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Overworked Admins


The answer to your question depends on the type and complexity of the servers ... and whom you ask. A Microsoft-certified professional supports 20 Windows servers on average, according to Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine's annual salary survey. Meta Group's research pegs the average system-to-admin range from 10:1 to 20:1.

But my poll of NETWORK COMPUTING editors and contributors found wildly divergent numbers, from 350:2 for Windows servers and 150:2 for Unix in a university setting, down to 3:1 for complex Unix boxes--a critical Solaris system doing financial transactions by the millions, for example.

IT hiring may increase soon (see "Game Plan," below), but meanwhile, your best bet is to work smarter. That might mean taking advantage of consolidation and virtualization technologies. For tips on getting a consolidation project approved despite budget constraints, see Steve Schuchart's cover package "Server Consolidation: Why Less Is More".

Dear Career Coach

I was taught never to discuss religion, sex or politics at work. But a younger IT staffer never misses a chance to poll co-workers and users about touchy subjects. I don't want to seem stodgy, but isn't his behavior a harassment complaint waiting to happen?


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