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This article was written by a close friend of UnixTools. She hopes you find it useful. The topic is the training needed for...

Unix System Administration Jobs

Whether you are someone wanting to get into the field of Unix or a veteran, keeping up with your unix training is a must whether through reading magazines, studying books or taking courses. Ideally, you then get yourself unix certificates to prove you know your stuff. But what sort of training is the best? Here are my experiences gained from 20 years of working as a unix system administrator.

1) Start with the Basics - Unix Training

You will need to practice what you learn so you may want to start with linux, as you can run it on your own pc. If you don't know unix at all, the RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) exam is a challenging hands on exam. So don't expect to pass it just taking the fast track class! Of the unix certifications you can earn, the RHCE is generally regarded as the one that "proves" the most as you really need to know what you are doing to pass the test.

Next take a class on the systems you are working on or hope to work on. Sun, HP, and AIX unix courses are all very good. After you know linux, these courses will be much easier, though each variant of unix is very different and requires it own set of knowledge. Knowing the differences can make a long project be much shorter as you can apply the right Unix tool to the job. If you can, take the appropriate unix certifcation exams when you are done with the course, as many employers require them.

2) Train on High Availability Software

Cluster software, such as Veritas Cluster Server and Sun Cluster, are essential for highly available production systems. Most jobs for that type of system require this type of knowledge so learning as much as you can is helpful.

Knowing the latest gotchas and tips and tricks is essential. Learn how to fail over a cluster, recover a cluster, and troubleshoot Veritas Cluster problems. This useful knowledge can make the difference between a 1 hour outage and a many day outage. Though most places have support, these classes remind you what configuration files you need as a backup and how to get the most out of your software.

It always feels great to be a star.

3) Learn Backup Systems

Though many people resist doing backups, when problems happen it is extremely useful to be able to get needed files any time you need them. Whether working for a mom-n-pop shop or a larger company, backups are essential for the business to run smoothly.

Veritas NetBackup, Omniback, and Legato are currently the 3 most popular backup systems for enterprise clusters. My favorite of these three is Veritas NetBackup. This Veritas backup software has a great Graphical User Interface (GUI) as well as a reasonable command line interface. As you know getting a good backup -- and being able to restore it quickly and easily when you need to -- is a must. So learn how to do it efficiently.

These are enough areas to get you started on further education. Hopefully, by taking the time to brush up, you will avoid costly mistakes and be able to provide full disaster recovery when needed.