Chapter 2. Installing DPM

"I know how to install software. You put the disk in, and click 'Next' until it says you're finished."

A child in Ryan's household

In Andrew's defense, he said this when he was eight; at the ripe old age of twelve, he now knows better. He also knows about the following advanced systems administration practices:

  • Placing the operating system and installed program files on different disks for better performance

  • Choosing an application's installation path so that similar applications can be more easily grouped together

If you think you caught us with tongue in cheek when we called these advanced practices, you'd be correct; but the sad fact is that while these may seem so simple that a twelve year-old boy can master them, how many IT professionals actually know (and follow) these best practices for installing software? How many places have you worked where new hardware was bought with purchase price as the sole consideration, where new software was installed without consideration or planning, and where systems management becomes an exercise in configuration by trial and error? Sadly, we see IT people commit "plug-n-pray" administration all of the time.

There are, however, other ways to manage systems. For example, there is an unmistakable tendency for a large number of administrators to seek a cookbook approach, to try to reduce every problem to a discrete set of steps. When you're first dealing with a new piece of software, starting from a clickstream is a great ...

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