Business Metrics

What Is the Perfect Server to System Administrator Ratio?

Pick a Number, Any Number

If you are looking to find that perfect number of systems for each server to manage, you’re probably having trouble finding the answer. That’s because there is no perfect ratio, according to Trevor Clarke of There are far too many variables. First, are you talking about physical servers or virtual servers? The number of physical servers an admin can handle is going to be much lower than virtual servers. Gartner researchers found admins working on as few as 10 physical servers or as many as 500 virtual servers. It all depends on the application.

What Does Administration Mean to You?

It also depends on what the organization depends on the admin to do. If administration consists merely of maintenance but no debugging or projects, the number of servers is also going to be much higher. One IT organization reported their administrators could handle 10-14 servers per week if they were doing everything, but the number increased to 25-35 if the role was only maintenance. Another organization reported their magic ratio was 50:1, and yet another said their ratio was 15-20:1. The important part is finding the ratio that works for you. It’s not about the numbers, but about making sure everything runs smoothly, whether that’s 5 servers or 500. Read the full article here:

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