Keeping up

In daily dealings with complex environments one starts to think about the advantages and disadvantages in the bleeding-edge versus old-stable philosophy. In general the community of System Administrators are a more conservative bunch, whilst the developers tend to be on the more “let us see what sticks” type of persons. Not saying there is no commingling, the concept of DevOps is a widespread and with-the-times movement.


It does not solve any problems though, which many might assume it will. The barrier between Developers and Administrators will still be there, but now we have dug some tunnels below. Namely automation and containerization. With automation comes the easy setup of platforms, with containerization the direct dependencies on the host operating system goes away.

In the age old discussion between moving forward and keeping things stable this middle ground is perhaps our best option. Changes will be on the horizon though, namely the Developer will have to know a bit about infrastructure. On the other side of the wall at least some broader automation skills will be required, or perhaps even understanding of programming.

My little guess for the future is that the role of a Administrator will move over to becoming more of a platform knowledge. Mostly due to the fact that Amazon, Microsoft, Google just to name the biggest, have made hardware a cheap commodity. Not saying that all will be in the cloud, but perhaps the classical hosting providers will.

I have been working a bit with the Microsoft Windows 2016 server core edition and must say that I am pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to manage when you figure out that winRM (windows remote management) utilizes both HTTP (5985/TCP) and HTTPS(5986) but you cannot have the HTTPS without the HTTP it seems.

But to go back to my point; ushering servers directly will be more or less gone if the current trends are any indication. The IT staff will work more with scripting, automation and ensuring that the myriad of machines they use are running then ever logging in and performing tasks on any single machine.