What would you do for your first day as System Administrator in new company ?

Hi All,

I'd like to know what would be your first thing to do when you get a new position in a new company as System Administrator ?

what are your suggestions of task to do in your first 6 months ?
Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAsked:
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Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
inventory => first know what you have at your hands
* material (if you are lucky, all is documented)
* procedures (like above ...)
* persons (what are their requests)
* issues
* budget

only knowing above key information, you can then site and decide what to do as larger project
anything else is just operational work
Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
You are the only SA there? If not the best thing to do is to get into the team faster as you can.
The first month it's only to get knowledge of the infrastructure, processes and people. Read a lot (manual, procedures, rules, ...) and try to start with very basic tasks that will help you to integrate in the company culture.
Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Yes, I'm the only one in the SysAdmin role on this medium company.
the other team members just a help desk, network engineer, DBA and Project manager.

This company does not have any ITIL process in place so it is quite relaxed, but the problem is that there are no documented procedures and diagram that can be easily understandable as a big picture.

Project documentation for each applications that are running on the platform like: Business case, Requirement gathering, High level design, As Build document, etc...

Most of the time people reactively solve the problem that is arise daily so no proactive monitoring in the company that is integrated like SCOM or Emite does.
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I'd get a quick survey out to all people asking them

"What  (inexpensive changes) can IT do for them to save the company money and make your work easier and more efficient?"

What are the most important programs / systems / application / functions that you rely on which would create the greatest risk to the company and customers if it was offline for an extended period of time. Can you quantify that?

Then after you have them thinking how great you're going to be, tell them, in the interest of security you plan on changing all passwords and implementing improved security procedures, so start thinking up some new passwords that are a minimum of 8 characters long, upper/lower case letters, numbers, and at least one punctuation character.  

They'll hate you for changing passwords, but at least you softened the blow.
Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
Don't talk yet with the Project Manager. The help desk, network engineer and the DBA should give you a very good picture with the problems that they are dealing with.
After that see how your background experience will help you in this new job and then talk with the Project Manager about your ideas.
Know what you have equipment-wise
Know where management wants to go
identify problems that are not being addressed and address them
Know what your budget is.
identify weaknesses in the infrastructure of equipment or people and see if you can outsource to a consultant to help figure out solutions for the weaknesses.
Makes sure your security is up to snuff
Consider moving in-house solutions to a hosted SaaS environment - if it makes sense money-wise and skill-wise.
Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
So yes, in terms of security, is there anything else that I can do apart from resetting the administrator password ?
Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
Can I ask you what's your experience in a SysAdmin role? You seems very uncomfortable with this new job.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
i would check if policies are in place for password change (companies can vary on this; sometimes it can be 30 days, others 90), lockout policies, auditing (if that is something required on file servers with sensitive data)

i would also look at the AD topology as far as different sites (if you have), domain controllers, replication, where FSMO roles are located - basically a health check to make sure that piece is working.  that's what i've done the last couple placed and did find some minor issues.

i would also identify any potential single points of failure with critical systems and make sure backup system is in place and working.  check for any failing drives or other hardware issue.  life cycle management including looking for hardware that is end-of-life and/or out of warranty.  look for possible ways to consolidate and virtualize (if budgeting allows)

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Passwords wold only need to be rest if you didn't have a good PW rotation scheme in place. Minimally you should be using the MS Complex password scheme.

As far as security it depends on your industry, your risk exposure and a god risk assessment of those exposures and what is in place now to mitigate them.  I know this is very generic, but not knowing what you have in place at the moment makes it hard to give specific suggestions.
Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the reply guys, this is a new role that I was lucky to fill in. Previously I was just managing one Site only within the same city but in this new role, I will need to manage the various office branch across different time zones since I'll be working in the Head Quarter.
Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Thanks !
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