Upon recommendation in the Security Catalyst Forums, I picked up a copy of The Practice of System and Network Adminsitration by Thomas Limoncelli, et al.
So far I am impressed by the book. This is an ideal book to give any manager or beginner/intermediate SA/NA. It stays technical, but so far all of the advice is very general and common sense for any IT shop. Do automation, do this, don’t do this, this is why this is a bad idea, these are universal steps to get yourself out of the hole…
There are moments of mangled sentences and some of the topics seem a bit dated (Windows NT…) but this is so far a book I think I’d like to see on the shelf of any manager (or SA team library) I might have for the foreseeable future. It may not tell you how to automate deployments of Windows XP workstations, for example, but it will give you the reasons why this is a good idea and approaches to take to get shit done.
It is also nice to see some things I’ve learned on my own to be echoed in this book, validating my own common sense and reinforcing confidence. Despite being a big book (over 1000 pages), it can be read in chunks and is an easy read nonetheless.