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Perl for System Administration
Reviews Views Date of last review
1 35410 07-04-2005
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 8.0

Description: Managing Multiplatform Environments with PERL

"We could describe system administration like this;
On one side, we have a set of resources: computers, networks, software etc. On the other side, we have a set of users with needs and projects - people who want to get work done. Our job is to bring these two sets together in the most optimal way possible, translating between the world of vague human needs and the technical world when necessary.
System administration is often a glue job; and PERL is one of the best glue languages. Perl was being used for system administration work well before the World Wide Web came along with it's voracious need for glue mechanisms"
In the 60's Batman tv show, the dynamic duo wore utility belts.
This book aims to give you the utility belt you need for good system administration work.
Keywords: perl admin administration scripts ldap XML
Publisher: O'Reilly
ISBN: 1-56592-609-9

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Old 07-04-2005, 04:36 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2002
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian
Posts: 2,458

Rep: Reputation:
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8

Pros: Covers MS and *nix implemantations. Very in depth discussions before examples.
Cons: Light on examples.

Covering the following in great detail..
- Filesystems
- User Accounts
- User Activity
- TCP/IP Name Services
- Directory Services
- SQL Database Administration
- Electronic Mail
- Log Files
- Security and Network Monitoring
with 5 excellent Appendices
- The 5 minute RCS tutorial
- The 10 minute LDAP tutorial
- The 8 minute XML tutorial
- The 15 minute SQL tutorial
- The 20 minute SNMP tutorial

This book clarifies the uses and most common abuses of system services with an easy, quick and thoughtful style. It is obvious from the first pages that security is top of the list, and although second best can be enough at times, it often isn't even accurate. So complex tasks when well thought out and tested provide excellent information in return.
The sources of the modules and discussions about alternatives are always present, as are examples of more complex scripting. Starting always with the simple approach, then moving on to more courageous ideas.
Following the examples requires some perl knowledge so it's not a book for a perl newbie. It does however go into enough detail that an astute person could start here. It was especially useful before looking at the internal workings of Webmin, being able to view the processes before the techniques.
I found the section on logfiles a little empty, but a good place to work from. And an overall bias towards discussing MS systems than*nix systems (which look frightfully simple afterwards).
A very good read, lots of practice to tweak the output to my satisfaction and time to venture into some more perl modules!
What's missing? Well it's a July 2000 print, so maybe time to refresh the current module capabilities.. and how the level of automation for administrators has changed. Not much missing..


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