Duties of a system administrator
A system administrator's responsibilities might include:
Analyzing system logs and identifying potential issues with computer systems.
Introducing and integrating new technologies into existing data center environments.
Performing routine audits of systems and software.
Applying operating system updates, patches, and configuration changes.
Installing and configuring new hardware and software.
Adding, removing, or updating user account information, resetting passwords, etc.
Answering technical queries.
Responsibility for security.
Responsibility for documenting the configuration of the system.
Troubleshooting any reported problems.
System performance tuning.
Ensuring that the network infrastructure is up and running.
In larger organizations, some tasks listed above may be divided among different system administrators or members of different organizational groups. For example, a dedicated individual(s) may apply all system upgrades, a Quality Assurance (QA) team may perform testing and validation, and one or more technical writers may be responsible for all technical documentation written for a company.
In smaller organizations, the system administrator can also perform any number of duties elsewhere associated with other fields:
Database administrator (DBA)
System administrators, in larger organizations, tend not to be system architects, system engineers, or system designers. However, like many roles in this field, demarcations between system administration and other technical roles often are not well defined in smaller organizations. Even in larger organizations, senior system administrators often have skills in these other areas as a result of their working experience.
In smaller organizations, IT/computing specialties are less often discerned in detail, and the term system administrator is used in a rather generic way — they are the people who know how the computer systems work and can respond when something fails.