The IT Commander-in-chief in Your Department: Network Administrator

by Noel Laam
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The University campus network has become the de facto pedestal upon which all computing services in our University are delivered, and the recent major upgrade has further strengthened its importance as the indispensable facility for our University. The advancement of the campus network urges for better administration, and the cooperation and assistance of departments will be crucial to it. In the light of this, it becomes necessary for each department office to designate a staff member to be the Network Administrator (NA), who acts as the departmental representative to serve as a single point of contact on matters related to campus network and networked computers, and, more importantly, to take charge of the related responsibilities, including:

  1. Taking care of network and computing resource matters, such as

    1. addition and deletion of network points,
    2. registration and deregistration of network connection(network IP address) of machines,
    3. acquisition and installation of computers and software,
    4. opening computer accounts for new or visiting staff,
    5. looking after network upgrade, changes and interruption;

  2. In charge of daily network administrative matters, e.g. management of departmental accounts for broadcast e-mail, posting of network messages, handling e-mail related problems, internal and external complaints/enquires etc.;

  3. Handling of network security matters, software licence matters etc.;

  4. Acting as coordinator during emergency situations, e.g. virus attack, hacking etc.

All these and many other day-to-day tasks may currently be handled by different staff in a department in a rather diverse manner, but the NA is the person empowered to look after these matters. Beside the NA, to act as a backup, a Relief Network Administrator (RNA) is also nominated. Upon the assumption of duty by the NA, the appointment of the Computer Liaison Officer in each department ceased at the same time.

A meeting for NA/RNA was successfully held on 8 March 2002 to brief them of the routine responsibilities of NA/RNA, inform them of the resources and services of the Computing Services Centre (CSC) available to them, and update them on the upcoming major tasks that the CSC can help them to accomplish. A list of NA/RNA is put up in the CSC home page (http://www.cityu.edu.hk/csc) under "Support" and IT@CityU home page (http://www.cityu.edu.hk/itatcityu) under "People & Organization" for your reference.

The CSC looks eagerly forward to work hand in hand with the NA/RNA to serve you even better!