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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 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 $150 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 '06, collect your technical sessions registration materials, then proceed to the Workshop Registration Desk. Acceptable forms of payment are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash, and check.

Registration hours:
Saturday, December 2, 5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 3, 7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Monday, December 4, 7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 5, 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 3
Workshop 1: Configuration Management Tools and Practice
Luke Kanies, Reductive Labs; Narayan Desai, Argonne National Laboratory
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., McKinley

This workshop will function as a complement to the regular Configuration Management workshop and will have a focus on practical configuration management. Discussion will cover comparative analysis of current tools, including Puppet, BCFG2, cfengine, LCFG, and others, including a practitioner's perspective of using these tools. The goal of the workshop is to provide tool developers and practitioners with a forum for discussing practice, comparing tools, and outlining functional desires. Attendees should be tool developers or advanced system administrators experienced in automation and configuration management. Prospective attendees should send a single paragraph describing why they would like to attend the workshop and what they hope to get out of it to

Workshop 2: University Issues
John "Rowan" Littell, California College of the Arts
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Maryland A

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. The differences 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 institution, 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.

Monday, December 4
Workshop 3: Configuration Management
Paul Anderson, University of Edinburgh; Sanjai Narain, Tecordia Technologies, Research
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Coolidge

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. This year's workshop will include a number of sessions targeted at automatic validation of configurations. More details, together with information on previous workshops and a mailing list, are available here.

The workshop will be a mixture of short presentations and informal discussions; participation is welcome, both from those with experience in the field and from 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: Managing Sysadmins
Tom Limoncelli, Google; Cat Okita, Independent Consultant
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., McKinley

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, independent consultant, and Tom Limoncelli, author of Time Management for System Administrators, and co-author of The Practice of System and Network Administration. To attend the workshop, send email to


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

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. More information about the workshop and about position papers can be found here; position papers should be sent to Attendees are required to bring a laptop computer.

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Last changed: 30 Nov. 2006 ch