Publisher's Note: This month's forum comes to you
courtesy of Larry Reznick, who serves Sys Admin both
as a Contributing
Editor (that is, a regular columnist) and as Consulting
the latter capacity, Larry reviews all proposals and
to Sys Admin, critiquing them for focus, clarity, and
fit to Sys Admin's
purpose. In short, he helps make the magazine what it
a few thoughts from Larry on this month's theme: Networks.
I was talking with a friend the other day about the
networking concerns of UNIX system administrators. Dave
in installing network systems for high-demand facilities.
came immediately to him: security and efficiency.
Security is a significant concern with so many new
people discovering Internet communications today. Systems
firewalls to prevent unauthorized access. Authorized
users must be
held accountable for their operations on the systems.
must remain vigilant of cracking techniques including
software holes, and other vulnerabilities.
Setting aside security concerns for the moment, the
next issue is efficient operation on the network. With
demands on the network, is the bandwidth sufficient
to handle users'
needs? 56K lines may be enough for some smaller installations
applications such as web servers need more. 128K ISDN
may work with
load analysis. T1 lines at 1.55M might be necessary.
T1 lines are
available in fractional 56K increments up to the 1.55M
maybe your system demands more. T3 offers 45M lines
and ATM offers
a minimum of 155M.
Sys Admin is looking for detailed articles on security
issues, what administrators must know and what to look
for, and techniques
to solve the problems before they happen. We're also
detailed articles on network efficiency, what options
including how to select the appropriate option, the
downsides of the
options, when to plan for upgrades and transitions,
and what techniques
are on the horizon.
Keeping with our practical focus, what do your network
installations look like? What kinds of network security
problems have you solved? Other UNIX system administrators
from your installation, the decisions you made to get
there, and the
problems you solved or headed off. So think about becoming
a Sys Admin
contributor -- to paraphrase the recent PBS pitches:
if not you,