LISA Outstanding Achievement Award
This annual award goes to someone whose professional contributions to the system administration community over a number of years merit special recognition.
2013: Brendan Gregg
For contributions to the field of system administration, particularly groundbreaking work in systems performance analysis methodologies.
2012: Jeffrey Snover, Bruce Payette, and James Truher
Jeffrey Snover, Bruce Payette, and James Truher receive the LISA award for PowerShell, bringing the power of automated system administration to the Windows environment, where it was previously largely unsupported. Unlike most historic scripting languages, PowerShell does so with particular elegance, weaving the Lambda Calculus into the language, without forcing the developer to have an advanced degree in computer science to be able to use it. PowerShell has been a landmark success, exceedingly popular with system administration users, having a very high impact on the automation of Windows administration.
2011: Ethan Galstad
The 2011 LISA Outstanding Achievement Award goes to Ethan Galstad, the creator and principal maintainer of Nagios. Nagios, initially released in 1999, is free and open source software that provides monitoring and alerting for the entire IT infrastructure. As a sysadmin who nominated Ethan for this award succinctly put it, "These tools have greatly improved the work experience of system administrators by providing a fully functional open source alternative, helping to prevent sysadmins from being paged unnecessarily while providing excellent visibility into server and network health."
2009: David Blank-Edelman
The 2009 LISA Outstanding Achievement Award was awarded to David N. Blank-Edelman, author, speaker, instructor, and conference organizer. Ever generous with his time and his knowledge, David has worked in the sysadmin community for a quarter of a century, bringing expertise and entertainment to students, conference attendees, and readers of ;login:, as well as serving as a voice of reason and leadership in community matters. David served as the chair of LISA '05 and one of the LISA '06 Invited Talks co-chairs. His classes, at LISA and elsewhere, his highly regarded Perl for System Administration books, and his ;login: columns deliver practical advice in a highly digestible form, while cultivating critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
2008: Samba Team
The 2008 LISA Outstanding Achievement Award goes to the Samba Team for the rich capabilities they've brought to system administrators and users in heterogeneous computing environments.
SAMBA permits UNIX/Linux servers to provide file and print services to Windows users. Since 1992, the SAMBA project has grown from an interesting experiment in interoperability to a core technology that most UNIX/Linux sites cannot live without (even if their management doesn't know). As a side effect, the project has popularized previously hidden issues in our industry, including the right to reverse-engineer proprietary protocols and how companies use proprietary protocols offensively. The team includes dozens of developers around the world.
2007: Æleen Frisch
Æleen Frisch's achievements are no mystery to this audience. Her book Essential System Administration, now in its third edition, is on many of our shelves, and she had shown an untiring commitment to advancing the state of the art through tutorials and presentations around the world. A system administrator for over 20 years and the Program Chair of LISA '03, Æleen practices, writes, and teaches the critical analysis skills that for many of us have turned system administration from guesswork into a science.
2006: Tobias Oetiker and Dave Rand
Before the creation of MRTG and RRDTool, the only people who could reap the benefits of long-term, historical statistics–gathering were people with multi-million-dollar budgets. MRTG and RRDTool democratized and therefore popularized historical data collection. As a result, network utilization planning has grown from guesswork into a fine art. These tools are also used to track a wide array of resources, from disk I/O stats, to CPU and memory usage, to license server data. Thanks to Tobias, Dave, and their team, system and network administrators are no longer limited to fire-fighting when resources are overloaded. We can now easily examine network and system data, presented in an intuitive form, to predict and plan for upgrades months in advance of dire necessity.
2005: Tom Limoncelli and Christine Hogan
For The Practice of System and Network Administration. Published in 2001, their book continues to be cited frequently by the LISA community as a topical work. The book advances the profession by advancing the administrator from a technically competent individual to a professional system administrator.
2004: Brent Chapman
For his contributions to firewalls, mailing lists, and the community.
2003: Two Awards
Eric Anderson, Paul Anderson, Mark Burgess, and Alva Couch
For professional contributions to the field of system administration through their ground-breaking work in system administration theory. As they practice it, system administration theory is a useful, emerging academic subdiscipline in which all four have been working for years.
For service to LISA and to the profession as a whole. Lee has published several USENIX papers, has been the Guru-Is-In coordinator for multiple conferences, chaired both the LISA Code of Ethics working group and the Policies working group, and contributed to the LISA Security working group.
No award was given in 2002.
2001: Hal Pomeranz
For his exemplary contributions as an educator of system administrators, through works such as the Perl Practicum series, and for his years of leadership in the system administration community.
2000: Celeste Stokely
or her pioneering achievements in distributing systems management information.
1999: Wietse Venema
For his continuing work to help improve computer security through the development of system administration tools.
1998: Tina Darmohray
For her dedication and tireless efforts to promote understanding and recognition of the System Administration profession.
1997: Paul Vixie
For work on BIND and for ongoing efforts to eliminate spam email from the Internet.
1996: Elizabeth Zwicky
For her role in founding LISA.
1995: Evi Nemeth
For her contributions to the system administration and student community.
1994: Larry Wall
For his work on Perl and other system administration tools.
1993: Max Vasilatos and Rob Kolstad
For their role in organizing the early LISA conferences, and for general contributions to the system administration community.