Sysadmin Todo List

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This is the new Sysadmin Todo List as of 05/27/2010. The previous list was moved to Old Sysadmin Todo List. This list list is incomplete, and needs updating.


  • Convert physical and VMs to CentOS 6 for compute servers (taro,endeavour) and all others to either 6 or 7.
  • Mailman: Clean up mailman and make sure all the groups and users are in order.
  • CUPS: Look into getting CUPS authenticating users through LDAP instead of using Samba.
  • Printer: Get working and see if you can get a driver to properly recognize page number count instead of just giving the value as a number of 1 which corresponds to a job submission not the number of pages.
  • Check /etc/apcupsd/shutdown2 script on Gourd to make sure all the keys are correctly implemented so the machines go down properly during a power outage.
  • Do a check on Lentil to see if there is any unneccessary data being backed up.

Daily Tasks

These are things that should be done every day when you come into work.

  1. Do a physical walk-through/visual inspection of the server room
  2. Verify that all systems are running and all necessary services are functioning properly
    • For a quick look at which systems are up you can use /usr/local/bin/
    • Gourd: Make sure that home folders are accessible, all virtual machines are running
    • Einstein: Make sure that LDAP and all e-mail services (dovecot, spamassassain, postfix, mailman) are running
    • Roentgen: Make sure website/MySQL are available
    • Jalapeno: Named and Cups
    • Lentil: Verify that backups ran successfully overnight. Check space on backup drives, and add new drives as needed.
  3. Check Splunk: click here if you're in the server room, or open localhost:8000 (use https) from Pumpkin
    • Check logs for errors, keep an eye out for other irregularities.
  4. Check Cacti:
    • Verify that temperatures are acceptable.
    • Monitor other graphs/indicators for any unusual activity.

Weekly Tasks

These are things that should be done once every 7 days or so.

  1. Check physical interface connections
    • Verify that all devices are connected appropriately, that cables are labeled properly, and that all devices (including RAID and IPMI cards) are accessible on the network.
  2. Check Areca RAID interfaces
    • The RAID interfaces on each machine are configured to send e-mail to the administrators if an error occurs. It may still be a good idea to login and check them manually on occasion as well, just for the sake of caution.
  3. Clean up the server room, sweep the floors.

Monthly Tasks

  1. Perform scheduled maintenance on the server room air conditioning units.
  2. Check S.M.A.R.T. information on all server hard drives
    • Make a record of any drives which are reporting errors or nearing failure.

Annual Tasks

These are tasks that are necessary but not critical, or that might require some amount of downtime. These should be done during semester breaks (probably mostly in the summer) when we're likely to have more time, and when downtime won't have as detrimental of an impact on users.

  1. Server software upgrades
    • Kernel updates, or updates for any software related to critical services, should only be performed during breaks to minimize the inconvenience caused by reboots, or unexpected problems and downtime.
  2. Run fsck on data volumes
  3. Clean/Dust out systems
  4. Rotate old disks out of RAID arrays
  5. Take an inventory of our server room / computing equipment