When it comes to keeping an enterprise up and running, few jobs are as demanding as network administration. A network administrator has the responsibility not only to protect the network but to ensure that it is running at maximum efficiency. In a world where cloud-services and distributed computer systems are in a constant state of evolution, administrators are forced to adapt constantly. That’s why we’ve supplied you with a list of networking websites and resources to help you learn new skills.
In a modern enterprise, there is a vast array of plates to juggle. Missing threats or responding poorly to a threat can result in the entire network going down. As a result, administrators need to be taking on board new information all the time; this means staying up to date with new technologies, best practices, and other professional insights. In this article, we’ve put together a list of resources to help administrators stay on top of their day-to-day administration tasks.
Here is our list of Networking Websites and Resources:
First up we have Stack Exchange. Stack Exchange brings together a range of Q&A sites such as Stack Overflow, Super User, and Server Fault. All of these sites have a wealth of content that is relevant to network administration. To start using Stack Exchange all you need to do is enter a query in the search bar at the top and you will receive a range of results to comb through.
HackerNews is a user-driven site that enables visitors to submit articles on topics of their choosing. If you type ‘network administration’ into the search bar you can find an impressive array of articles to browse. If you need to access more contemporary sources or opinions then you can filter your search by date as well.
High Scalability is a site that has been dedicated to helping users upscale their network infrastructure. There are numerous articles that provide you with a solid look at improving your organizations internal strategies. Articles like ‘The Always on Architecture – Moving Beyond Legacy Disaster Recovery’ are helpful for taking you beyond your current limitations and implementing evolved best practices.
Spiceworks are one of the most famous network monitoring solution providers out there. As a result they have accumulated a ton of knowledge in the Spiceworks community. The Spiceworks community is regularly posting content to help other users stay at the top of their game. As such it is an excellent resource for those looking to improve their skills.
Administrators working on Debian systems commonly use debian.org to boost their knowledge and stay up-to-date on current updates. If you need guidance on how to use or secure Debian systems then this is a resource you should definitely consider as this site offers a large archive of articles centered on this very subject.
Reddit is one of the most underrated resources for network administrators online. Reddit is a social news website where users submit posts within subreddits. There are thousands of subreddits but those most relevant to network administrators are r/sysadmin and r/networking. All of the content is user submitted but you’ll get a wide range of opinions from an expert community.
VIM is a text editor which is run through the terminal. If you’re familiar with VIM, then DailyVIM is a resource that can provide you with a range of how-to guides and tutorials for getting the most out of the program. While there aren’t many new posts there is more than enough of a library available to assist you.
8. The DailyWTF
If you’re looking for something a little more lighthearted, then The DailyWTF is the site for you. This site features articles that blow off steam about the complications of integrating SaaS solutions and other day-to-day subjects that administrators can relate to. You may stumble across some technical guidance here but the content is mainly entertaining rather than informative.
TechTarget is a well-known site when it comes to insights in technology, and networking is an area they cover exceptionally well. There are articles discussing the nuances of virtualization right down to the basics of the OSI model. This is the place to go if you need to get up to speed on a new kind of technology.
Internetworkexpert is a site that specialises in helping network administrators and other IT professionals to prepare for CCIE certification. The site has a library of over 11,000 videos and a variety of purchasable courses. One of the things that makes this site stand out is that you can specialize your training by product. For example if you want to improve your knowledge of AWS, there are courses based on this specifically.
Ispace is a site lead by a battle-tested CCIE expert with over 25 years of experience. Visitors to the site will find in depth explanations of topics such as routing and switching as well as other concepts like intent-based networking. We recommend Ivan Pepelnjak’s site to anyone looking to prepare for the CCIE in the near future.
This site is an excellent resource for information pertaining to certifications like the CCNA and CCNP. In total there are over 400 Cisco certification tutorials which provides you with a strong starting point for boosting your knowledge. There is also a link to the blog’s YouTube channel which provides you with further information.
If you have a substantial amount of Cisco tools in your network, then The Cisco Centric Open Source Community (COSI) should be your first port of call. This site provides you with web-based tools and additional scripts that can be used with Cisco products. For example you can use a web-based tool to conduct DSL and ISDN analysis. There is also a modem logs analysis command center which allows you to monitor NextPort and Mica modem logs online.
14. Networking Forum
Networking Forum is a website where IT professionals and hobbyists come together to combine their knowledge of networking and Cisco products. There are active forums dedicated to Cisco routing and switching, certifications, security, wireless, and general network management. This is a useful resource whether you’re looking for official accreditation or you just want to boost your knowledge.
EventID is a website that acts as a catalogue of network events with links to articles to help visitors find fixes. This is a resource that all IT administrators should bear in mind because every fix has been submitted by experienced professionals. There’s no better source of knowledge then other administrators who are working on the front line.
16. DNS Goodies
On DNS goodies the user can conduct Whois, DNS query, Reverse DNS lookup, Openrelay checks, spam database check, ping, abuse lookups and traceroute. If you need to conduct a DNS lookup or similar process then this site is for you.
IANA is a website with a database of every port you can imagine. Many administrators struggle to remember lots of different ports which makes this a key resource. The site has over 65,000 ports for you to view. Next time you’re struggling to remember a port type give IANA a go.
As the name suggests Practically Networked is a site that is dedicated to networking tips with information such as product reviews on routers, hubs switches, network storage and wireless gateways. There is also a variety of tutorials on networking, internet sharing, and security. How to guides include articles like ‘Set Up Third Party DNS for Faster and More Secure Surfing’.
IETF or The Internet Engineering Task Force is a site that brings together a community of network designers and IT professionals to provide information on internet infrastructure. Key topics the site covers include automated network management, the Internet of Things (IoT) and new transport technology.
10gea.org (the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Alliance) is a resource that specialises in providing cutting-edge information on telecom, cloud and data network designs. The site dispenses over 10 years of expertise into regular white papers on concepts such as degraded signal testing and the physical layer of ethernet.
Any administrator with a passing interest in Bluetooth technology is advised to check out this site. The site has an active blog and keeps up with all market trends, news and events. Articles such as Bluetooth 2018 Brought Together Global Innovators to Discuss the Latest in Wireless Trends and A Multi-Protocol Approach to Smart Building Services.
Antionline is a hub of security knowledge operated by a cybersecurity organization. The forums feature an active user community who thoroughly explore the nuances of cybersecurity concerns. There are over 800,000 posts crammed to the rafters with information on topics from operating systems to disaster recovery.
Insecure is the most controversial resource on this list as it is run by a hacker. The site doesn’t glorify hacking but instead helps visitors to safeguard themselves against external threats. This site is also known on account of the network monitoring tool Nmap.
SNIA or The Storage Networking Industry Association is an organization that specializes in providing information on SANS and NAS solutions. We recommend this site to anyone who wants to increase knowledge of specialist IT services. There are currently a range of white papers on cloud storage, hyperscaler storage, hypervisor storage interfaces, software-defined storage and storage security.
Enterprise Management is a website dedicated to all things involving network management. It is a resource aimed directly at those administrators managing large enterprise networks. It is important to note that most of the information available on Enterprise Management is only available on a subscription basis. That being said there are a variety of free blogs available such as Understanding Network-as-a-Service from Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and SDN and the Data Center of the Future.
26. DSL Reports
Based on the name, you’d be forgiving for thinking that this website was solely about DSL, but that couldn’t be further from the case. DSL Reports also acts as a resource that encompasses other broadband technologies like ISDN and and leased-lines. The site is regularly updated with news articles and sustains a forum with a substantial following as well.
O’Reilly is a name that is familiar to many network administrators on account of its extensive books on networking and development. The site also offers visitors the opportunity to indulge in their learning platform or to attend a variety of conferences in person. There are also a variety of useful articles that help to improve network administration practices (one particularly good article is Choosing a Tool to Track and Mitigate Open Source Security Vulnerabilities).
APNIC or the Asian Pacific Network Information Centre is an internet registry that also acts as a hub of knowledge on internet services. There are a variety of blog articles online alongside a plethora of courses for administrators to improve their skills. Courses including Reverse DNS for IPv4 and IPv6 and MPLS Traffic Engineering.
CISSP or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is a site designed to help network administrators improve their security knowledge. Whether you need to learn new skills for HIPAA, NCUA, PCI, OCIE and FTC compliance or general security there are a variety of security assessments you can request. For example, Cissp operates a Wifi Security Assessment which ascertains how vulnerable your network is to external threats.
4SysOps is a website that plays home for a wide range of networking professionals. There are dedicated IT administration and PowerShell forums with users contributing valuable knowledge into network administration. In addition the site has a blog that provides informative articles on how to conduct day-to-day administration tasks.
31. GFI TechTalk
GFI TechTalk is a blog that has been designed for network administrators and IT professionals. Top articles include Top 10 Security Precautions When Using Social Networking Sites and New Ways to Connect: MAPI over HTTP.
Lonesysadmin is a website run by a system administrator and virtualization architect named Bob Blankers. Blankers has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry which he provides to his readers for free. This site is notable because of how practical the articles are. For example, How to Troubleshoot Unreliable or Malfunctioning Hardware cuts straight to the point of how you can get your system back to full operation.
Wahl Network is a site that focuses on providing technical solutions for the common problems faced by network administrators. One of the most noticeable aspects of this site is the shear depth of its articles. For example articles like Getting Started with PowerShell on Azure Cloud Shell and Building a Hybrid Environment Using VMware Cloud on AWS give you the detail needed to attack problems head-on.
MSExchangeGuru is a technology website that focuses on information about IT infrastructure products. Here you will find discussions about products like Azure, Office 365 and PowerShell. The site also has a number of useful articles on best practices and disaster recovery solutions to help readers to keep their key systems up and running.
The vInfrastructure blog specializes in all things virtualization, including cloud and storage solutions. Site content is regularly updated and kept in line with all current news so it is also a good place to keep up with all the latest trends in the world of virtualization.
36. Security Weekly
Security Weekly is a security podcast aimed at IT professionals. Content includes coverage of latest news trends and explorations of technical topics. There is also a large library of articles including articles on application security and NMAP scripts. The site is worth a look if you want to discover ways to keep your network protected against the latest threats.
37. Happy SysAdm
Happy SysAdmin is a site run by a system administrator named Carlo. Carlo has over 15 years experience in network monitoring and provides updates and articles on topics like PowerShell, Vmware, SAN solutions, Azure, MySQL and virtualization. Happy SysAdmin has more than enough expertise to assist even the most experienced network administrators.
The Practical Sys Admin is another site that focuses on insights and information pertaining to system administration. Popular posts include Enable Telnet with PowerShell, and Setting up an L2TP VPN with pfSense. All articles have a technical focus to help you pick up new skills.
39. Security Now
Security Now is a site that pulls no punches when it comes to refining your network security practices. This site has been designed with network administrators and IT professionals in mind. Articles such as Seamless Cloud Security Depends on Encryption Done Right, and Automated Network Security is Crucial but No Panacea get you up to speed.
40. Sys Advent
Sys Advent is a site written by system administrators for system administrators. Though there are not any recent posts there are enough earlier posts to help you with some network administration fundamentals. For example, the How to Choose a Data Store for the New Shiny Thing is a tongue-in-cheek look at how to onboard new equipment without any complications.
The name may be ambiguous but there is nothing ill-defined about Ny55’s approach to network administration. Each article explores the nitty-gritty aspects of network administration in meticulous detail. This is a source that is excellent for all things networking and troubleshooting.
Read to Stay at the Top of Your Game
As you can see there are plenty of networking resources online to help you boost your knowledge. Whether you’re in your first year of networking or your twentieth, there is always more you can learn. Many of these resources act as a reliable source of news as well so you don’t have to focus on hardcore learning all the time; you can do some recreational learning too!
If you’re not already part of an online community (such as the r/sysadmin subreddit) then we would advise you to make an account. Website communities and forums can be a valuable source of information. All the resources mentioned above are especially valuable if you want to learn new things and stay at the top of your game.