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LISA '04 Call for Papers
November 14-19, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia


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The conference covers all facets of the practice and theory of computer administration—System, Network, Database, Security and Storage being only some examples. The following is a small selection of possible topics.

Technical Practices: Papers describing and analyzing important system administration tasks/problems/issues and solutions to them. LISA papers present such discussions in the context of previous work and focus on new and innovative ideas, comparisons, and analysis.

  • Applying tools, techniques, and methods from other disciplines
  • Automated system administration
  • Best practices in system administration
  • Comparison of alternative approaches/solutions to system administration tasks
  • Distributed system administration
  • High availability and disaster recovery
  • Integration of emerging technologies in system administration
  • Managing heterogeneous environments
  • Managing very large installations; scaling issues
  • OS/platform migration strategies
  • Performance analysis, monitoring and tuning
  • Proactive problem management
  • Problem tracking
  • Security

Working with users, solving their problems

  • Helping users understand their needs
  • How to build and maintain effective collaboration with users
  • Understanding user requests in context

Tools and Meta-Tools: Discussions of new tools you have developed or tools you have used to solve an important and widely-applicable system administration problem. Tools-oriented papers must focus on new approaches/solutions to administrative tasks/issues.

  • Configuration management
  • Evaluations/comparisons of system administration tools
  • Innovative system administration tools and meta-tools
  • Software development in a highly interrupt-driven environment
  • Surprising new uses for existing tools
  • Tools for automating system administration

Analysis and Theory: Consideration of system administration issues and practices from a theoretical viewpoint (although some applicability to real practice is also required).

  • Computer immunology
  • Convergent automation in distributed systems
  • Fundamental underpinnings to the profession
  • Identifying the important issues in system administration and its tasks
  • Metrics for system administration

Case Studies: Discussions of how you or your site addressed an important system administration problem or issue. As with other topics, these papers should focus on new approaches and innovative solutions with applicability to the system administration community at large.

  • Experiences supporting large sites (>1000 users or machines)
  • Intranet planning, development, support, and maintenance
  • Managing enterprise-wide email

Organizational and Social Issues: Discussions of and solutions for any of the many nontechnical issues system administrators face.

  • Budgeting, cost analyses, and project planning for system administration.
  • Effective strategies for personal (technical & managerial) growth
  • Effective training techniques for system administration and users
  • Ethics and system administration
  • System administration management issues
  • The system administrator's role in the organization
  • Working as a contractor or a consultant
  • Working effectively with/managing contractors or consultants

This topic list should not be considered exhaustive. Good proposals related to any important aspect of system administration are always welcome. If you are unsure whether your topic is appropriate, contact the Program Chair by sending email to

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