Show your SysAdmins a little love today

Eighth Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day kicks off search for SysAdmin of the Year.

Annual appreciation day is now linked to yearly contest that calls out exemplary IT professionals and showers them with gifts.

Today marks the Eighth Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day so when you don't notice any problems with your e-mail, you experience no network latency or your application runs smoothly, remember to thank your closest IT professionals … and maybe even give them a hug.

(Buzzblog: a personal thank you.)

System Admin Day, the last Friday in July, began in 2000 when Systems Administrator Ted Kekatos, an IT manager for a small start-up, decided it was time he and his colleagues received a bit of recognition for keeping systems running and workers productive.

"A SysAdmin installed the routers, laid the cables, configured the networks, set up the firewalls, and watched and guided the traffic for each hop of the network that runs over copper, fiber-optic glass, and even the air itself to bring the Internet to your computer. All to make sure the Web page found its way from the server to your computer," the home page of the annual appreciation day reads.

The Web site dedicated to the day details many other behind the scenes duties IT professional complete so others can simply do their jobs. It urges visitors to appreciate those employees often not noticed on other days and suggests gifts ranging from cases of energy drinks to Nerf weapons to gift certificates to Best Buy to large plasma television sets.

Last year, the annual appreciation day motivated a handful of user groups and vendors to develop a three-month contest that drew 5,000 nominations and named one person SysAdmin of the Year, offering many prizes including a free trip to the LISA Conference. This year the co-sponsors of the contest --, Digg, NaSPA, LOPSA, UNENIX/SAGE and Splunk -- are asking, "Is your sysadmin a rock star?" And to go along with the rock star inquiry, prizes include a Gibson Explorer guitar, an Apple MacBook Pro, a trip to the LISA Conference in Dallas and an enterprise license for Splunk IT management search software.

Judges for this year's contest include Kekatos, last year's winner Michael Beck of Emerging Technologies Group, Jeff Bates, co-founder of and Tom Limoncelli, co-author of "The Practice of System and Network Administration."

"SysAdmins typically only hear from higher-level managers when there is a problem," Limoncelli said in a press release. "There IT professionals are the ones on the front lines keeping mission-critical servers and applications running. They deserve to be recognized and applauded."

The SysAdmin of the Year context is open to U.S. and Canadian residents currently employed as an IT administrator, system administrator, network manager, database administrator or other IT professional. Companies or individuals can nominate their favorite IT professional for the award here.

Deadline for nominations is Oct. 12.

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Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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