itContracting Quick-fire Q&A: Systems Administration

Have you wondered what it takes to begin your IT career in Systems Administration?

This week, we have a quick-fire Q&A round with Evros Service Owner of the IT Managed Services, Brian Duignan, explaining his career path into Systems Administration, and outlining key technology requirements.


Brian Duignan


Service Owner at Evros Technology Group, responsible for all the services offered in the IT Managed Services department.

Explain your System Administrator experience on-site and across client sites

Prior to my current role, I led a team of Systems Administrators who specialised in high availability. The team responded to critical infrastructure monitoring alerts and took escalations from Level 1 and Level 2 Managed Services support teams. The team also took escalations from our customers’ internal IT departments. The priority for this team was infrastructure uptime, and the remediation of business affecting issues as soon as possible.

What are key technology skill requirements for a System Administrator in your role?

A System Administrator at Evros must be very familiar with all Microsoft technologies, ideally a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate. They should be familiar with enterprise virtualization. We find that VMware ESX is the hypervisor of choice for medium to large organisations. A good working knowledge of Office365 and Exchange is very beneficial. Security is something many of our clients are focusing on with the increase in crypto attacks and more intelligent phishing attempts.

How did you gain these skills?

A mix of online training using tools such as Pluralsight, classroom-led training and good old-fashioned home lab set ups keep me up to speed with the technologies I work with every day.

What challenges did you face to become a System Administrator and now, Service Owner at Evros?

My journey began in Evros Managed Services as a Systems Administrator, supporting over 100 different environments. It was initially difficult to get to grips supporting so many configurations. But you soon began to see patterns in environments set-ups, allowing you to get familiar with what you were working with quicker. Keeping a calm head during critical situations was also a skill I had to master that took a few months!

What advice would you give to someone looking to become a System Administrator?

Keep asking questions, write things down, and get yourself setup with your own test environment (either at home or in the cloud).

What certification or qualifications are useful for System Administrators?

An MSCA in Windows Server or Office365 and a VMWare Certified Professional certification would be very useful specifically for a System Administrator at Evros. But I think as long as you are studying and earning certification, you will be on the right track.

itContracting is part of Evros Technology Group, is Ireland’s leading Managed Service support company and has one of the most extensive partnership networks in Ireland including globally recognised brands and providers of industry-leading niche technologies. Some of the Evros partners include Microsoft, VMware, HPE, Dell, Citrix, Cisco, and Veeam. Are you looking for it contract work or a permanent IT position? Contact Ireland’s leading IT recruitment agency, itContracting.

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