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11th Systems Administration Conference (LISA '97)

October 26 - 31, 1997
Town & Country Hotel, San Diego, CA

Co-sponsored by USENIX, the Advanced Computing Systems Professional and Technical Association, and SAGE, the System Administrators Guild

Refereed paper submissions dates:

Extended abstracts due:June 3, 1997
Notification to authors by:June 30, 1997
Final papers due:September 9, 1997
Registration materials available: July, 1997


Program Co-chairs:
Hal Pomeranz, Deer Run Associates
Celeste Stokely, Stokely Consulting

Program Committee
Paul Anderson, University of Edinburgh
Melissa Binde, Swarthmore College
Helen E. Harrison, SAS Institute, Inc.
Trent R. Hein, XOR Network Engineering
Amy Kreiling, SAS Institute, Inc.
William LeFebvre, Group sys Consulting
Dinah McNutt, Sysadmazon, Inc.
Adam S. Moskowitz, Genome Therapeutics Corporation
Wendy Nather, Swiss Bank Warburg
John Sellens, University of Waterloo

Invited Talks Coordinators
Rik Farrow, Internet Security Consulting
Pat Wilson, Dartmouth College


LISA, the Systems Administration Conference, is the leading conference for and by system administrators. LISA originally stood for "Large Installation Systems Administration" when a large installation meant over 100 users, 100 systems, or a gigabyte of disk storage. Today, LISA offers the most comprehensive program for system administrators from sites of all sizes and at all levels of experience.

The theme for LISA '97 is Professional Development. As UNIX continues to move more into mainstream business applications, people skills are becoming as important as technical skills for system administrators. The conference will focus on career and business professional development and technical skills. Some of the topics include:

  • time/people management, conflict resolution, making effective presentations, and personal career management
  • the latest tools, techniques, and information needed to keep pace with the today's rapid technology advancements
  • changes in public and legal policy,
  • changes in the ways that employers, employees, consultants, and contractors do business.

Sunday -- Tuesday, October 26-28, 1997

Whether you are a novice or senior system administrator, you will be able to find a tutorial at your level. There will be up to 20 tutorials over three days.

To provide the best possible tutorial offerings, USENIX continually solicits proposals for new tutorials. If you are interested in presenting a tutorial at this or other USENIX conferences, please contact the tutorial coordinator:

Daniel V. Klein
412 . 421 . 0285
Fax: 412 . 421 . 2332

Wednesday -- Friday, October 29-31, 1997

You will have two different types of learning opportunities during the technical sessions: a track dedicated to refereed technical and professional development papers and one for invited talks, panels and Works-in-Progress (WIP) reports.


Papers and presentations addressing the following topics are particularly timely. Presentations addressing other areas of general interest are equally welcome.

  • Technology, Tools, and Techniques:
    • Innovative system administration tools and techniques
    • Distributed or automated system administration
    • Integration of emerging technologies in system administration
    • Incorporation of commercial system administration technology
    • Experiences supporting large sites (>1000 users or machines)
    • Experiences supporting nomadic and wireless computing
    • Intranet development, support, and maintenance
    • Integrating new networking technologies
    • Integration of heterogeneous platforms including legacy systems
    • Managing enterprise-wide email
    • OS / platform migration strategies
    • Performance analysis and monitoring
    • Data management
    • Security
  • The Business of System Administration:
    • Customer service skills for system administrators
    • Problem tracking
    • Proactive problem management
    • Asset management
    • Support strategies in use at your site
    • Delivering effective presentations
    • Effective training techniques for system administration and users
    • Managing others and managing your boss
    • Working effectively with contractors or consultants
    • Working as a contractor or consultant
    • Ethics


An extended abstract of two to five pages is required for the paper selection process. Full papers are not acceptable at this stage; if you send a full paper, you must also include an extended abstract.

Include references to establish that you are familiar with related work, and, where possible, provide detailed performance data to establish that you have a working implementation or measurement tool.

Submissions will be judged on the quality of the written submission, and whether or not the work advances the state of the art of system administration. For more detailed author instructions and a sample extended abstract, send email to or call USENIX at 510 . 528 . 8649.

Note that LISA, like most conferences and journals, requires that papers not be submitted simultaneously to more than one conference or publication, and that submitted papers not be previously or subsequently published elsewhere. Papers accompanied by non-disclosure agreement forms are not acceptable and will be returned unread. All submissions are held in the highest confidence prior to publication in the conference proceedings, both as a matter of policy and as protected by the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.

Authors of an accepted paper must provide a final paper for publication in the conference proceedings. At least one author of each accepted paper presents the paper at the conference. Final papers are limited to 20 pages, including diagrams, figures and appendices, and must be in troff, ASCII, or LaTeX format. We will supply you with instructions. Papers should include a brief description of the site, where appropriate.

Conference proceedings, containing all refereed papers and materials from the invited talks, will be distributed to attendees and will also be available from the USENIX following the conference.


Please submit extended abstracts for the refereed paper track by TWO of the following methods:

  • Email to:

  • Fax to: 510 . 548 . 5738

  • Mail to:
    LISA 11 Conference
    USENIX Association
    2560 Ninth Street, Suite 215
    Berkeley CA USA 94710

An additional, detached page (if the manuscript it printed) or a separate E-mail message (if the manuscript is submitted electronically) listing:

  • The title and authors of the manuscript.

  • The name of one author who will serve as a contact, with postal and electronic mail addresses, daytime and evening telephone numbers, and a fax number.

  • An indication of which, if any, of the authors are full-time students.

To discuss potential submissions, and for inquiries regarding the content of the conference program, contact the program co-chairs at or contact:

  • Hal Pomeranz, Principal
    Deer Run Associates
    7145 Homewood Drive
    Oakland, CA 94611
    Phone: 510-339-7740
  • Celeste Stokely
    Stokely Consulting
    211 Thompson Square, Mountain View CA 94043
    Phone: 415 . 967 . 6898
    Fax: 415 . 967 . 0160


Cash prizes will be awarded at the conference for the best paper and the best student paper.


If you have a topic of interest to system administrators, but not suited for a traditional technical paper submission, please submit a proposal for an invited talk to the invited talk (IT) coordinators at . They are:

  • Rik Farrow, Internet Security Consulting
  • Pat Wilson, Dartmouth College

Wednesday and Thursday October 29 - 30, 1997

LISA attendees have an enormous interest in industrial strength, state-of-the-art solutions to system administration problems. If your company's products provide solutions, LISA will provide attendees with the technical expertise to understand and appreciate them. View more information, including a current list of exhibitors, or please contact:


Birds-of-a-Feather sessions (BoFs) are very informal gatherings of attendees interested in a particular topic. BoFs are held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. BoFs may be scheduled in advance by phoning the Conference Office at 714 . 588.. 8649 or via email to They may also be scheduled at the conference.


Complete program and registration information will be available in July 1997. To receive registration materials, please contact:

Or, you can send email to our mailserver at Your message should contain the line: send catalog. A catalog will be returned to you.

Registration Fees

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Last changed: May 26, 1997 pc
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