October 02, 2009 16:14 ET

Sysadmin of the Year Nominations Highlight the Many Missions and Value Delivered by Sysadmin Rock Stars

Growing Greatest Hits Collection of Amazing Feats Confront SAOTY Judges With Hard Choices

EMERYVILLE, CA--(Marketwire - October 2, 2009) -

News Facts

-- With the 2009 System Administrator of the Year nomination deadline looming in a little less than three weeks (October 23, 2009), the pace of entries is reaching blizzard proportions.

-- Nominations received thus far uniformly testify to the value delivered by the sysadmin community to their organizations.

-- Without prejudging the eventual selection of winners of this year's contest, this announcement offers snapshots of the kinds of efforts that typify outstanding performances turned in by sysadmins everywhere.

-- Nominations range from work aboard oceanographic research vessels to services rendered in the no less lethal shark tank of a fast-paced law firm.

Nomination Extracts

-- "He has the weight of the company on his shoulders every day and yet he is still alive. I cannot imagine the stress. His job never stops. He really is the backbone of the company. Without him, we would not function."

-- "He's fun to work with and likes to play the music too loud. He's always got your back and won't take any flack. He's a Dad, a Scoutmaster, he knows no fear, and he's still a teen at heart."

-- "He rocks! He has a disco ball over his desk and keeps our whole Sysadmin team groovin' to the beat."

-- "He goes above and beyond the call of duty. He not only helps us with all our technical support in our office but he also lends a hand to our elderly patients that might need help with their personal technical issues without compensation. He is a good-hearted and compassionate person."

-- "The field sites love him as do his counterparts in the IT unit. His ability to automate and leverage our management/alerting suites (Orion [system management], BigFix) has saved us numerous man-hours and limited black-eyes by keeping us ahead of the loop."

-- "He deals with the worst of lawyers, who range from the computer-savvy to those who are completely technically-clueless, and with their legal assistants, all while keeping his cool, injecting his own brand of humor into all situations, and competently handling every situation that comes across his desk numerous times daily... Any man who can deal with attorneys like he does -- attorneys at their worst -- is highly deserving of the Sysadmin of the Year award!

-- "Take two global class, nearly continuously operating oceanographic research vessels from a premier oceanographic research institution, sprinkle in two near-coastal research ships, add several research laboratories worth of acoustic devices, chemistry sets, underwater robots, remote communication equipment, internet terminals, GPS-backed network time servers, precision laser motion sensors, a typical small-building network infrastructure packed into standard ship pathways, magnetometers, user laptops, distributed inventory and workflow-tracking systems, gravimeters, old-school physical plotters required by important big-wig scientists, and multiple vehicle information systems, let simmer over 40+ years of continual scientific expeditions and constantly changing requirements, add multiple months of lengthy away-time at sea, sweeten with vacation in cool foreign ports and the hope (miniscule?) of rack-time with hot young grad students, and you have the recipe for one of the hardest sysadmin jobs the world has to offer."

Background and Context

-- BigFix proudly sponsors the 2009 System Administrator of the Year contest, which acknowledges the under-recognized rock stars of information technology who are vital to the smooth functioning of business, government and public services.

-- Sysadmins are the unsung heroes of information technology, keeping computers up and running, defending infrastructures from malware and hacking attacks, and helping end-users maximize their productivity.

-- The contest is also an opportunity for the sysadmin community to share information on best practices and new ways to deliver value to their constituencies.

-- A panel of judges including AEleen Frisch (author, "Essential System Administration"), Doug Hughes (serial presenter and guru at many USENIX LISA conferences), Ben Kus (founder, BigFix User Group), Thomas A. Limoncelli (sysadmin author,, Johnny Long (founder, Hackers for Charity,, Ryan Russell (author, "Stealing the Network"), Robert Scoble (blogger,, and Amrit Williams (BigFix CTO and blogger,, will weigh entrants' qualifications and select the award winner.

-- Nominations are open until October 23, with contest winner and runners up announced on November 4, 2009, at the USENIX Large Installation System Administrator (LISA) Conference at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel.

-- This contest evaluates nominations from all commercial and government IT organizations on an equal basis. However, prizes will be selected and awarded in compliance with corporate and agency policies and regulations.

Supporting Quotes

Amrit Williams, BigFix CTO and System Administrator of the Year judge, said: "Awesome. Just awesome. The nominees are simply not making it easy for the judges to single out the most outstanding performances. At the very least, we hope that the overall high quality of the nominations will remind everyone of the caliber of people who keep the drives spinning, the networks humming and the monitors shining in data centers, cubicles and server closets everywhere."

Information Resources

-- System of the Administrator of the Year home page:

-- Twitter: @SysAdRockStar09

-- LinkedIn:

-- Facebook:

-- Take it to 11 blog:

-- LISA '09 Conference:



About BigFix

Founded in 1997, the BigFix®, Inc. solutions support a global portfolio of A-list organizations in government, finance, retail, educational, industrial and public utility sectors. BigFix revolutionizes IT infrastructure management by replacing fragmented collections of single-purpose tools with the industry's only unified visibility and control architecture that consolidates up to 18 security, IT compliance, decision support, and green computing functions. For more information, visit, follow BigFix on Twitter @BigFix, or stay in touch on the BigFix Facebook page,

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Contact Information

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