Tobias Oetiker is a Senior System Manager with the IT Support Group of the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He is an electrical engineer by education and a system manager by vocation. His main area of interest is currently scalable system management concepts and their implementation. In his spare time Tobi likes t o read, go to movies and work on his Free (as in GNU) software projects such as MRTG, RRDTool or more recently SmokePing.

“We automate the boring stuff to have more time for the fun part of the work!” A standard description of what system managers do. It sounds great, but how does one “automate system management”? “In this talk, I will tell you about the solutions we found and implemented in our group. How we install a Solaris workstation and half a day to configur e and setup a full custom Mail/Web/NFS (you name it) server. I will also tell you how we provide our users with multiple versions of 800 different application packages, available on all workstations. And finally I will tell you why I think every well designed operating system file-system layout should make it easy and straightforward to install five versions of KDE, three versions of Emacs and eight versions of ImageMagic concurrently.