What Is the Difference between a Network and System Administrator?

Computers and computer networks are essential to the operation of most businesses. Information Technology (IT) professionals known as network administrators and system administrators are in charge of these systems. The difference between a network administrator and a system administrator is the part of the computer system they are in charge of. A system administrator is in charge of an organization’s computers, whereas a network administrator is in charge of how computers communicate with one another.

A network administrator and a system administrator will frequently need to know how to configure and troubleshoot computers on their network. Furthermore, they are frequently required to understand the fundamentals of networking, if only to assist in the troubleshooting process. The system administrator’s job typically entails dealing with issues of a smaller scale, such as computer user issues and hardware malfunctions. A network administrator, on the other hand, is responsible for larger-scale issues like network security and computer interaction management.

System administrators must have a thorough understanding of the operating systems that are used all computers in the organization’s computer operating system. Their job entails adding and deleting user accounts as well as troubleshooting hardware and software issues for other computer users. When users encounter a problem, they usually contact the system administrator first. Some larger companies hire a technical support department to help users solve their own problems, but if that doesn’t work, the issue is escalated to the system administrator.

The system administrator is responsible for backing up data, optimizing performance, and applying updates and patches to computer software and operating systems. He is also capable of writing scripts, which are small pieces of software that automate certain computer tasks. Security issues that could allow an intruder access to a computer are also dealt with a system administrator.

If a company needs to expand its network, it will turn to its network administrator to plan and implement an expansion strategy. A major difference between a system and network administrator when it comes to networking is that the network administrator is the last line of defense. Network-related issues that a system administrator cannot resolve, such as security breaches intruders from outside the organization, must be handled a networking expert.

Network administrators can also act as network engineers in some cases. This entails designing and constructing entire computer networks from the ground up. When it comes to establishing a new organization’s IT infrastructure, their skills are invaluable.

Certifications that are useful or required for a network or system administrator differ as well. Certifications such as the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) or the Red Hat and CompTIA series of certifications may be required for system administrators. A network administrator, on the other hand, may require not only that, but also a variety of other Cisco and Novell networking hardware and technology certifications.

The network and system administrator professions pay similar salaries. However, because network administrators can also be network engineers, their potential pay could skyrocket. Because of their importance to the organization where they work, network administrators who also perform system administration tasks have the highest level of job security.