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Join Your Peers for Three Days of Focused Discussion
  • Senior system administrators will want to participate in one or more of these all-day workshops. Attendance is limited for each workshop, which ensures a seminar-like atmosphere.

  • Please note that these workshops are full-day sessions. Attending a workshop precludes attending any training sessions on that day.
  • To attend a workshop, you must be a registered conference attendee as well as an accepted workshop participant. See the individual descriptions for information on how to apply to attend a workshop. Accepted applications will be confirmed by the workshop coordinator.
  • There is an additional fee of $100 to attend a workshop, payable on-site only; this fee includes lunch on the day of the workshop. See the box below for details about how to register.
Workshop Registration Is On-Site Only
How It Works: When you arrive at LISA '05, collect your technical sessions registration materials, then proceed to the Workshop Registration Desk. Acceptable forms of payment are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash, or check.

Registration hours:
Saturday, December 3, 5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 4, 7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Monday, December 5, 7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 6, 7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Morning workshop registration lines may be long. Please try to register in the afternoon or evening before your workshop, to ensure that you get to your workshop on time.

Questions? Contact

Sunday, December 4
Workshop 1: Managing Sysadmins
Tom Limoncelli, Cibernet Corp.; Cat Okita
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Garden Salon 1

This one-day workshop, intended for system administrators taking on management roles and managers of system administrators provides an informal roundtable discussion of problems facing managers today. Attendees will take turns introducing issues they are experiencing, and the group will share their experiences with similar situations and discuss options and solutions. Attendees should manage (or act as team lead to) two or more system administrators. The workshop will be facilitated by Cat Okita and Tom Limoncelli, co-author of The Practice of System and Network Administration. To attend the workshop, send email to

Workshop 2: Clusters
Susan Coghlan and Narayan Desai, Argonne National Laboratory
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Garden Salon 2

There is similar system administration work going on in three areas: high-performance computing, high-availability computing, and everything else. Each of these areas has developed niche tools to address important issues. For the most part, these tools have remained tied to their niche despite broad applicability. In this workshop, we'll explore these tools and capabilities and how they might be applied to the other areas.

For example, system software can be parallel on high-performance machines but parallel environments are not generally available outside of these high-performance systems.

Please send email to with a position paper that describes your environment and the niche capabilities you believe are not represented globally.

Monday, December 5
Workshop 3: Configuration Management
Paul Anderson, University of Edinburgh
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Garden Salon 1

Specifying the required configurations for large numbers of interconnected machines, and automatically installing those configurations to provide an overall service, has been been a important topic since the very early LISA conferences. Automatic tools are essential for anyone who wants to manage more than a few machines efficiently, and to have confidence in their correctness and security.

This workshop follows on from previous years with the intention of discussing the fundamental problems of current approaches to system configuration, and looking at the requirements and possible solutions for the next generation of configuration languages and tools. The Web page includes a summary of last year's conference, an archive of the mailing list, and pointers to some relevant papers.

The workshop will be a mixture of short presentations and informal discussions; participation is welcome, both from those with experience in the field, and those looking for configuration solutions. However, active participation will be expected. For an invitation, send a short email to Please include a brief description of your areas of interest/experience, and indicate whether you would be prepared to make a short presentation.

Workshop 4: University Issues
David Parter, University of Wisconsin; Philip Kizer, Texas A&M University; John "Rowan" Littell, Earlham College
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Garden Salon 2

The focus of this workshop is on issues peculiar to university and college computing shops. Schools vary greatly in their approach to running computing infrastructures: some try to have a very focused support model that centers on class- and professor-related needs, some try not to act as a competitor to local ISPs, others actively aim at being like a school-run ISP, and some even model their shop after big business/government/ISO9001 methods. The difference can stem from the general culture of the school as well as upper management, or even from departmental versus institution-wide services.

Part of the goal of this workshop is to communicate what works and what does not work for your institution or your organization within the institution. Topics might include funding, student/faculty/staff needs, research, security, purchasing, staffing, training, working with students, working with research and instructional staff, and even the culture and campus integration of computing facilities and support.

To attend the University Issues workshop, please send email to with a short paragraph describing your site/organization, the biggest issue you face today or something about your institution that works particularly well or that others might want to consider for their own school. You can also include topics you want included on the workshop agenda.

Workshop 5: Using the New Social Technologies to Do Real Work
Strata R. Chalup, Virtual.Net Inc.
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Eaton

All kinds of nifty new technologies have been springing up over the past few years. Many of them seem to have been created to let Gen X and Gen Y folks keep up with news about their favorite bands, relationship drama, and pictures of Fluffy, their new dachsund/rottweiler puppy. Guess what? Those same tools are also being used for remote collaboration on open source projects, following technology news and info, and painlessly making your WiFi-less commute a time you can catch up on things.

The vast majority of these tools are open source or shareware, with the commercial world still catching up. Even better, most are designed from the ground up with minimal overhead, for use on mobile phones, sidekicks, and similar devices. Best of all, these technologies gateway into and out of traditional forms such as email, Web, and instant messaging, as well as to each other. Keep your familiar tools and interfaces, and learn to leverage them to do even more.

We'll compare notes on using tools such as RSS aggregation/publishing, wiki, blogging clients, podcasting, and more in the workplace, either among the IT staff only, or between IT and your internal customers. Failure stories that we can learn from are as welcome as success stories! Rolling out a new paradigm often meets with obstacles ranging from customer skepticism to managerial roadblocks. With the wide range of tools out there, some are easier to deploy and some are more secure and/or reliable—and the two aren't always the same set. We'll also discuss how to choose a tool that is right for your intended use and office environment. To attend the workshop, send email to


Tuesday, December 6
Workshop 6: Advanced Topics
Adam Moskowitz, Menlo Computing
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Garden Salon 1

This workshop, intended for very senior administrators, provides an informal roundtable discussion of the problems facing system administrators today. Attendance is limited and based on acceptance of a position paper (plain ASCII, three paragraphs maximum); a typical paper covers what the author thinks is the most difficult or important issue facing system administrators today, why this is a problem, and why this problem is important. Please send position papers to

Workshop 8: System Administration Education
Steven Jenkins, East Tennessee State University
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Eaton

The System Administration Education Workshop is in its sixth year at LISA. It is an opportunity for those teaching system administration or training sysadmins in a university setting to get together to work on curriculum and curriculum development.

How do system administration courses work together with other courses? How do those courses fit into degree programs? How do networking and system administration classes connect?

Part of the goal of the workshop will be to review the SAGE Short Topics booklet on Educating and Training System Administrators and to continue cross-fertilizing best practices across the colleges and universities that offer system administration courses and programs.

To register for the workshop, please send an outline of your experience and interest in sysadmin education to

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Last changed: 6 April 2007 jel