Network Administration Overwhelming

I've been a Network Administrator for an automotive manufacturer for almost a year, and we've added new internal operation systems and VMs. I however am embarrassed to say this is my first rodeo and have never done network administration before... and I'm the only IT personnel (different story).

I've looked online for options/software/hardware, etc to make my job easier and faster to get done, and want to know if there's anything anyone else is using for their network administration?

Thoughts, advice and ideas are appreciated.

Thank you,

Scott Lucas
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
If your overwealmed, you might consider bring in an outside service to help a few times a week or as needed. We provide that service to our customers, although we don't market our service to EE members.

There are many other companies that provide that service.

You can so check for videos of info that may help you get up to speed. You might also request training classes from management.
Daniel HelgenbergerCommented:
A few things that helped me a lot; if you are particular understaffed:

- Automate as much as you can
- IT monitoring, like Nagios
- Configuration Management, like Puppet

For me, the most stressing thing is to chase 'ghost' problems. Nagios helps alot in pinpointing the problem and you often have a early warning and a head start fixing the (minor) problem before it can becomes a major issue. This lets you sleep much better.

Second, a config managing system helps with deploying config changes on a lot of servers, since in virtualization there is a trend to have one VM per service. I am a lazy person and very bad keeping in mind minor details when I have do to the same task over and over again.

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Daniel HelgenbergerCommented:
Hehe, I was in the middle of editing my suggestion :)

Number 3:
source control, like git

This helps a lot in managing your own scripts as well as deploying them on your servers. For instance, all my servers check out the master branch of my scripts every night. This way changes are easy propagated. And I helps you keep your stuff save.

Number 4,
A tough one. Documentation. This is really imported to always document all the server roles and modifications you have done. If you operate a system for some time it does it job, it is often hard to remember the details after some time. Nagios for instance can help you with this.

Number 5:
For stuff like IT monitoring and Config management is much more efficient to call for external expertise for implementing then do it all by yourself, esp. if you are low on staff or the 'only one'. This way it is installed quite quickly and you can learn it by operating.
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