What Does a Senior System Administrator Do?

Helen Akers
Helen Akers
Woman doing a handstand with a computer
Woman doing a handstand with a computer

A senior system administrator is in charge of overseeing the design and operation of a company's computer network. The administrator will usually have extensive knowledge, certification and experience with a particular type of operating system. An important aspect of the job is monitoring the network's performance and resolving service interruptions. Senior system administrators also supervise a staff of junior administrators, oversee network upgrades, and recommend improvements.

Ensuring network performance reliability and consistency is one of the main responsibilities of a senior system administrator. This includes monitoring the equipment used to build and run computer networks, including servers and routers. Administrators must also understand how to work with operating systems to configure the network software and hardware to meet the users' needs. For example, based on an operating system's unique characteristics, a systems administrator may increase bandwidth at a particular location by redirecting hub traffic.

Deciding on the architecture of an organization's computer network is a crucial job duty performed by a senior system administrator. Once the network is designed, the operating system platform the company uses must be configured. Part of configuring the network involves the senior systems administrator setting permission and login settings for individual users. For example, some organizations store data on various network servers that users must be given permission to access.

Responding to service interruptions and emergencies is a task that a senior system administrator is often responsible for. In some cases, he may direct a team of support representatives and junior administrators to assist with restoring network service. The prevention of future problems with slow network traffic and service outages also falls on the shoulders of a senior system administrator. In addition to upgrading the hardware components of computer network, he may change certain aspects of the operating system platform, such as folder directories.

A senior system administrator usually gathers system requirements for any software applications and hardware incorporated into the computer network. This can include any applications installed and run on individual computers that are attached to the network system. To promote network stability, it is important that an administrator monitor functionality of hardware and software connected to the system, due to its ability to effect other components. Part of maintaining network stability involves monitoring and preventing intrusions from viruses, malware and spyware.

Recommending improvements to increase a computer network's performance and stability is another aspect of the job. Some of these improvements may be upgrades based on suggestions from software and hardware vendors. Many recommendations come from the administrator's technical knowledge and experience with industry standards.

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      Woman doing a handstand with a computer