VMWare all the way. Nobody in their right mind chooses Hyper-V over VMWare if they are doing enterprise-level virtualisation. I've had discussions with plenty of colleagues working in virtualisation (it's my current 'specialisation', if I have one at all) and all of them know full well that MS' solution simply isn't enterprise-ready, and won't be for years (if ever). At a departmental level, you may well be likely to come across Hyper-V being used, but even there it's far more likely you'll encounter VMWare Server, ESXi or Citrix's XenApp.

    You seem to have fallen into the trap of thinking that just because you are moving to an all-MS-all-the-time environment, that's the way the world at large is going. In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. Outside of its cash cows (Windoze, Office, Exchange, SQL Server) Microsoft is dying on its arse and has been for years. It's more important for a tech now than it has ever been to know all sorts of market competitors, rather than choose MS' offering in a particular arena.

    Finally, I also disagree that the further up the ladder you go, the more you are likely only to do one thing. Unless you work for a 10,000 strong global company with an IT department of 150 people, you are going to be expected, at a senior level, to know everything about everything. IT department budgets are continually being slashed - the easiest way of doing this is firing specialist teams and getting 10 people to do the work of 50. The only way that can be achieved is if that team of 10 all knows a wide range of things. Don't get trapped into the mindset that you'll only work in a wide variety of disciplines if you work for a small company. My company is traded on the Nasdaq, has 2500 employees, but I do everything here - Virtualisation, SAN, LAN/WAN, Firewalls, Exchange, AV - the lot.

    Other than that, it's all good :biggrin
     
    Certifications: A few
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  6. Unemployed Diogenes

    Unemployed Diogenes Nibble Poster

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    Zelebulu, that is exactly what i meant...
     
    Certifications: A+, Bachelor IT
    WIP: CCNA
  7. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    I disagree with that completely, have a look around to see the jobs out there for people with experience of WDS, MDT or SCCM, trust me they are used extensively.
    I have worked in a number of places now that have migrated away from various versions of Ghost to either WDS or MDT and a number of them have moved onto SMS or SCCM.


    I can name three major NHS trusts and a central government environment as well as at least one charity that are using it, these aren't using them because they got it free (yes, they got it at a reduced cost but not free). I also admit that DPM has it's limitations (no NDMP support, no non-MS application support). My current place has completely dumped Backup Exec because of the issues they have had with it. As far as Backup Exec goes, that along with NetBackup are definitely the two main products out there for backup.

    Are you kidding? what exactly is wrong with Forefront? yes the backend server requirements are getting a big long in the tooth but that's about to be replaced by ForeFront Endpoint Protection. As far as other products are concerned yes you have the likes of Mcafee and Symantec but let's be honest, they all have their foibles.

    I haven't any experience with Juniper so I can't comment, as far as Checkpoint is concerned they are another good provider.

    I agree 100% with you on the VMware route, no arguement from me there, I am trying to persuade the trust to go down the virtualisation route with VMware and either EMC or NetApp as the backend storage solution. There are one or two things with Hyper-V that I like, the Differencing Disk is fantastic and I am liking the look of Dynamic Memory but as far as VMware is concerned I will be going for the VCP once this contract is finished (and I am already looking at booking up VMworld in Vegas next year).

    Not at all Zeb, if I find a product thats' good then I will use it, that's why I am more than familiar with the likes of OpenFiler, FreeNas and Nexenta than the likes of the Windows Storage Server, please don't misunderstand my mentioning Microsoft products as being a Microsoft only tech because I am not, yes I have a lot of MS certifications and experience but I also offer a number of non MS solutions when I need to.

    Zeb, as I mentioned in my post I said
    to me an Enterprise is usually a multinational company with 10,000 plus staff with exactly that kind of IT infrastructure (multiple specialised teams).

    The OP asked for views on this and having worked with a number of large enterprises (various international banks, insurance houses and pharma's) I like to think that my experience does count for something.

    Please also note that in various posts here I have often offered a number of non MS solutions to help people where I can.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  8. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    Just my two cents here.

    I work with customers with installed user bases of just a few thousand users, to customers with over 100k users.

    The companies that have the smallest installed user base, tend to have admins which are jacks of all trade. They will do end user support, manage AD, create new VM's in VMWare, do antivirus support for McAfee, manage a Juniper firewall and so on.

    The companies with 10-30k users almost exclusively have admins which are specialists in just 2 or 3 things, these could be OCS+FIM, AD+Exchange, and so on.

    The largest companies tend to have admins which are experts in just one technology, no more. These companies also have the largest number of "specialist" managers, a manager which oversees just one technology with a team of half a dozen people or more.

    Also, the System Center suite of products is quite popular these days. SCCM, SCOM and co are increasingly used as deployment tools, replacing Ghost as the previous tool of choice. But usually in the companies with +20k users as these companies are able to dedicate a person or two full time on managing these apps.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, MCDST, MOS, CIW, Comptia
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