Must-have Tools for System Administrators

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Having the right tools for the job can always make any task easier and this is no exception for IT administrators. Having the right tools at your disposal can make diagnosing and solving problems much easier, especially in circumstances where time is a crucial factor. Tools such as text editors, network management tools, and even remote desktop software are an outmost important for system administrators. In this article, we will review some of the most useful tools that can benefit IT professionals.

Magical Jellybean

Have you ever needed to reinstall software, but couldn’t find the license key? This tool is very useful in that it can recover all of the product keys of your software, which can then be stored safely.

Notepad++

Notepad is an app that nearly all Windows users are familiar with. However, there is a replacement app that offers so much more functionality than the original. It is especially useful when working with code snippets and also features syntax highlighting. Another huge benefit of Notepad++ is its ability to handle large text-based files with ease.

Wireshark

Wireshark can be used for analysing traffic to and from devices on any network at a very low level. It is possible to retrieve network data from Ethernet, Bluetooth, USB, PPP, Wi-Fi and many other formats.

Postman

Postman features a range of great products, but the most useful (in my opinion) of these is the API client they offer. Using the Postman Client API, it is easy to create and save requests, and analyse the responses.

7-Zip

7-Zip provides a simple and convenient way to not only zip multiple files into a single folder, but also offers file compression. 7-Zip can support several data formats, such as .zip, .rar, .Gzip, .bzip2, .xz, .tar.

FileZilla

Filezilla is a great open source FTP client and server solution. It can support secure FTP and FTPS (FTP over TLS) while the Pro version of the software also provides support for Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and more.

AeroAdmin

It goes without saying that having secure and dependable remote desktop software will go a long way in making sure you can handle any software issues, even if you aren’t physically in front of the affected computer. AeroAdmin allows for unattended access to be set up, which enables IT professionals to remotely diagnose problems without needing to have someone assist on the other end.

PuTTy

PuTTy is a terminal emulator that’s extremely lightweight and fast. It supports SSH Secure Shell which is used by Windows and Linux operating systems and many variations on the secure remote terminal. PuTTy provides user control over the SSH encryption key and protocol version which can be used to connect to any routers or servers that are within the network range.

Process Explorer

Process Explorer shows active processes, including the names of their owning accounts, whereas it would also show handles of the selected process. If Process Explorer is in DLL mode it would be able to see memory-mapped files that the process has loaded. This tool also has a search capability that will show you which processes have particular handles opened or DLLs loaded. Process Explorer is a useful tool to track down DLL-version problems or handle leaks that have been committed in memory.

Clonezilla

Clonezilla is a free, open-source tool for backup and cloning applications, which could then be used to clone disks and individual hard disk partitions. Clonezilla can used for system backup and disaster recovery. This program supports file systems such as FAT, NTFS, ext2, ext3, ext4, and etc. This tool is very useful when restoring multiple PCs that allow for cloned specifications.

Windows Power Shell

Power Shell has been a built-in Windows application for many years now, but it is not widely used by most system administrators. Power shell is an interesting tool that could be considered as a programming language all of its own. Power Shell offers Unix-like commands to administrators; an example is the ‘ls command’ which is also a Linux command to show the content of the directory you are currently at. Like UNIX, you can also pipe Power Shell commands to link multiple commands, an example of this that is you can search for files based on their name and the contents of the file.

Git

Git is a free, open-source distributed version control system. With Git, system admins are able to save time by not needing to create a test setup, they can simply create a branch and clone it to the test server. They could also track the configuration changes made using the Changes history. With Git, system administrators can handle projects of any size with speed, ease of use, and efficiency.

3 Replies to “Must-have Tools for System Administrators”

  1. Awesome article, thank you for some of the recommendation for an even more tools. +1 for Notepad++, Postman PuTTy, and even AeroAdmin itself, it helps me with my tasks.

  2. Nice collection.
    However, Power Shell is a standard Windows feature.

    I’d also add WinSCP (ftp/scp client to connect windows/linux based system via ssh etc).

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