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Module ICP-2002:
System Administration & Mainte

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Mr Andy Harbach

Overall aims and purpose

To provide comprehensive understanding of concepts and principles for System Administration and develop skills to identify and analyze user needs and take them into account in the selection, creation, evaluation and administration of computer-based systems, and support professional practice within system administration. To provide practical experience of Linux server administration.

Course content

  • Understand the concepts and theories for system administration and the professional roles and responsibilities of different users/ administrators.

  • Adding and removing user accounts. GUID, UID, Disk quotas. Access control. Moving of home directory on UNIX server.

  • Estimating resource requirements. Carry out experiments and investigation to evaluate systems and requirements. Costing out an infrastructure, and estimating resources required.

  • Advanced UNIX commands, bash, E.g., grep, ftp, ssh, tar, pipe, apt/yum. Start-up and shutdown. netstat, ipconfig. Backup and restoring data. Virtualization. System reconfiguration. Disk management (RAID), SAN, NAS

  • Process list (top), and resources. Understanding resources (filesystem, CPU). Monitoring users on server. Describe when a system requires maintenance.

  • SSH, FTP, Firewall, Samba shares, LAMP.

  • Maintenance contracts. Deployment. Ethics. Understanding risks of performing an action. Automating routine tasks (e.g., job scheduling), Service packs, patches. Policies. Logs firewall and DNS.

  • Introduction to data protection and information security relating to system administration.

Learning outcomes mapped to assessment criteria







To develop skills and understanding of system management and configuration & Maintenance.

Can install at least one current operating system. Can describe the importance of system maintenance. Can make the distinction between server and client services. Can recommend when service packs and patched should and should not be installed. Fully proficient with a wide variety of Unix tools. Able to install both server and client services. Install a system and understands the importance of system configuration for an organisation, proficient with core Unix tools. Can modify OS configuration..

To understand tasks and develop analytical skills

Is able to evaluate operating systems and offer recommendations. Can identify when a system needs to be reconfigured Can identify when a system needs to be reconfigured and able to identify situations requiring outside consultancy for OS issues.

To understand the roles and responsibilities and the main processes of system administration.

Familiarity with the roles of system administration. Have a good understanding of the roles concepts for administration.. Excellent knowledge of the roles and responsibilities for administration.

To understand how to manage client services, and, how this relates to users

Able to operate basic commands: add and remove user accounts. Able to apply appropriate user policies to accounts Understands Unix permissions and able to manages Disk quotas. Able to deal with user requests. Comprehensively discuss the benefits of managing users and groups. Design and deliver training sessions on IT systems and policies.

To develop critical analytical skills and evaluate system requirements and hardware requirements.

Differentiate between build and buy-in software and hardware acquisition. Explain how use-cases drive testing throughout the system lifecycle. Distinguish between functional and non-functional requirements. Select appropriate user-tasks for applications under consideration. Summarize the appropriate deliverables for phases of the lifecycle. Recommend appropriate changes based upon testing. Create the requirements section of an RFP.. Can explain the benefits/drawbacks of building and buying in general. Explain the structure of a detailed use-case.

To understand the importance and role of Administration & Support for an organization. Understanding logs.

Can Identify situations that require / interfere with administrative activities. Explain ethical concerns. Can explain user-training requirements. Able to read and understand system logs Can create policies. Understands the benefits of automation. Discuss ethical issues. Can Identify and explain Admin responsibilities. Can explain the need for content deployment. Can describe the need for the management of I.T. resources. Can explain the need for policies. Understand ethical concerns.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Examination 40
CLASS TEST In-class test 1 15
CLASS TEST In-class test 2 15
CLASS TEST In-class test 3 15
COURSEWORK Assignment 15

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Completing lab work, revising course material in preparation for class tests and exam. Reading around the subject.


24 hours over 24 weeks


48 hours over 24 weeks including class tests and an assignment.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Analyse if/how a system meets current and future requirements
  • Knowledge and understanding of commercial and economic issues
  • Knowledge of information security issues
  • Evaluate systems in terms of quality and trade-offs
  • Deploy tools effectively
  • Deploy systems to meet business goals
  • Methods, techniques and tools for information modelling, management and security
  • Specify, deploy, verify and maintain information systems
  • Defining problems, managing design process and evaluating outcomes
  • Specify, deploy, verify and maintain computer-based systems
  • Principles of appropriate supporting engineering and scientific disciplines


Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module