- Wed, Jun 3 2020 at 12:11 am #1556431
(excuse my english I am french)
Hi I am a french man from Quebec Canada, I live in a small town like less than 5000 ppl and the biggest city around here is like 40 000 ppl… I am studying Windows Server with a big Mark Minasi book of over 2000 pages explaining everything about Windows Server 2012 R2 how to run domain, active directory (locally) etc etc I have books and evaluation software about everything and for WinServer 2016, 2019 and I run VMware workstation for creating different scenario. I can study 8-10hr’s a day if I want but I need a good study path and advices to point me in the right direction and to tell me if I am doing this the right way…My goal is to be solid in the latest Windows Server (with PowerShell, Exchange, Hyper-V, System Center) AND Linux near intermediate to senior level (in both) and learn a little Cisco on the side just Routing and Switching… AFTER learn Azure… but I wonder if I am wasting my time because Microsoft just retired all the MCSE cert mostly…my questions are :
1) Is it a realistic goal or I am trying to learn too much ? should I specialize in 1 tech stack like Windows OR Linux ?
2) Should I learn how to do things the “old way” BEFORE jumping to Azure or start to learn Azure right away and forget about everything locally on premise ? Should I jump to Server 2019 right now and forget about the old one ? (old AD domain, Exhange server on premise)
3) What’s the best way to learn Azure (or AWS) for a guy alone with a single computer in a bedroom ? I can’t spend thousands and thousands of dollars for learning it.. I know about free learning account and all but should I wait for activating it and learn a book so I can maximize my free Azure stuffs while it will be activated ? (I can’t spend more than 100-150$ a month on azure)
4) I worry a lot about automation and the cloud destroying or removing all the sysadmin jobs out there… so I ponder about going back to programming… (I know a little C++) so scripting for me shouldn’t be too long to learn since I already know a bit of C++ and C#… What you guys think about automation / Cloud for local network or datacenter on premise in company ?
My goal is to learn as much as possible in the next 1 or 2 years full time and when I’ll be employed I’ll be able to solve and build many different scenario… I am interested in Office 365 and Intune etc but since most company here aren’t very big my biggest worries are none would be able to afford Azure if it’s too expensive ? so what a sysadmin got to do ?
Thank you very much for your time it’s greatly appreciated, tried to find help on reddit but it’s mostly young kids who aren’t very knowledgeable or know just 1 tech stack not both
- Wed, Jun 3 2020 at 12:35 am #1556433
So I assume you are still a student 🙂
Your requirements “be solid in the latest Windows Server (with PowerShell, Exchange, Hyper-V, System Center) AND Linux near intermediate to senior level (in both) and learn a little Cisco on the side just Routing and Switching… AFTER learn Azure…”
are way to high as a starting point. For example Exchange and System Center are so broad products, which already require you to be advanced with all the basics, before you can go that way.
You can never get intermediate to senior level just by studying something. After you study for some time (maybe your mentioned 1-2 years), you are junior 🙂 Then you get (or during the study) a job, where you actually start dealing with real life situations and only after that you can advance somewhere higher. The theory from books/courses is nice, but in reality, you need experience.
To address your points:
- The goal is unreal. What you should specialize on? Thats up to you! Someone likes Linux, someone Windows. Go with what you like/prefer/want to do in the future. Definitely you should pick 1-2 things to learn and start there, not pick 10 things. Definitely do not pick things like Exchange or SCCM if you dont have solid experience with Windows Server/client itself.
- Point 2 and 3 – I dont see any sense to jump to Azure if you dont have solid knowledge of networking, routing, Windows Server/Linux itself. As you mentioned you live in a smaller area. SMB business will always have something on premise. Even corporations…
- Same as 2 🙂
- I would not be worried about that. Sysadmins will be always needed. You can have a private cloud (in the end cloud is just a virtualization layer with a self service portal). So you can be sysadmin of your own cloud. Whether you want to go programming or sysadmin path, thats just only up to you, we cant give you any advice. Its your life 🙂
So, not sure if that helps you anyhow. Its my personal opinion. Definitely, even if you learn and test at home, without real live experience, its only worth junior position. Noone will give you senior position because your CV says you studied 10 hours a day for past 2 years at home.
Check out site cybrary.it. It offers a lot of courses for free. You can get a learning path there too. Or sign up for Pluralsight free month. You can also grab a learning path there. Also check out these two
- Wed, Jun 3 2020 at 7:50 am #1556454
I am not a student… not a kid like 20 years old or younger either etc I have some experience on Windows Server and a bit on Linux..
What I am asking mostly is what’s the most efficient study path to learn this stuffs the best way possible like a order of things to master don’t worry about the speed I will learn things on and also don’t forget there is many admins who do things the old way and refuse or are stuborn about learning the new stuffs etc and there is religious ppl who do just Linux and think Linux is best and others just Windows and think Windows is best etc I am not like that.
What I am asking mostly is a order like I Want to be very solid with everything locally like you said Windows Server after start learning the Cloud … but I Want to know if it’s too much to learn the 2 stack and be deep in both Windows and Linux if you don’t know the answer to that its ok but don’t tell me it’s impossible etc I want to know how broad is Exchange and System Center because I know a lot of them aren’t run by small business on premise they prefer online services to that cause it cost less and its easier to maintain and the cloud is making System Center a bit obsolete in different scenario not all of them (from what some senior Linux admin told me)
So I am looking for experts advices on theses things not if its possible or not or I can’t do it since I am in my home and not in a business etc this isn’t constructive
- Thu, Jun 4 2020 at 12:08 am #1556457
You asked a question if your goals are realistic to be achieved in the way you described. The answer is NO. But, you dont like the answer….
I also already answered to you where you can get the learning path – Pluralsight courses, Cybrary.it courses. But, it seems you dont like the answer either.
There is no ultimate answer to your question! And you cant be solid on things that you just saw in your lab. Thats not how world works.
Im sorry for my wrong assumption that you were a student.
- Thu, Jun 4 2020 at 5:08 am #1556461
About Azure I suggest to take a look on this site : Microsoft Azure repository
This repository on Microsoft Azure is written by an Azure enthusiast and collected Microsoft websites, Azure blogs, documentation, training materials, webinars, Workshops, etc.
Maybe it can helpful to have in a single page, many Azure resources and start with some videos or other materials study.
- Thu, Jun 4 2020 at 3:34 pm #1556495
Paolo : Microsoft recommended me to be solid in Windows Server 2016 & 2019 before starting to learn Azure full time or else I will burn tru my freetime on my free learning Azure account (I don’t remember the name of it) What’s the things I can do once I decided to spend a little for building different scenario on Azure like 100-200$ a month do you know ? I mean building different solutions for study without using much bandwidth …
- Thu, Jun 4 2020 at 10:50 pm #1556496
And Microsoft is recommending you correctly. Start with smaller things, then move up. Besides, a single VM with 2 cores and 4GB RAM will cost you like 60-70$ per month just for being on, without any activity.
The best thing you can do is to spin up Hyper-V role on your computer (or buy separate PC with SSD/24-32GB RAM) and spin up how many VMs you need. You need at least 1 domain controller, 1 server and 1 client. Start by things like AD, DHCP, DNS, Group Policy, File Services, Print Services, Terminal Services, WSUS, IIS, WDS, Network Policy server…
- Fri, Jun 5 2020 at 1:00 am #1556497
I agree that it is better to start from a Windows server environment. Use the Azure repository site to have a reference when you will start with Azure. As already correctly answered by Leos, take a look on the training courses listed in wiki doc. You will find many references to the Windows Server environment. It is a good place to start, in the meantime take a tour and start to acquire more knowledge in the windows server infrastructure environment.
- Fri, Jun 5 2020 at 1:06 am #1556498
Another consideration, the free training is not always able to give a complete training, there are many aspects that are seen more completely in a classroom course with an instructor. In your case consider whether to invest in a Microsoft course, keep in mind that these courses also offer a Lab environment without having to invest time and resources to configure a lab server.
- Fri, Jun 5 2020 at 5:06 am #1556501
I dont think that any course gives you a complete training. There is nothing like a complete training. Training is just a guidance. Its the same like with everything.
I have attended several trainings from Microsoft and VMware and I would say that especially Microsoft courses are overrated. For a high price (starting at minimum of 1200€/5 days in CZ) you dont get too much. The instructor just goes by official book and if its a good instructor, adds his own personal experience. Half or more from that you can get by purchasing a book for 60€ and watching free courses, for example also on Youtube there are plenty of Windows courses with relatively very good quality for a start.
- Fri, Jun 5 2020 at 4:10 am #1556499Paul FijmaParticipantMember Points: 199Rank: 2
Other options are to use HyperV on a workstation to build some machines. (as suggested in previous post #post-1556496)
The needed ISO’s are free to download and install (mostly for 180 days)
I use that a lot to experiment with powershell scripts that run on servers. I have written posh scripts to fully build a (set of) server(s) that are working together in a domain with web and sql.
(not a part of this discussion: a domain has cons and pros, is mostly usefull, but not always necessary – my current company has no domain for the 8 or 9 machines we have)
Learning to write the scripts and steps to do remote stuff on those vm gave me a good headstart on using powershell, learning server stuff, hyper-v, (vmware as well) and deployment tools on servers. Skills that i now use to deploy servers and will use to enhance the current platform. (agile as in faster deployment cycles, CI/CD and DevSecOps. The development team and me as sole support for system engineering are working together to implement / utilize microservices and docker (containers), kubernetes etc. to deliver the application to a growing population of users. (20k+)
If you have questions just let me know.
- Sat, Jun 6 2020 at 12:49 am #1556518
@LEOS : “Start by things like AD, DHCP, DNS… ” yes I mostly have all that now in VM’s, studying it, I am playing with it and improving my knowledge… but I am running a Ryzen 3600x with 32gb ddr4 ram, all the vm’s (20) are on a normal hdd which is too slow my ssd is full so I am buying a 2TB Corsair Mp600 pcie 4.0 M2 (4950 MBps) in the comings weeks to transfer all that into it so I can start to really work… ya ive heard theses courses are expensive and a bit empty
after that I want to dive a little in Exchange and System Center after Azure and Linux.. study the RHCE since Linux is very popular… the way Azure is priced not many business around here, will run a Office 365/ Intune setup anytime soon but I could be wrong…
How good you guys are with Linux and Cisco ?
@PAUL yes, I wonder too sometimes if running a big domain with DC is getting a bit outdated in this cloud world etc… I’ve read market research study and talked with some folks in sysadmin reddit both windows and linux side and they mostly all run a hybrid configure of public and private cloud with some on premise but it’s getting automated a lot with scripts and AWS ansible/puppett config.. the linux admins are telling me its like 70% linux server side and 30% windows for marketshare but I wonder if its still true because Azure is getting very popular so is AWS
Thank you for the links I’ll read them.
- Sat, Jun 6 2020 at 12:20 pm #1556522
I don’t know if everything will be in the cloud in a reasonable time. but I don’t have a crystal ball to see what will happen in the next few years. I have seen so many things change in the past few years that anything can happen. In any case, you can acquire a knowledge base in many ways, including through Microsoft courses. I have attended several courses in my career and for some I remember new knowledge beyond what I expected when I enrolled.
- Sat, Jun 6 2020 at 12:21 pm #1556523
Regarding what to study, it depends on your expectations and it is not a short path to acquire the necessary experiences. What I can advise you in the meantime is to start with the management of servers and in general of a Microsoft infrastructure. How to do it through online courses, read books and manuals, workshops, webinars or other things depending on your time and also on how much you want to invest in your study path.
- Sun, Jun 7 2020 at 7:55 am #1556528
20 VMs to play with basic setup seems a bit overkill to me. 🙂
- Thu, Aug 13 2020 at 6:33 am #1557432StevenParticipantMember Points: 1,114Rank: 3
I am late to the party, but I wanted to contribute.
I worry a lot about automation and the cloud destroying or removing all the sysadmin jobs out there…
I had the same concern a while back when I started studying. Cloud and automation will not destroy future SysAdmin jobs. Cloud providers offer you the ability to scale your project without the need to have physical hardware.
What’s the best way to learn Azure (or AWS) for a guy alone with a single computer in a bedroom?
This is quite an easy answer. You can learn Azure and AWS for free. If you spend more than 30$/month on your stack while learning, you aren’t doing the right thing. The concept in Azure and AWS stay the same as if you were local. They haven’t reinvented the wheel. If you have some knowledge of virtualization with VMware and Hyper-V, you have the basics. I spoke with two folks at Microsoft that are working in Azure (they have over 20+ years of knowledge each if you are asking) and they told me to focus on the same thing: Azure Compute, Azure Storage, and Azure Network. They also told me to watch YouTube videos on Azure that are less than a year old to get the closest up-to-date knowledge.
My goal is to be solid in the latest Windows Server (with PowerShell, Exchange, Hyper-V, System Center) AND Linux near intermediate to senior level (in both) and learn a little Cisco on the side just Routing and Switching… AFTER learn Azure…
In a year or two, you will not achieve that goal, or, we do not have the same definition of solid knowledge. Reality will make you grow way faster than you think. You are picking on subjects that require knowledge AND experience combined to be solid.
- Thu, Aug 13 2020 at 8:25 am #1557433
I would not be worried about cloud replacing all local environment and vanish the sysadmin job. Some sort of business will always have something on site, there are multiple reasons for that. Local RFID scanners, PLC machines, other things that require LAN to work. Other point might be a legal subject, some organizations just will not put their sensitive data to a provider.
- Thu, Aug 13 2020 at 1:58 pm #1557443
We have seen many technologies that were considered as the definitive solution of IT infrastructures, cloud computing is one of them. From my point of view it is certainly a further solution that is added to the current solutions. Small and medium-sized businesses are likely to continue to deploy local virtual hardware or infrastructure. The important thing is to study and get to know these different technologies well, consequently increasing knowledge and, if possible, experience in the field.
- Thu, Aug 13 2020 at 10:50 pm #1557446
(excuse my english grammar)
Yes I am active on Reddit and talked with some senior guys in the USA doing sysadmin stuffs and they worry about automation a lot or some of the skills becoming useless or less needed … you can code infrastructure now and they say the best path is becoming a devops for senior position because you can automate mostly everything in the cloud or have many different iso’s pre configured so the OS matters less and less each days (for very big business) or small things like specialized knowledge like advanced Linux scripting (Puppet Chef Bash/Python) or on the windows side can be all done in the cloud in pre configured iso’s in vm’s… also many of theses senior guy have no knowledge outside of their specialized field for example a guy I talked with John Savill he’s a Microsofties who’s good with Azure but with no knowledge of Linux and never touched Cisco etc
I have hard time considering a guy “senior” sysadmin with 0 knowledge of Linux when it’s 70% of the market share etc… and I love both side windows and linux and im not religious about it etc
So I’ll study hard for a few more months and take a decision if I go back to programming, I think im doing too much spreading though in many fields. Will see I’ll comeback here for sure though if I stick with Sysadmin. One of the best website I’ve found.
- Fri, Aug 14 2020 at 3:02 am #1557447Michael PietroforteKeymasterMember Points: 32,919Rank: 4
The idea that “automation” will make sysadmins jobless is as old as IT. When we talk about automation we have to distinguish between scripting and building enterprise software created by professional developers that automate tasks on a large scale.
That scripting is now part of the job description for Windows admins is relatively new. Linux admins always had to do this and it didn’t result in fewer jobs. In fact, because it opened the way for new areas where Linux could be used (the cloud, for instance) it created more jobs for Linux admins.
As to software created by professional developers that automates tasks, this is really nothing new. Computers and software are always about automation. This is the reason why we build those machines in the first place. Alan Turing build one of the first computers to “automate” a task (decrypting Enigma messages) that couldn’t be done manually by mathematicians in a reasonable amount of time. It didn’t make mathematicians jobless. Of course, automation affects all areas of human work including the work of admins.
This recent hype about the term “automation” is really only about encouraging Windows amdins to learn a little PowerShell. People keep confusing “automation” with “building automation tools.” If you are a developer you build automation tools, also called “software.” However, to automate a task you don’t necessarily have to build the tools yourself. You can simply buy the tools to automate a task.
If you are an operating officer you can automate a certain task in a factory by calling someone in Japan and order a couple of robots. It doesn’t mean that the operating officer has to build the robots by himself. An operating office who starts to “script” his own robot to automate a task will most likely get fired. His task is to understand what kind of robots are available and if they are useful for the task that he wants to automate. And just as robot builders won’t replace operating officers, software developers or scripting guys won’t replace admins. Quite the contrary: The more software is available the more admins you need to automate tasks using software (instead of building software).
The reason why the number of jobs for IT pros keeps growing despite improving automation is because digitalisation is still at the beginning. Thus, even though the number of tasks that can be automated in and with IT is increasing since Alan Turing, new tasks that can only be done by humans using automation tools keep popping up which leads to new jobs. I don’t see that this will change any time soon.
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