Solaris and Nix in a windows world.
Posted on 2013-10-24
Aside from VMware, Storage, and Network equipment, all infrastructures I have been involved at was all Microsoft, and that was great, as my area of expertise is in varios Windows roles and serverices, Microsoft domain infrastructures, and various Windows apps, I also admin and support VMware...These areas of focus has been the norm for me for years, the only thing changing is the hardware, software releases.. which I quickly learn..Since I already have a base understanding of the product... Unless they completely redo everything.
But recently I moved to a new infrastructure and they have various\several SUN\Solaris, unix, Linux, etc Oses....along with the normal windows domain vmware and etc.
I have been working my normal areas of expertise, as I always do. No concerns, well that's not true -- we always come across concerns.. but since you have experience and expertise in a subject, you can resolve , and diagnosis, or setup, implement a lot faster, and accurate.
But now, I have been tasked with administrating and supporting the SPARC Solaris, and Nix servers in the environment..
While this is an exciting opportunity to learn a new skill and technology, I am also scared as h3ll....I barely could spell SUN, let alone support it.
I really am completely green, and management and users will look to me as the expert for all their systems...
I recently had the honest upfront, no BS, conversation indicating that while I am up for the challenge and task, it isn't my bread and butter, so please understand that even simple things may take additional reasearch and time..
But their true expectations and understanding was finally received loud and clear....
..... Even though they know its not my skillset, I still have a duty and obligation to maintain system reliability, uptime and performance at all times.. I am to resolve any OS issue, and of course come up with proactive resolutions that mitigate against potential issues, utilizing powerful scripts, automatation, monitoring, reqular maintenance and health checks. Patch management, log review, anything to make the environment run more efficient, increasing performance, and utilizing resources appropriately. Reducing cost, increasing revenue, and pushing the company forward with relivant projects and ways of doing things.
you get the idea....
This task can be daunting and challenging even in your most perfered and expert subject.
You true expertise, as you come across new issues all the time, new products, new technology, new revisions, new automation and monitoring, but at least you have an understanding of the product, you have that baseline, its your go to move... your favorite basketball shot. shooting 95% from the free throw, a comfort zone.
So back to my question, I am looking for suggestions on how to quickly learn these new OSes, commands used, functionality, setup, configuration, and normal best practices to get me along. (a fast as humanly possible) I know I wont be an expert in one day... and Of course I know to use google, which helps.... I use it all day long for even stuff I do know.
But when you have no basis, or starting ground, nor even an idea of the OSes true power, all commands, etc, you don't exactly know what to search. other than Um Solaris Admin guide for OS v 10/13 or something, and I will read and look through the guides...
Just wondering if people have a go to site with all NIX\Solaris information, best practices, moving forward, maintenance, anything and everything that is a true engineers best friend.
If not a site, perhaps you have a favorite book, or video that advanced you to where you are today.. Looking for any recommendation of any kind. Anything to look out for, any no-nos-- So tricks, so advice or experiences. anything relating to, and focusing on solaris and nix.
Yea, they threw me to the wolves, and I will either sink or swim...
Im definitely excited of the opportunity, but if I am to swim, I need the experts advice and best approach. I want to learn as fast as possible, I don't mind doing heavy lifting ---
Another idea I have, and need input on practaclity, features, compatibility, and etc.
I was wondering if there is a NIX or Solaris OS version that can be installed on (lets say my laptop) that is currently running win 7 x64
This would allow me to play and learn, but I still need to do my main task of windows engineering, Exchange, Storage, Application, VMware and etc... with the newly added sun and nix support
Since VMware uses either vcenter client or powercli/putty and etc. I assume this wouldn't be a big change or would I have problems adding this app to my new nix OS that (you recommend)
Also as of right now,. Instead of logging into the DHCP server, or DNS, or ADS, and etc. I added all the remote management tools to my laptop, making administration easier and faster, without the need to RDP into every server for every little thing.
Matter of fact, I do this also for scom, exchange, and others...I also use powershell/vbscript or pstools, and ect.
I rarely RDP unless I truly have to. or there are system issues a miss.
Can you do all these things with Nix or Solaris as your main and only OS..
Id prefer not to make a VM on laptop, cuz I prolly wont ever use it, I know I will use what I have at my disposal to quickly resolve the issue as fast as possible, with the least amount of impact and/or downtime to the user. Since my comfortzone is in windows, I am guessing I will just do it the way I always have for the sake of easy, and resolution.
But maybe this can all be done via NIX and Solaris too.... How? any special apps, versions, utilities, compatibities, concerns, howtos, precautions, cons,
I know I would like to be able to remotely administer through remote tools of all domain infrastrue if I can. Including mager server apps and services.
I still need the capability of VPN. / remote. RDP, and the use of common windows apps. or compatiable.....
Some may include but not limited too, Working and editing Office products, PDFs, outlook (email), putty, pstools, and syssinternal suire, WinSCP, Filezilla, Java, Lync, VMware, Veritas\Netbackup, powershell,\powergui.. Notepad++
Anything else, any other thoughts, limitations, maybe an addin that runs windows apps on nix, I 'm looking for all thoughts and suggestions, and recommened learning material to get me to the next step.
Then now that I am supporting these new Solaris or nix back, can they be added to a management group or etc, so you can support them better?