2010 SysAdmin Awards

Here at OpenDNS we’re all about the SysAdmins. While we’ve made it our mission to ease their lives, we also look for ways to thank them for keeping our networks up and running. One way we do that is by celebrating System Administrator Appreciation Month (July) with all of the related events we put on, including the party (details coming soon – it’s gonna be good this year!).

To kick things off early, today I’m excited to announce the 2010 System Administrator of the Year Awards, the largest contest of its kind and the best way to give a SysAdmin that you respect the cred they deserve. There will be one winner selected in each category by a panel of esteemed judges, including OpenDNS System Administration team members George Patterson and Mack Nagashima, and CEO (and occasional SysAdmin himself) David Ulevitch. Winners in each category will receive a prize of $50, and from all entries the judging committee will choose one winner that stands out among the rest as the official OpenDNS SysAdmin of the Year. We’re still working on details for the Grand Prize, but we aim to please.

The deadline for entries is midnight June 29. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

Without further ado, the categories:

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.

Neat Freak Award

SysAdmins take pride in documentation and organization of cabling, wiring and racks. Wow the judges in this category with photo evidence showing that your SysAdmin 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.

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.).

DevOps Award

Often, the most successful SysAdmins are the ones who work well with others. Large websites 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.

How to nominate a SysAdmin for an award: To submit yourself or a fellow SysAdmin, just email awards at opendns dot com with the award category in the subject line. Follow the instructions for the category in your submission.

Good luck to all! We’re rooting for you!

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  • I am looking forward to celebrating System Administrator Appreciation Month!!!!!

  • I would like to nominate Larry Steinke System Administrator for Saint Francis High School of Mountain View California.

    For some time now the IT function at this 1650+ student enrolled private catholic high school,has been at the forefront of researching, implementing and employing the new and advanced tools, With Larry’s dedication to improve the various needs and functions, he has advanced proposals and effected a significant improvement with the appropriate hardware and software which is used to educate students, to keep appropriate records of student and parent information, and to assist the numerous administrative functions to be efficient in record keeping and communications as required by regulatory and operational needs.

    We are wireless
    We have nearly 700 computers being maintained and upgraded as is so often the case.
    We have Smartboards
    We have overhead projectors with feeds from audio visual sources.
    We have VOIP phones
    We have a function that is responsible to assess current and future needs
    We have a technology committee reviewing objectives and establishing IT plans

    We have all this due to Larry Steinke’s initiative and effort to routinely review efficiencies from both an operational and cost effectiveness perspective.

    He does all this with great personality, professionalism and purpose which is appreciated by all he works with to achieve the goals established by others and himself.

    Larry Steinke is a most valued employee of Saint Francis High School. He is a great asset of our school.

    Myron Nessan
    Director of Finance
    Saint Francis High School
    Mountain View

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  • @Myron,

    Thanks so much for comment nominating Larry Steinke for the 2010 SysAdmin of the Year Awards. I’ve gone ahead and submitted it for you through Awards@… email address and we’ll be announcing winners at the end of the month.

    Thank you!

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  • Marco A

    Well, the grand prize could be a visit at the OpenDNS HQ and a chance to meet the judges and the rest of the company…

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