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Tools that make a System administer look like Superman

Updated Mon, January 30, 2023 12:16 EST

System administrators play a pivotal role in an organization's IT setup. The duties of system administrators are many and vary widely across different organizations.  Apart from installing, maintaining, and supporting the IT system, they also play a vital role in planning, implementing security policies, troubleshooting, and managing other IT projects. 

One must not have the wrong notion that system administrators are software application developers or cookie-cutting engineers.  But it is expected that they know few programming languages that will help them understand software behaviors and troubleshoot any problem in the system. 

Today lot of things are happening to modern computers. Many applications run in the background simultaneously, automated events get triggered at certain times, log files are written, and status reports are delivered.  The modern IT system is a cluster of local services running, compartmentalized applications, cloud-based real-time data process, and cybersecurity. All these tasks a system administrator must know and be able to handle. 

Here, we will look at 20 useful tools that help system administrators ensure that systems keep running without any glitch. 

1. WireShark

It is a free, open-source network monitoring and analysis tool. It captures network traffic from wireless, Bluetooth, ethernet, and more and stores the data for analysis.   Organizations, including government agencies, use this traffic monitoring tool for troubleshooting and training purposes.  It works across platforms like Windows and Mac.

2. Microsoft Message analyser

This is a free open-source tool from Microsoft that complements the Wireshark by capturing and analysing network traffic and watching how installed applications behave depending on what is happening in the network. 

3. Notepad++

It is an excellent lightweight text editor suitable for making temporary notes and quickly opening and editing single text files. It has a good interface with keyboard shortcuts and helpful for system administrators with its advanced hotkey functions.

4. CloneZilla

This is an excellent free IT tool that is used for disk cloning applications.  It copies contents of a hard drive to another medium such as a USB drive or DVD.  It also allows parallel updates on multiple machines and a must-have tool for system administration. 

5. PowerShell ISE

The window-based PowerShell ISE (Integrated Scripting Environment) is a host application and runs commands, writes, tests, and debugs scripts. It is a powerful tool for automating tasks. It is a must-have network tool for solving any problem.

6. Sysinternals Suite

Owned by Microsoft, this suite has 70+ freeware tools that monitor and troubleshoot, and manage the Windows OS.  It gets to the bottom of security breaches on Windows by monitoring system activity. 

7. RSAT Tools for Windows 10 

System administrators use Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) to remotely manage features and roles in Windows Servers. This software contains various tools such as Server Manager, Microsoft Management consoles used for cluster ware updating, and best practices analyzer.

8. Slack

This tool is popular with system administrator as it can integrate with other tools like Google Drive and other tools allow the ability to share resources and keep everyone in the loop with its instant messaging system. It can centralize all important notifications on a single platform.

9. 7-Zip

It is one of the best tools for administrators. This free file archiver is known for its data compression and extremely high speed. It supports formats like zip, rar, Gzip, and others, along with its own 7z format. 

10. NetWrix Lockout Examiner

This free tool helps users’ administrators to unlock accounts and also get reports on the cause of a lockout.  This is an essential tool, especially in educational institutions where teachers and students can accentually get locked out and need to be up and running.

11. Trees

This is a free disk space Windows manager, which shows how much space is occupied by each folder and subfolders and how much is vacant. The report is shown in pie charts that help a user to understand and manage the disk space efficiently. 

12. KeePass

KeePass is an open-source, free password manager. This tool helps to generate strong passwords and stored securely in an encrypted database. A master key can only open this. It helps to keep track of all hundreds of accounts and software.

13. FileZilla

This is an open-source, free tool that used the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for carrying out functions like download, upload, transfer, delete, rename, and copy files across systems on a network. The pro versions are compatible with many cloud storage platforms like Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, and many more.

14. Ansible

It is a simple IT automation engine that automates functions like cloud provisioning, application development, system configuration management and  

15. Netcat

It is a command-line tool for reading, writing, encrypting, and redirecting data across a network. It is also known as the Swiss Army knife for a network to handle security testing and administration tasks.

16. Uptime Robot

Uptime Robot is a free open source tool used to monitor websites. It scans websites every 5 minutes and alerts if the sites are down. It is a free tool and the best for system administrators. 

17. DataDog

This is a monitoring and analytics tool for DevOps and the IT team. It helps to determine performance metrics as well as monitor cloud services, including databases and servers. It is available as SaaS and supports operating systems like Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is an excellent tool for monitoring and analyzing an entire IT infrastructure.

18. Process Hacker 

It is a free, multi-purpose, and powerful tool that helps to monitor system infrastructure, debug software and detect malware.  It has versatile functions, which makes it must have windows adman tools.

19. Amanda / Zamanda 

This is an open-source recovery tool.  It is designed to back up disk drives, and it includes cloud storage backup as well. Zamanda supports it for its cross-platform clients for backup and recovery. 

20. PuTTY 

It is a free implementation of Secure Shell Protocol (SSH) for PCs running on Microsoft Windows.  It is also helpful if anyone wants to access an account on a Unix or other multi-user platform, for example, from an own PC or an internet café.


The availability of a suite of tools for managing practically all functions of an IT system makes a system administrator work "easy," if that is a mild word.