System administration survey (update)

We are conducting a survey of the environment, tasks, and experience of administrators of networks, services, and databases. By doing so, we hope to learn the intricacies of the environment in which system administration is carried out in real installations, and to an extent alleviate the dearth of published information on experience in administering real systems. We hope this would benefit the researchers in system management to better understand the ground reality, and help improve the efficacy of the research (i.e., apart from helping administrators in learning more about their domain).

More immediately, this information would help us in reproducing a realistic environment to drive our research - constructing realistic virtual environments to help administrators 'validate' their actions prior to finalizing them on the production environment. Please take a look at our recent paper at OSDI'04, titled "Understanding and Dealing with Operator Mistakes in Internet Services",  and our web site for more information regarding this approach.

We have further separated our survey into 2 independent surveys: one for Network and System administrators, and the second for Database administrators. We encourage you to take both of them, however, taking either of them depending on your current responsibilities/specialization is fine. All surveys completed in their entirety will be entered into a drawing of a number of $50 gift certificates (from

Please take the survey, and remember to enter your email address at the end of the survey for notification of gift.

Thanks very much for your help!

Privacy statement:

The responses from the survey will remain completely anonymous and the data will be used for academic research purposes. No information regarding the taker of the survey will be stored beyond the point of determination of recipients of gift certificates and the results mailed out. The data gathered from this survey maybe published, with references to only broad categorization such as those that have been gathered from within the survey. No references to any company, organization or person will be made in any of the publications.