Nominations for the 2011 SysAdmin Awards will soon close and we want to make sure you get your nominations in. Deadline for entries is midnight PST July 12 so there’s still plenty of time. Take a few minutes NOW and honor yourself or an IT person/SysAdmin you admire and help him or her get the respect and acknowledgment they deserve. To nominate, tell us which award you are nominating the person for and email awards (at) opendns (dot) com.

And if you’re wondering, Yes! It’s okay to nominate yourself. You may be such a hero that nobody even knows what you went through to save the day! :-)

The OpenDNS SysAdmin Awards is the only awards program that honors only SysAdmins and the great work they do. Because as we all know, SysAdmin’ing is a thankless job.

To recap, there are six categories this year and from all of the submissions in the six categories we’ll select one individual for the crown honor: 2011 SysAdmin of the Year.

The six categories being awarded are:

Best Disaster Response Award

A hurricane, a fire, an earthquake. A datacenter meltdown. Something that would have caused business operations to shut down completely, if it weren’t for this SysAdmin. Like a knight in shining armor, he or she managed to keep the network up and running. Your submission should include details about the disaster and how the SysAdmin handled it. If it involved you holding servers over your head in rising flood waters while you are wearing a snorkel, you would be a great candidate for this category.

Neat Freak Award

SysAdmins take pride in documentation and organization of cabling, wiring and racks. Wow the judges in this category with photographic evidence showing that your SysAdmin takes their wiring and racking work seriously and is the neatest and most organized of them all.

Shoestring Budget Award

This SysAdmin works wonders with a seriously tight budget. Tell us about the SysAdmin with the craziest buildout done on the cheap. We need details for this submission – tell the judges specs, total cost and what kind of awesomeness it powers. We respect the fact that you had to string fiber between buildings with a frisbee because you had no budget to trench across the street.

Flying Solo Award

Even with a team of talented operators, SysAdmin’ing is not easy work. But when flying solo it can be downright heroic. Regale us with a (true) story of the heroic SysAdmin who saved the world (or did something awesome) to save the day (or company) all by his or herself.

Large-Scale Deployment Award

Some jobs are too challenging to comprehend, but not for the SysAdmin who wins our Large-Scale Deployment Award. Tell us the story of a SysAdmin who has managed a massive amount of infrastructure from their diety-like fingertips with finesse and elegance. Tell us how big the deployment was, when it was built and what some of the impressive metrics it offered were (pageviews, megahertz, memory, rendering, etc.). Note, if you are the chief architect behind AWS and you are submitted as a candidate you will win this award. :-)

DevOps Award

Often, the most successful SysAdmins are the ones who can write code and work well with others. OpenDNS and other large Internet sites like Flickr attribute much of their success to the close collaboration between engineering and operations. Share a success story of your own where the SysAdmin’s collaboration played a key role in a successful engineering project. Tell us when this happened, who was involved, and how you know it was successful.

The Bounty: Winners will be announced here on this blog, and all will receive a gift package from OpenDNS full of awesome goodies. Winners will also be VIP invited guests at the 5th Annual SysAdmin Appreciation Party in San Francisco on July 28, 2011 (which everyone is invited to).

Remember, email awards at OpenDNS dot com and wow us with your submission. Don’t wait to nominate! Good luck to all!

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