Life as a Linux/Unix admin in a Windows world - PT1 The experience

Posted by natas on Jan 17, 2006 11:18 PM EDT; By natas
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have been a Linux/Unix admin for about 7 years professionally now. I actually started off as a Junior Admin at a Linux company. This experience taught me alot, but also got me spoiled. At the Linux company, you were made fun of if you used Windows. We had one machine in the building running Windows, and that was for the Exchange server which we needed for our development team. This company was writing a email client for Linux, and Solaris that would communicate 100% to exchange (yes before evolution did it, and before exchange 2000). Every desktop in the building was running some distro of Linux. So basically I never had to argue about Linux/Unix stability, ease of use, etc.

After that job, I left to be a full-time admin. The company I worked for was a web development company. The projects were either PHP, Java or ASP. I got hired to take care of all Unix/Linux machines, but little did I know that I was the only Linux/Unix admin among 5 Windows admins...yes count em 5! Most of our projects were Java, so we ran apps like Tomcat, Websphere and Oracle Application Server (basically a suped up apache with Java built in). The company was awesome, everyone was super nice and to this day I say it was the best job; however it did have its rough areas.

My First Incident with a Windows admin I once setup a DNS server for the company I was working with. Our windows admin always gave me a hard time about Linux. He always told me it was less stable, and much harder to work with. Anyway, I challenged him one day with my dns server. I told him to setup a slave to my master dns server and we would see whose server had the longest uptime.

After about 120 days I get a call from our Windows admin braging that my Linux DNS server went down. I was in shock. How the heck did this server go down? So I came in, and decided to have a look. I went to the KVM switch and went to number 5, to my shock the screen came up with a Windows Login. I went around and checked the connections and they were correct. How did my Linux DNS server all of the sudden turn into a Win2k server. I grabbed the Windows admin and asked if he has done any Win2k installs lately. He answered yes, so I started laughing at him. First the machine was clearly labeled as LNXDNS-server01, second I asked him if this was his way of trying to beat me in the uptime contest. He felt really bad.

In the long run, after I reinstalled Linux the machine had a max uptime of 400+ days, and the only reason I lost that was because we moved to a new location The windows machine had crashed (some big virus going around at the time) after 140 days.

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