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new administrator job, what questions to ask the current administrator? what questions do you think you should have asked when changing jobs?

Posted on 2004-11-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-14
Hello,

i am going into my 2nd administrator job. i want to hit the ground running and make sure i get all the info i need to do the best possible job. I have made a list of questions i will ask the current admin, but i am sure there are more questions i need to answer. please post up questions you think you should have asked etc when you all changed jobs. I dont want to reinvent the wheel here, just keep the ship afloat and steady, i know the current admin is very good, so i want to get as much info as possible out of him, i have 1 week hand over period with him, then he leaves and its all mine.

i will split the points as necessary.

Envirnoment;

Win2k AD domain, 90 user LAN. Citrix metaframe xpa, 84 connections. veritas backup exec, Epicore ERP. SQL server,cisco PIX, cisco switches, citrix users on netgear routers, most clients on XP, the rest win98, but not many left on 98 at all.

my list is;

current outstanding problems and what is being done to fix
day to day problems that arise and how to fix
projects in motion, where are they at? what needs to be done
future projects, please list
Show me backup strategy
any weird things/querks going on?


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Question by:acetate
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by:
Lee W, MVP earned 350 total points
ID: 12671903
Ask WHY he had planned/done things this way and that.  For example, he may do incremental backups and you think Differential is better, but if you don't ask WHY he did things this way, you may miss the reason you shouldn't do differentials.  Why choose this server company over that.  Why this, why that.

RAID on the servers?
Server Warranties?
Software licensing?
CAL mode?
Group Policies used?

Passwords of course.  New machine setup policies.
Web site configurations?
SQL Configurations?  SQL BACKUP!
Disaster Recovery?  (Offsite backups, colocation)
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Author Comment

by:acetate
ID: 12671923
hi leew,

yeah, i see your point, the why's are important. i sort of took RAID as a gimmie, group policy i was going to sit down with him and ask the why also.

New machince setup policys is a good 1, they follow the ITIL service management model.

DR is veryimportant! i was thinking of asking when was the last system crash too!

thanks mate. some very good advice! i am interested in others opionon also! lets see what they have to say!
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12671946
To clarify, add:

RAID - Hardware or Software?  1 or 5 or 10?
System State Backups and Repair disks
DCs (and where the FSMOs are) and Global Catalog servers
Native Mode or Mixed Mode?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12671951
Support numbers and contracts - any calls available to Microsoft?  (5 pack of incidents - I use to get them).
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Assisted Solution

by:Danny Child
Danny Child earned 150 total points
ID: 12673876
check where the documentation is for stuff.
take the guy out to lunch a few times, and check if you can contact them after they leave, just in case something goes utterly bad...
try and understand the politics of the organisation - the people about the place will probably take the longest to understand.  

try and schedule a weekly meeting with your new boss to go thru the issues that you both have.
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Author Comment

by:acetate
ID: 12674517
hi dan,

yeah, i have been told the place is fully documented, so that is good for a change!

yeah, the lunch idea is a good 1, thanks!

yeah, im sure i'll be having weekly or more frequent meetings with my IT manager

thanks
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by:Danny Child
ID: 12830096
glad to be of service.
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