Research Hub > The Ultimate SysAdmin Day Buying Guide

July 29, 2022

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9 min

The Ultimate SysAdmin Day Buying Guide

This list has everything a System Administrator needs to manage networks, subnets, security, and data centers, including access points, servers, switches, routers, firewalls, UPSs, and more.

What's Inside

It’s that time of year again…oh, wait! Actually, it’s always that time of year for SysAdmins. Networks need to run, hackers be hacking 24/7/365, and Wifi outages? No, those are dealbreakers. Servers crash, data needs backing up and who is responsible? That’s right! SysAdmins! Our everyday, heroes. They can’t even catch a break on their personal holiday.

What is SysAdmin Day?

For the rest of the world SysAdmin Day is when layfolk send an appreciative note or gift or get an opportunity to take a peek at a day in the life of the highly-caffeinated people who make up the backbone of IT at most companies. You might know them as the individuals who reset your login when you’ve lost your password. Well, for one, that’s usually helpdesk support (another type of hero), not SysAdmins, but also, even if SysAdmins are known to troubleshoot user tickets from time to time, they have a lot more going on that we can’t even fathom.

To celebrate their hard work, we put together the Ultimate SysAdmin Day Buying Guide, complete with no, not the magical totem that turns the computer off and on again after it freezes, but yes, switches, cables, splitters, access points, security appliances, servers and much more. And the best part about this guide? Despite the global supply chain problems, these products are in stock now.

If you don’t work in IT, you may not understand everything in this buying guide. But, if your SysAdmin brings you this list with products circled, your company’s data center and network will be better off, if you take their word and buy it.

If you’re on the hunt for a Business Grade switch with 24 ports and keep running into back-orders try TP-Link’s Plug & Play 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch (TL-SG1024D) instead.

arrow Quick Tech Specs
  • Forwarding performance: 35.7 Mpps
  • Switching capacity: 48 Gbps
  • Features: Auto-negotiation, Auto-uplink (auto MDI/MDI-X), Fanless, Flow control, Full duplex capability, Store and forward

If you don’t need it to be rack-mounted also try these 8-port alternatives: 

Also Consider:

Why use two separate cables (for data and power) when one POE (Power over Ethernet) will suffice. A PoE injector is a device used to add power to an ethernet cable for non-PoE equipment. So, if you want your non-POE switches to work with your new POE switches and devices (Ex: IP Phones, Cameras, Wireless Access Points (WAP), then try using a POE injector. The 24 Watt PoE from Ubiquiti can convert 48V to 24V and provides protection against surge, clamping, maximum surge discharge, peak pulse current, and ESD attacks.

arrow Quick Tech Specs
  • Interface: 1 x Gigabit LAN - RJ-45
  • Voltage: 48 volts
  • Power: 24 Watts

Not sure if the speeds and power supply of this PoE will work with your setup, try this PoE calculator from our Versatek Partner to help determine the voltage you need.

 

Also Consider:

If your internet is slow, it might not be your service provider. Cat5 cables (also known to some as LAN, patch, ethernet or network cables) have been the gold standard for decades to connect routers to computers, printers, servers, and switches.

But we’re in a new age with speeds reaching 1 gigabit per second or 1,000 megabits on average and higher in some areas. Whether you’re on-prem or operating a hybrid cloud, if your ethernet Cat5 or Cat5E cables can’t keep up with enhanced data transfer speeds, then it’s time to upgrade to Cat6 cables. The Tripp Lite 10’ Cat6 cables can reduce crosstalk, which is prone to disrupt your communication channels. It will also enhance the performance of high-resolution video signals for conference calls, displays and digital signs.

If you’re on the hunt for a Business Grade switch with 24 ports and keep running into back-orders try TP-Link’s Plug & Play 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch (TL-SG1024D) instead.

arrow Quick Tech Specs
  • Guaranteed: Lifetime Tripp Lite Warranty
  • Rated for Speeds: 550MHz/1 Gbps
  • Staggered-pin plug design
  • Molded connectors with integral strain relief
  • Available in other colors and lengths

Winter is coming. And also hurricanes, earthquakes, forest fires and the like. Weather…it’s inevitable. Will you be prepared? Uninterruptible Power Supplies protect connected equipment against downtime and data loss due to blackouts, brownouts, surges and line noise.

If you’re on the hunt for a Business Grade switch with 24 ports and keep running into back-orders try TP-Link’s Plug & Play 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch (TL-SG1024D) instead.

arrow Quick Tech Specs
  • Capacity: 1000VA/700W
  • Outlets: 6
  • LCD Screen for Configuration
  • APC Warranty: 3-year UPS, 2-year Battery 
Also try this UPS for your desktop:

Your Router might just be the most important piece (or pieces) of equipment in your outfit. Don’t agree? See what happens if multiple routers’ firewalls are breached and you can no longer regulate bad actors moving across networks within your company. Sorry for even broaching that scenario, let’s hope those thoughts don’t cause you nightmares. Now back to the topic at hand. Not all routers have built-in security or firewalls, but Cisco’s Integrated Services Router 4000 family of servers have a Voice Security Bundle that revolutionizes WAN communication in distributed enterprise sites where IT resources are lean. It specifically addresses the growing need for application-aware networking. Regardless of what your network looks like this router will directly communicate with both private data centers and public clouds across diverse links, including Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) VPNs and the Internet.

arrow Quick Tech Specs
  • RAM: 4 GB Flash memory installed, 16 GB supported
  • Ports: 3
  • Aggregate throughput: 100 Mbps (over 2Gbps Using onboard Gigabit Ethernet Interfaces with a boost license)
Also try these routers for Home and Small Business:

Routers are best used to reduce network traffic. Next-Generation Firewalls for Enterprise and Unified Threat Management for SMB budgets are added protection to consider, but keep in mind UTMs can add latency, which might sacrifice performance, and NGFW’s might not provide granular reporting or application-level filtering.

 

Gateways on the other hand offer powerful, proactive protection against a multitude of threats, spyware, and targeted attacks.  You could set up a virtual server with anti-virus software installed as a firewall, or you could get one of these gateways. While there is overlap and confusion between what is the difference between a firewall, a UTM, and a secure web gateway, a gateway appliance can offer more robust control and distinctive application protection, as well as advanced reporting compared to other networking security options. The RSA NetWitness Series 6 Server with the Event Stream Analysis Platform offers threat hunting and automated incidence response reporting tools including Security Information and Event Management Analytics, user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), and visibility into cloud, network, and endpoints.

 

arrow Quick Tech Specs
  • Clock Speed: 3.2 GHZ
  • Processor: Xeon Gold
  • Threat hunting
  • Built-in devices: 10 Gigabit Ethernet network adapter, 2 x RAID controllers, Gigabit Ethernet network adapter
Also consider these alternatives:

If the global chip shortage has you scrambling for ways to backup and offload data, consider shifting to a linux-based x86 environment or an Arm Server. While this isn’t meant to take the place of core workloads, this server-optimized SoC (system on chip) can provide complimentary performance for optimizing cloud applications in a digital-first or software-as-a-service outfit.

arrow Quick Tech Specs
  • System: Linux
  • Type: Premium Subscription
  • License Qty: 1 physical node
Also Consider:

Avoid the chip shortage by keeping your current data center in working order. Maintain a cool server room with low humidity to prevent static and increase server longevity. The options for cooling techniques are endless ranging from air to chilled water and from overhead and in-rack to direct-to-chip solutions.

arrow Quick Tech Specs
  • 6 ft power cord with NEMA 5-15P plug
  • Provides 2,000 BTU (0.6kW) of cooling capacity
  • Control panel with LCD display and diagnostic LEDs
Also Consider: