[RndTbl] Attempted murder of sysadmin

Trevor Cordes trevor at tecnopolis.ca
Mon Jul 3 04:41:41 CDT 2017

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, as each new buzzword layer
enters the scene (SaaS, IaaS, MS, VZ, cloud, containers, ...).  Each
time one of these technologies comes along I look at it and say "boy,
is that stupid / inefficient / costly".  Of course, I'm thinking as a

A couple of years ago it dawned on me that the whole point of these
techs was to eliminate sysadmins.  These techs *are* inefficient in that
they all take more CPU cycles / RAM / storage; they are more costly in
that they aren't as cheap as I can do it myself (i.e. cloud vs dedicated
server).  But that's me, computer expert, who can do everything myself
(from hw to os to sw) very quickly.  Not CEO who doesn't even know what
an OS is.

I mean, look at docker or flatpacks or even VMs.  These things are the
opposite of what we spent 30 years working against... duplication.  So
now we have the same/similar 100-thousand OS files duplicated
everywhere.  Now they want to undo the entire concept of shared
libraries and essentially make libs static again (well, shared but
distribute specific lib versions with the apps, duplicating out the
wazoo).  For an efficiency purist it seems insane.

So what gives?  *** It's to eliminate/reduce one of the most highly paid
workers in IT: sysadmins.  Or at least, to (finally) allow the overseas
outsourcing of sysadmin duties.  As MUUGers, a lot of us are sysadmins.
We should care.  Personally, I'm not worried (as I'm sure many of you
aren't), as our skillsets are so diversified, we can't be pigeonholed,
and, as required, we can be the masters of any new technology.

My only question is one of curiosity, will they succeed in murdering
most sysadmins?  Will they save their $100kUS$/yr/sysadmin by giving it
all to AWS?  Will people accept the obvious inefficiencies of flatpacks
in order to delete the cost of people?  Actually, I'm dubious, as I've
read these buzzwords in trade pubs ever since I started in tech ~1997,
every single one claiming to be the admin-killing panacea, and they came
and went, and most turned out to be waaay overblown.  I'll be shocked if
they actually succeed in killing sysadmins this time.

Anyone else thinking about these things?

Bonus question: What happens the day AWS (or whatever) screws up / has a
major data loss / some other calamity?  You sure are putting a lot of
trust in *their* sysadmins, who may not be as smart as you are!

Decent new article about it all this here:

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