LOPSA Presents Phoenix SysAdmin Days

Thanks to our Sponsors!

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Professional Training in the Valley of the Sun
November 6-7, 2006

at the Crowne Plaza Phoenix-North at Metro Center

Co-sponsored by the Arizona Tech Council and LOPSA-US-AZ

LOPSA is proud to present our first training workshop: SysAdmin Days. SysAdmin Days '06 will be held on Nov 6th and 7th in Phoenix, AZ.

SysAdmin Days is a two-day training workshop for system administrators to focus on all the aspects of their professional development, both technical and otherwise. Workshops are available for both specific platforms and technologies and general system administration practices, including Mac OS X Administration, PHP, and Perl. We'll also have sessions about topics important for any sysadmin, including Drafting Policy Documents, Communications Skills, and Time Management.

Instructors include Tom Limoncelli, co-author of The Practice of System and Network Administration and Time Management for System Administrators, Mike Halligan, CTO of BitPusher, George Toft, CISSP, MSIS and more!

Simple lists of facts and tricks can be gleaned from web searches and man pages, but there's much more to system administration than where to click the mouse. SysAdmin Days is aimed at increasing understanding and professionalism. Our workshops are focused on giving system administrators practical tools and advice based on direct experience that is best gained in an in-person, live setting.

Our classes are designed for serious junior and mid-level system administrators, but we've had interest in the program from senior system adminstrators as well. All skill and experience levels are welcome and will learn something new.

Cost and Registration

Early Bird registration extended to the 27th!

  • Registration fee include 2 days of classes, class materials,lunch both days, morning and afternoon breaks, Monday evening reception, Monday evening Invited Talks and break-out sessions:

    Early Bird Registration: until 10/27/06
    LOPSA Members$474
    Regular Registration: after 10/27/06
    LOPSA Members$524

  • If you are not from the Phoenix area, we have a small room block at the hotel with a discount rate of $109/night. Please mention "League of Professional System Administrators" when making your reservation to obtain the discount rate.

Program At-A-Glance

Monday, November 6
Tuesday, November 7

7:30 - 9:00
Registration and Coffee

9:00 - 10:30Training Class #1Training Class #3

10:30 - 11:00Morning Break

11:00 - 12:30Training Class #1Training Class #3

12:30 - 1:30Lunch (provided)

1:30 - 3:00Training Class #2Training Class #4

3:00 - 3:30Afternoon Break

3:30 - 5:00Training Class #2Training Class #4

5:00 - 5:30After School Snack Break

5:30 - 6:30Invited Talks

6:30 - 8:00Sysadmin Days Happy Hoursponsored by Google

8:00 - 9:00Breakout and "Birds of a Feather" Sessions

9:00 - 10:00Breakout and "Birds of a Feather" Sessions

Training Classes

Pick one class from each (see below for class descriptions):

Training Class #1: Monday Morning
introduction to Telephony and VoIPStacy Bowdish
Change Management: Why suffer the paperwork?Jesse Trucks
Compliance For System AdministratorsGeorge Toft
Administering a Mac OS X EnvironmentJim Foraker
Training Class #2: Monday Afternoon
Ethics and Professionalism for System AdministratorsEsther Filderman
Disaster Recovery: Will you survive?Jesse Trucks
VirtualizationBob Plankers
Automate Windows AdministrationDavid Lundell
Training Class #3: Tuesday Morning
Time Management for System Administrators: Work smarter, get more doneNote: this is an all-day class -- continues Tuesday AfternoonTom Limoncelli
Communication for IT: A broad spectrum analysisJesse Trucks
PHP for SysadminsEric Thelin
Data Centers, Data Closets and Server Hosting Mike Halligan
Training Class #4: Tuesday Afternoon
Time Management for System Administrators: Work smarter, get more doneNote: this is an all-day class -- continues from Tuesday MorningTom Limoncelli
Advanced Security: A self-assessment studyJesse Trucks
Get Ready for Perl 6Trey Harris
Developing IT PoliciesDavid Parter

Invited Talks
Four invited talks will be presented on Monday evening. Details TBA.

Breakout and Birds-of-a-Feather Sessions
After the Sysadmin Days Happy Hour, there will be two hours of small-group breakout sessions and "Birds-of-a-Feather" sessions to address topics of interest to attendees.

Training Classes in Detail
Time Management for System Administrators: Work smarter, get more done
instructor: Tom Limoncelli
Note: This is an all-day class, which takes two class sessions.

Tom Limoncelli is on a mission. He wants to see System Administrators work 40 hours a week (not 70), be more relaxed (not stressed), and still get all their work done. It isn't easy.

Most time management talks are useless for people with hundreds of screaming users.

His first tip will save you an hour each week. Seven more like it and you have gained a day each week!

Some of his tips will include:

* How not to get interrupted by users
* What to do when users interrupt you anyway
* Avoid the "Todo List Of Doom"
* How to go home at 5pm every day
* Places to find "hidden" free time
* Precompiled routines are better than ad hoc
* When automating is a waste of time
* How do you get more "face time" with your boss? (or less, if you prefer)

Tom Limoncelli has been teaching his Time Management for System Administrators Tutorial for 3 years. His new book, "Time Management for System Administrators" from O'Reilly has been published recently.

Change Management: Why suffer the paperwork?
instructor: Jesse Trucks, GCIH, GCUX, Sr System Administrator/Team Lead, IT Convergence

This class covers both the conceptual and practical aspects of Change Management. In this class you will learn what Change Management is within the context of System Administration and IT operations. You will learn how to take the concepts of Change Management back to your own operations to improve change control and documentation procedures. The goal of Change Management and this class is to improve IT service by reducing surprises, reducing Mean Time To Repair (MTTR), establishing and improving documentation standards and incorporating practical change management methods into the daily practice of IT groups.

Communication for IT: A broad spectrum analysis
instructor: Jesse Trucks, GCIH, GCUX, Sr System Administrator/Team Lead, IT Convergence

This class covers all manner of communication techniques for IT professionals, with an emphasis on the particular struggles facing system administrators today. The class covers the wide range of communication styles and how to more effectively utilize those styles. You will learn how to use the different forms of ancient and modern communication methods, such as face to face meetings, email, instant messaging, and teleconferencing (audio and video). The goal is to provide better understanding and more effective tools for communicating with management, peers, and clients in the workplace.

Disaster Recovery: Will you survive?
instructor: Jesse Trucks, GCIH, GCUX, Sr System Administrator/Team Lead, IT Convergence

Every IT operation eventually faces a disaster on some scale. Despite most disaster based damage being avoidable, the result is usually catastrophic in some way or another. In this class you will learn how to mitigate risk of disaster through a variety of methods. This class covers Disaster Recovery (DR) as a discipline and the low level mechanics of evaluating risks and developing mitigation or reactive disaster plans. All system administrators, regardless of the size or scope of their operation, will benefit from a more in depth understanding of DR taught in this class. The goal is to provide skills and knowledge that allows immediate changes to the disaster readiness of your own operations back at the office.

Advanced Security: A self-assessment study
instructor: Jesse Trucks, GCIH, GCUX, Sr System Administrator/Team Lead, IT Convergence

This class takes an unconventional approach to advanced security for system administrators. The approach is based on the idea that we can usually figure out how to secure something once we know what needs securing, but the difficulty is usually in enumerating the things that require security. In this class, you will learn how to perform a comprehensive evaluation of your workplace security. This encompasses any organizational policies, applicable government regulations effecting system administration, network topology, personnel involved, systems, and other areas requiring evaluation to understand the full spectrum of security issues at a particular workplace. The goal is for you to take home a detailed list of questions to answer and risks to evaluate, as well as the tools to answer those questions, evaluate those risks, and propose solutions to meet the security needs of your organization.

Compliance For System Administrators
instructor: George Toft, CISSP, MSIS, My IT Department

New document: Compliance for System Administrators

This class will cover a lot of topics that System Administrators need to be aware of to comply with various external requirements, including:
* Just what are the various regulatory and psuedo-regulatory compliance requirements?
* Common Business Errors
* What System Administrators need to know about compliance requirements
* Requirements For Business
* Risk Analysis
* Information Security Plans
* Testing of Controls
* Requirements for Support Personnel / Service Providers
* A.R.S. 44-7501 (Arizona State Law)

Developing IT Policies
instructor: David Parter, LOPSA

Policy is critical for the evaluation and even survival of any IT shop; it provides critical protection to users, managers, and most of all the sysadmins themselves. However, the process for drafting IT policies is often difficult and murky. This class will focus on the process from beginning to end. We'll look at identifying what policies are needed, how to include everyone who should be involved in drafting policy, getting approval from management, crafting sensible policies in difficult environments both political and technical, and finally implementing policies once they have been drafted and approved.

Ethics and Professionalism for System Administrators
instructor: Esther Filderman

The profession of System Administration frequently requires ethical decisions with which to deal with our day to day situations -- accessing others files, email, and other confidential data, as well as longer term issues, such as retention policies and vendor biases. How we deal with these decisions affects our profession as a whole.

We'll discuss the System Administrators' Code Of Ethics, and along the way various scenarios of possible ethical quandaries will be presented. Feel free to bring your own issues to share and explore, and be prepared to argue and discuss various ideas. Ethical decisions are not always simple and you may find yourself exploring the many shades of gray that these issues can raise.

Data Centers, Server Rooms and Server Hosting
instructor: Michael T. Halligan, BitPusher

Who should attend: Systems Administrators evaluating commercial datacenter providers, who want to learn more about the state of the colocation market, or who are considering building their own datacenter or server room.

Today's datacenter market is a vast, and convoluted space. Ask ten different colocation providers a question, and you're sure to get ten different answers. The dot-com crash left a lot of cheap space in it's wake, most of which has not kept up with the times, creating a myriad of new problems and considerations you'll face when choosing a facility to house your infrastructure. This class aims to help guide sysadmins who either haven't dealt with the task of specifying and procuring commercial datacenter space, and those who haven't done so in a while. The same evaluation criteria and considerations can be applied to an in-house datacenter or server room.

instructor: Bob Plankers, University of Wisconsin - Madison

This class will get you up to speed on virtualization and evaluation
or deploying virtual systems for your site. Topics include:
* What is virtualization, and what is the terminology around the topic?
* A brief history of virtualization
* Types of virtualization (paravirtualization vs. real virtualization), virtualization vs. emulation
* Why virtualization is cool (encapsulation, security implications, ROI, ...)
* Why virtualization is a pain (harder resource management, slower,
troubleshooting is more difficult, chargebacks ...)
* Pros and Cons of the different types of virtualization
* Virtualization offerings including both open source, free, and commercial, including Xen, VMware ESX and VirtualCenter, VMware Server, Mac OSX Parallels, IBM Dynamic and Micro LPARs, and Solaris Zones
* Pros and Cons of the different offerings
* What CPU vendors are doing to help with virtualization
* Performance implications of virtualization, troubleshooting
* Hardware consideratios
* Enterprise storage and its role in each offering, including storage virtualization.
* Role of virtualization in disaster recovery plans
* Licensing issues
* Management issues: chargeback methods, return on investment, what upper management needs to know
* Futures: Linux hypervisor compatibility & paravirtualization, global schedulers like VMware's DRS, etc

Introduction to Telephony and VOIP
instructor: Stacy Bowdish,Google, ACD/IVR Systems Administrator

Ever wonder what happens when you dial a phone number? How about the inner workings of the oft-dreaded customer service IVRs? Curious about VoIP? In this session we'll explore the history and future of telephony, as well as demystify some of its core technology.

Get Ready for Perl 6
instructor: Trey Harris, LOPSA

Perl 6, the completely revamped version of the most popular scripting language among system administrators, has been in development for over five years now, so you'll be excused for thinking it's vaporware. But development has continued, and greatly accelerated over the past year. It's now possible to download tools that let you run Perl 6 programs today; an official beta release is likely in 2007.

Perl 6 is a complete rewrite of the language, with hundreds of exciting new features. Your Perl 5 scripts and programs will continue to run under Perl 6, but to make use of the new features, you'll need to learn the new language. This tutorial will give you a head start so you'll be ready when Perl 6 is.

Topics covered will include:

* An overview of Perl 6's design
* Its compilers and runtimes (yes, plural)
* Language changes:
- New/changed syntax
- Junctions
- Subroutines
- The MAIN subroutine and command-line arguments
- Objects, classes, roles and traits
- Modules and packages
- Regexes, rules, and grammars
* Downloading and installing Perl 6 tools so you can experiment with Perl 6 today, including backports of Perl 6 features to Perl 5

Live demos will be run, too, so you can see Perl 6 in action!

Administering a Mac OS X Environment
instructor: Jim Foraker, Carnegie Mellon University

The Mac OS X operating system is a huge advance of what came before, but many IT shops and IT professionals still regard Macs as toys, not serious computing platforms for a total installation. This course will cover concepts needed to either create an entire network of Mac clients and servers, and also how to integrate Mac OS X clients into existing networks securely and safely. Topics include binding to NIS/LDAP and NFS, Active Directory support, software updates and management, security, Mac OS X Server and OpenDirectory, command line tips and tricks, and more.

Automate Windows Administration
instructor: David Lundell, Mutually Beneficial Inc.

Learn how to use the Windows Script Host and Windows Management Instrumentation (focus on VBScript, with a Jscript and Perl example as well) to make better login scripts, and automate some of your administrative chores.

PHP for System Administrators
instructor: Eric Thelin, President and founder of AzPHP

People attending this class will learn not only how to configure PHP
servers but diagnose common errors. Attendees will learn many of the
"tricks of the trade" for getting PHP to scale to the enterprise level.
Individuals are encouraged to bring specific "real world" problems to
discuss and should feel free to bring any apps they as admins find useful.

About the Instructors

Stacy Bowdish
Google, ACD/IVR Systems Administrator

Stacy Bowdish currently supports Google's global call center operations. She has spent the past 10 years working in the telecommunications industry with a concentration on contact center technologies.

Esther Filderman
Esther Filderman was one of the original members of the group commissioned to create and ratify the current System Administrators' Code of Ethics and has encouraged System Administrators in her home city of Pittsburgh, PA, to adopt the Code. She is an active member of LOPSA, the local group (SNAPgh), and of the OpenAFS project, for which she helps run a yearly conference and otherwise nags the Board of Elders.

Jim Foraker
Jim Foraker is a developer and system adminstrator and a member of the Mac OS X Project Group in Computing Services, Carnegie Mellon's central computing department. Since 2000, he has been responsible for the design and implementation of several generations of architectures used in the deployment and maintenance of the 125 Macs used in Carnegie Mellon's public computing labs. He has also been active in the MacEnterprise.org and radmind open source communities.

Jim leverages his skills as a Unix system adminstrator with the features of Mac OS X to create secure and reliable enterprise-class systems that tightly integrate into heterogenous computing environments.

Michael T Halligan
CTO, BitPusher LLC

Michael T. Halligan has over twelve years of experience in production IT architecture and operations. Previously he's held management and consulting positions at more start-ups and internet corporations than he cares to admit, including MyPoints, Kontiki, Napster, and a long list of hosting providers. Michael is currently Chief Technical Officer of BitPusher, a Managed Hosting Provider providing custom, outsourced infrastructure management solutions to start-ups and SMBs.

Trey Harris

Trey Harris is a programmer and system administrator with 15 years of experience in Perl. He has worked as a senior system administrator and system automation programmer in university, financial-services, technology and Internet sectors, most recently at Amazon.com, and has worked as a Perl trainer. He was a technical reviewer for Damian Conway's "Perl Best Practices" (2005, O'Reilly). He presented his CPAN module Commands::Guarded at LISA in 2004, and is a contributor to the Pugs Perl 6 compiler project. He is a member of the LOPSA Board of Directors.

Thomas Limoncelli
Thomas Limoncelli is a internationally respected author and speaker on many topics including system administration, networking, and security. A system administrator since 1988, he now speaks at conferences around the world on topics ranging from firewall security to time management. He has worked for Cibernet, Dean For America, Lumeta, Bell Labs / Lucent, AT&T and Mentor Graphics. He shared the 2005 SAGE/LOPSA Outstanding Achievement Award along with Christine Hogan for the creation of the book "The Practice of System and Network Administration" from Addison-Wesley. His new book, "Time Management for System Administrators" from O'Reilly has been published recently. He holds a B.A. in C.S. from Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, USA. He publishes a blog on www.EverythingSysadmin.com. He now works as a Site Reliability Engineer at Google, Inc in New York City, USA.

David Lundell
Principal Consultant and Trainer,
Mutually Beneficial Inc.

David Lundell started his career in IT in 1991 as a Net Admin and QA tester with a software development firm that was trying to help Network Administrators have an easier life, by helping them improve their login scripts, automate repetitive tasks and add intelligence to their automated processes. Throughout his career, and now as the Principal Consultant of Mutually Beneficial Inc, David has continued to make use of automation.

David has a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Arizona, an MBA from Eller College of Business (University of Arizona), and has also earned the following certifications: CCNA, CNA, Sun Certified Programmer Java 2, MCSE (NT4, Windows 2000, Windows 2003), MCSA, MCSD, MCDBA, MCTS: SQL 2005, MCITP: Database Developer, and MCITP: Database Administrator. Additionally, David is the author of "70-291 Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure Project Lab Manual" published by Prentice Hall.

Chris Palmer
Chris Palmer is Manager of Enterprise Computing Support for the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He built and integrated the very first OS X systems into two separate computing domains in the Division, and now manages a cluster of 75 Macintoshes (and growing!) in three separate computing domains, together with two OS X Server machines running OpenDirectory. He currently has
six Macs in his office, and hopes that number does not grow. He has also lead the effort in creating all the IT policies for desktop support, computing accounts, and security in the Division. He has navigated faculty committees, Deans, Directors and more in the course of this effort, and wishes he could say that it's entirely complete, but policy writing never begins or ends, Chris also serves on the Board of Directors of LOPSA.

Bob Plankers

Bob Plankers is a system administrator with the University of Wisconsin Madison, specializing in enterprise system design. While his current interests center around virtualization in the data center, he has spent many years being a Linux, AIX, Windows, and storage system administrator. Bob learns by doing, and can often be found exploring other operating systems, programming languages, networking, telephony, and applications. His experiences as front-line help desk support and as a consultant mesh with his curiosity to give him a well rounded and broad view of technology and practices. He currently maintains a blog at lonesysadmin.net, where he writes and rants about all sorts of things, from technology to his canned meat collection.

George Toft
George Toft is an expert in Windows, Linux, and Solaris. He has been involved in information security since 1988. He was a leader of four Benchmark Development Teams (AIX and Linux) for the Center for Internet Security. George holds a B.S. degree in computer software and a Master of Science degree in Information Systems from Hawaii Pacific University.

Additionally, George: Is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) an Internationally recognized security certification. Instructor at the University of Hawaii, teaching Networking and Data Communications. Served as an ADP Security Officer in the Navy, where he received the prestigious Navy Achievement Medal for increasing database availability from 95% to 99.9% using a "Single Point of Failure Analysis" process to identify weak points in the infrastructure. Performed all daily administration for 120 Linux servers for IBM. Led a Computer Security Team at a major Health Insurance Company and a Worldwide Financial Service Provider.

Jesse Trucks
Sr System Administrator/Team Lead, IT Convergence

Jesse Trucks has worked in a startup, at an ISP in the late 90's, as the single IT guy at a publishing company, and as part of an organization with nearly 250 SysAdmins maintaining more than 5,000 enterprise servers. Currently, he is managing a team of System Administrators for IT Convergence in the Support Services group. He has extensive security experience in policy development, monitoring, and implementation management, and he is well versed in Disaster Recovery planning and testing. Trucks advocates for extensive documentation, asset management and change control for reduction in Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) and more efficient daily operations. In addition, he volunteers for the League of Professional System Administrators (LOPSA) Tech Team, assisting in the maintenance of the http://lopsa.org site infrastructure. He has served as a Local Mentor in the GCUX course for the SANS Institute, and he currently holds GCIH and GCUX certifications. He resides in Madison, WI.

Eric Thelin
Founder and President of AzPHP

Eric Thelin founded the Arizona PHP User's Group in 2000. His
experience with PHP goes back nearly as far as PHP itself. Eric has
worked with PHP in conjunction with MySQL, MS SQL server, and Oracle.
He has developed PHP apps for every size organization: from his own
successful web consultancy all the way up to Fortune 1000 companies.

Hotel Information
We expect most attendees to be from the Phoenix area, but if you are travelling from out-of-town, or want to stay at the hotel, we have a room block and special room rate. Contact the hotel directly to make your reservations:

     Crowne Plaza Hotel Phoenix - North at Metro Center
2532 W. PEORIA AVE, Phoenix, AZ
Reservations: 1 877 2 CROWNE (877 227 6963)
Hotel Front Desk: 1-602-943-2341

Phoenix SysAdminDays room rate:
$109/night plus tax, single/double. Ask for the League of Professional System Administrators room rate.

Location/Driving Directions:

Wireless Network
SysAdminDays-Phoenix will include a private wireless network with internet access. Thanks to Cisco Learning Institute and Red Seven for equipment sponsorship.


Media Sponsorship

Thanks to our media sponsors for helping promote SysAdmin Days.

In the Trenches

PC Chat Show

Local Group Sponsors

LOPSA-US-AZ - LOPSA's premier local group

PLUG - Phoenix Linux Users Group

PhxBSD - Phoenix BSD Users Group

DeLUG - DeVry Linux Users Group

SVECC - Sunland Village East Computer Club

See attached PDF below for information on how to become a sponsor