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The 3rd edition of The Practice of System and Network Administration was released last September. There are more than 600 new pages of material in this edition.

What makes it better for classroom use?

Before writing this edition we talked to many university instructors about what they liked or disliked about past editions. We listened!

As a result:

  1. Shorter chapters. Educators want to assign 10-15 pages of reading each night. Many of our chapters were 40-50 pages long. We split chapters into smaller ones.

  2. Top-down organization. We start with best practices and work our way down into the details.

  3. Better exercises at the end of each chapter. In the past the exercises tended to be points to ponder rather than questions that could be used as homework assignments. Now we try to follow Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Objectives: the first questions allow the student to demonstrate knowledge and comprehension, then a few questions to demonstrate application and analysis, and finally questions to demonstrate synthesis and evaluation.

As a result of this reorganization the table of contents looks quite different. The first grouping of chapters are inspirational, setting a high bar and explain DevOps strategies as applied to traditional IT (non-web) environments. The next set of chapters cover the theory behind desktop and end-user computing, followed by server infrastructure. The latter chapters deal with best practices for various applications (email, web services, etc.). The last chapters are soft topics and management skills.

The new book is 1300 pages long. Probably too big to read in one sitting. However hopefully it is a handy reference.

Oh... one more thing: Please don't confuse this third edition (the yellow book) with "Volume 2: The Practice of Cloud System Administration" (the blue book). The yellow book is focused on desktop/IT environments. The blue book is cloud and SRE topics. These two books are entirely different and complimentary.

More info:

the-sysadmin-book.comVol 1: The Practice of System and Network Administration (3rd edition)
the-cloud-book.comVol 2: The Practice of Cloud System Administration

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in TPOSANA 3rd Edition

Ben Linders interviewed Tom, Christine and Strata about the 3rd edition of The Practice of System and Network Administration:

  • See what's new in the 3rd edition of The Practice of System and Network Administration.
  • Learn how to steal DevOps practices for use in enterprise IT and desktop support.
  • What's better than beta testing IT services? Many small batch launches.
  • Learn how bi-directional empathy creates a collaborative IT culture.
  • What can go wrong when launching a new service? Everything! Here's how to avoid surprises.

Plus: InfoQ readers can download a book extract with a discount code.

Read the interview here.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in TPOSANA 3rd Edition

The Kindle edition of the 3rd Edition of "Volume 1: The Practice of System and Network Administration" can now be pre-ordered. Previously you could only pre-order the paper and PDF versions.

The new edition will be available on November 4th, 2016. It includes 22 new chapters, 6 updated chapters, and thousands of updates all over the book. The new edition is nearly twice as long as the previous editions. We worked hard to make this the best edition yet.

Here's where you can pre-order the book:

If you are more interested in service operations, web operations, and SRE techniques, you may be more interested in Volume 2: The Practice of Cloud System Administration.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Book NewsTPOSANA 3rd Edition

The 3rd edition of The Practice of System and Network Administration won't be out for another year. However, we've released a set of 8 chapters on (SBO). We've taken the previous edition's chapter on "workstations" and expanded it to be an 8-chapter segment on managing a fleet of workstations (laptops and desktops). You'll find we've done something similar for many of the chapters that we're rewriting for the new edition.

Part II: Workstation Fleet Management

Part III is about Servers. But you'll have to wait a while to see those.

IMPORTANT: The SBO system lets you post comments. Please do! We're releasing these chapters because we want feedback. Please at least tell us if we're going in the right direction!

We hope that these new chapters being a DevOps/SRE sensibility to the problem of maintaining a corporate fleet of machines for our users.

I think the funniest line so far is in Chapter 8. The most unique chapter is 11.



Posted by Tom Limoncelli in TPOSANA 3rd Edition