WServerNews: The need for sysadmins

In this issue:

Pullback on the cloud. IT jobs appearing and disappearing. Windows good and bad. Why not Flatpak? Remotely wake computers for deploying security updates. Practical aspects of IPv6 security (video). IT Bookshelf: Cyber Crime Investigator’s Field Guide. We’re watching you, citizen. Biggest foam RC airplane duel in the sky (video). Using deepfakes to apply to remote jobs. Plus lots more — read it all, read it here on WServerNews!

Hello world, I’m a sysadmin. Will there there a job out there for me? Photo by Saulo Mohana on Unsplash


On the topic of regulating the IT industry through standardized certifications we received the following comments from reader Howard Rubin:

I don’t know if you are familiar with the ASE, the organization that tests and certifies the automotive technician industry? Long ago, before Windows, for sure, I worked at an automotive supply store. I had to know what the part was, what did it do, why it was needed and what other assemblies it affected, like if you are going into an engine to replace a mechanical part, you better check the timing gear and chain, or in today’s automobiles, the timing belt. You are actually a automotive mechanic but you didn’t get dirty! The certification I had for parts sales required several years of hands on work experience and a recommendation from my current employer. I went into the job being by own mechanic anyways so I got my certification and patch right away when it was first offered.

Could the IT industry follow the same guidelines and testing like the ASE?

I left the automotive industry when it became computerized though. Computers took out all the people skills and hands on knowledge, I found I was working with adults half my age too. I got my own white box 386sx and started a new profession.

And on the subject of Microsoft exams we received these comments from reader Murat Yildirimoglu:

In 2017 I delivered Sharepoint 2013 Core Technologies course and one of the students take its exam (70-331). I asked him about the questions in the exam and especially if there were questions about backup and restore. He said there was not a question on backup!

Backup and restore is important not only for Sharepoint but for all products. A system admin has to know how to backup an application (or operating system) data and restore it. In that course, I explained and showed how to take backups, within SharePoint, within SQL server and lastly operating system’s features like System Image backup and restore them too.

Then, if there was not questions about backup, what were the actual questions? There were questions about each and every little details! SharePoint has hundreds of parameters in its management interface and you can easily generate questions using them. But it is not meaningful at all. No SharePoint admin can easily tell which parameter does this or that thing. If needs arise, they can easily search for it. They are not vital. Not as vital as backup and restore.

So, current exams, especially Microsoft exams are next to nonsense. They do not aim to teach the students necessary info, necessary skills. Training has become a revenue generation activity for Microsoft selling training documents (imposing quotas on training documents for the training centers) and nothing more. A new training approach and certificate procedure is absolutely necessary.

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Editor’s Corner

We’re back from our vacation and all rested up and ready to rock on with our newsletter!

An article I read a couple of weeks ago on ITPro Today got me thinking this morning. The article is titled Sysadmin Role Isn’t Dying – But It Is Under Threat and it starts off by saying “The role of sysadmin may not be going away anytime soon, but here’s why system administrators are not as important to companies as they once were.”

I wonder how true this really is. Yes it’s true that more and more companies and organizations are moving their infrastructure and data into the cloud instead of hosting them on premises or in a nearby datacenter. And as a result the need for in-house IT expertise seems to be lessening as greater emphasis shifts towards the DevOps side of things.

The problem however is that pendulums tend to swing both ways, and there are already some indications of pullback happening in the march to the cloud (InfoWorld). So if businesses allow their IT talent and expertise to be drained away, they may find themselves hard pressed in the future if they decide to start hosting infrastructure and data on premises again.

What do our readers think about this? Do you see the sysadmin job role disappearing in the coming years or making a strong comeback? Email me your thoughts.


This Week in IT

A compendium of recent IT industry news compiled by Your Editors. Feel free to email us if you find a news item you think our newsletter readers might be interested in. And for more tech news coverage see the News section of our TechGenix website.

It seems like much of the IT industry is in the midst of a season of pullback. Microsoft for example has apparently laid off hundreds of employees in their Modern Life Experiences team (The Verge). That’s the team whose mission was to win consumers back to the Microsoft platform. On the other hand there’s obviously some growth still happening at Microsoft as they increased their headcount by 22 percent last year before starting to cut jobs (GeekWire).

It’s difficult to contemplate what choices you should make nowadays if you want to pursue a successful career in tech. Perhaps the number one skill one should focus on developing is the ability to sell—to first sell yourself and then to sell software and services to enterprise customers. Whaddayathink?

Windows news

Good news, you can finally purchase Windows 11 Home and Professional licenses directly from Microsoft instead of having to buy Windows 10 first and then do an upgrade (Tom’s Hardware).

Bad news, more USB printing problems with Windows 10 (Born’s Tech and Windows World).

Good news, it’s now easier to rip CDs using Media Player in Windows 11 (BetaNews). If you still use CDs of course.

Bad news, Microsoft broke the Windows 11 Start menu when they released the KB5014668 update. So they rolled it back (BetaNews). Miss those testers who got fired at Microsoft, they kept the quality bar high.

And new builds of Windows 11 apparently enable Account Lockout Policy by default (BleepingComputer). Is that good news or bad news? Whaddayathink?

Linux news

Something to think about for those considering migrating PCs from Windows to Linux. Major Linux Problems on the Desktop, 2022 edition (ITVision). This guy also has interesting articles about everything wrong with Win10 and Win11. Very opinionated but has lots of stuff to think about.

One thing that’s been holding us back on deploying more Linux in our environment is the mixed up state of application packaging on the platform. For example, there’s been lots of hype in some quarters about Flatpak but this commentator says unequivocally that Flatpak Is Not the Future (Nicholas Fraser). What’s your preferred all packaging mechanism for Linux? AppImage? Snap? Let us know why.

Upcoming webcasts, events and conferences

Got an event, conference or webcast you want announced in our newsletter? Email us!

VMware Explore is happening soon! Aug 29 to Sept 1 in San Francisco, USA – Save Your Seat!

Also be sure to check out the following event listings:

Got comments about anything in this issue?

Email us! We love hearing from our readers!

Meet the Editors!

MITCH TULLOCH is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud technologies. He has written more than a thousand articles and has authored or been series editor for over 50 books for Microsoft Press and other publishers. Mitch has also been a twelve-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award in the technical category of Cloud and Datacenter Management. He currently runs an IT content development business in Winnipeg, Canada that produces books, ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, courseware, documentation, newsletters and articles for various companies.

INGRID TULLOCH is Associate Editor of WServerNews. She was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press and collaborated on developing university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program. Ingrid also manages Research and Development for the IT content development business she runs together with Mitch.

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IT Workshop – tools, whitepapers and more

Got a product or solution or some other resource you’d like to tell our readers about? Email us!

Our TOOL OF THE WEEK is Verdiem from IgniteTech which lets IT departments remotely wake computers for deploying necessary security updates and optimizing power management.

Version 9.4.2 of KerioConnect from GFI now includes a Multi-Server distributed architecture solution that lets users access their GFI KerioConnect account through a single server address, regardless of their home server.

Check out this Technical Explainer on ITPro Today that unpacks the 10 Immutable Laws of Security Administration!

Tips and Tutorials

Got tips or tutorials you’d like to recommend for our readers? Email us!

Here’s a handful of cybersecurity best practices and tips for you:

How to Protect Your System from a Side-Channel Attack (TechGenix)

NSA shares tips on securing Windows devices with PowerShell (BleepingComputer)

Cloud Security Pen Testing: Everything You Need to Know (Charbel Nemnom)

Securing Virtual Machine Infrastructure in Microsoft Azure (Marius Sandbu)

Video: Practical Aspects of IPv6 Security (

IT Bookshelf: Cyber Crime Investigator’s Field Guide

Cyber Crime Investigator’s Field Guide, Third Edition (CRC Press, 2022) is an excellent book by Bruce Middleton that delves into the how and what of investigating cybercrime incidents from making initial contact with the client to dealing with authorities. Evidence collection procedures are outlined in detail as are a number of the most useful tools for collecting and analyzing evidence of cyber intrusion. Detailed examples of working through investigative cases using AccessData’s Forensic Toolkit, EnCase ILook are provided, and you can gain a wealth of experience from carefully reading through these examples. Numerous questions that arise relating to investigations are posed and then answered, and a broad range of recommended reference materials are provided for further research and perusal. The book includes a number of case studies and includes coverage relating to rail transportation, medical devices, robotics—just about everything a cyber crime investigator might come across in the midst of an investigation. I highly recommend this book if you’re a cybersecurity professional looking to broaden your skills in the investigative area. You can buy this book on Amazon.

Factoid: We’re watching you, citizen.

A couple of weeks ago we included this factoid in our newsletter:

Fact: Another Rubik’s Cube Robot Is Simple But Slow (Hackaday)


Question: Have any of our readers ever actually solved a Rubik’s cube? I spent hours and hours trying when it came out but finally gave up and threw it against the wall. What’s the trick?

Obviously some of our readers are a lot smarter than me as evidenced by the following responses we received to the above factoid:

Rubik’s cube: I solved it in about 30 seconds. Peel off the color stickers and manually arrange them. –Bruce Anderson

I have solved a Rubik’s cube although I did ‘cheat’ and bought a book on how to do it. I had all the moves memorized (back in the day) and could usually solve one in a couple of minutes. I still remember most of the moves and can still solve them most of the time. —Ray Schmidt

I reckon I had one of the first Rubik’s cubes in Australia. A family friend brought one back from Europe (back when it was called Magic Cube) and had scrambled it on the plane trip back. Didn’t take long to get one side, but a lot longer for the complete cube. When the fad got to Australia the next year I was busy solving cubes for everyone else at school (so they didn’t resort to removing the stickers). Most common way is to do it in layers – get one face and surrounding edge done, fix the middle edge blocks, then position and rotate the pieces in the top layer. I memorised a sequence of moves for the different last layer scenarios. Not the fastest way of solving it, but consistent. Still have my original cube and the box it came in. I also used to fix Rubik’s Magic Rings puzzles for a department store – people would play with them and break them. I reckon people who can solve the cube while juggling it or doing it blindfolded have too much time on their hands. —Pete Calvert

Hi Mitch, a friend wrote a summary for my kids – it’s in German, but you should get the idea. —Martin Urwaleck

Martin’s friend has given us permission to reproduce his Rubik’s Cube solver’s guide in our newsletter:

Now let’s move on to this week’s factoid:

Fact: The boisterous, rebellious port city of Marseille, France is trying to fight the growing ubiquity of policing cameras.


Question: Are there policing cameras in public areas of your own city? How do you feel about them?

Email us your answer and we’ll include it in our next issue!

Fun videos from Flixxy

Biggest Foam RC Airplane Duel In The Sky – Hundreds of remote-control airplane enthusiasts show off their crafts and then duel them in the sky.

Lowest Landing Ever at Skiathos Airport, Greece – Airbus A321 nearly touches the tourists on the ground, making this the lowest landing ever at Skiathos Airport, Greece.

Paris 1920s – In Color – A time travel through the streets of Paris in the 1920s.

Cat & Piano – Turkish musician Sarper Duman’s cat loves it when he plays the piano for her.

And Finally

The odd, the stupid and the remarkable. Good for your mental health.

A PowerShell Game you can Compete with People Online (The Lazy Administrator)

[Oh how truly geeky!]

Security researcher finds vulnerability in Jacuzzi “SMARTTUB” portal (Günter Born)

[Don’t hackers have anything better to do with their time?]

Wild solar weather is causing satellites to plummet from orbit. It’s only going to get worse (

[Bad news probably for Starlink, and Tesla’s stock has been plummeting too!]

FBI Says People Are Using Deepfakes to Apply to Remote Jobs (Gizmodo)

[That’s ok, the companies they apply to aren’t real either.]

Hey reader! Got an amazing or weird or funny link you’d like to suggest for this section of our newsletter? Email us! But please make sure that it’s G-rated as in “Gee whiz”, “Golly!”, “Good grief!”, “Gaaahh!!” and so on. Thanks!

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