As centralization and information gathering techniques gain more and more popularity among medium and large corporations, resource management has become one of the critical practices that ensure productivity steadiness. Very often, the huge amount of information cannot be kept up to date by only one individual. When this occurs, the workload must be divided to prevent other issues from arising.
Some of the most common issues related to incorrect resource management are:
- Higher overhead for system administrators
- Increased number of human errors
- Slower information update time
Internet service providers (ISP) and hosting companies usually include email services in their offers. Because they don't manage their own messaging service only, the email communication must be managed from a central location on behalf of their customers. Update times are important to any company that chooses a hosting service and this is very often a highly valued requirement. If a new user must be added, or an old one deleted or a password changed, this needs to be done in almost real time.
Delegated administration is used to give certain rights to a user account and provide it with the means to manage a small portion of the service. This can also be achieved by sharing a single general administration account; however this generates important security issues and does not limit the users of that account in any way. As a solution to such potential breaks of security, delegated administration features limited rights for the power users.
In the ISP/Hosting scenario above, delegated administration can be used in two ways:
- Dividing the workload between employees
- Offering customers an account to manage the hosted resources
Both of these methods are widely used and have proven themselves in time. The second seems to be more popular, though, because most managers like to have complete control over the resources and services in their companies. However, companies that do not have an IT department and yet require a web page and email service to consolidate their electronic presence on the internet opt for the first method.
Most of the modern email software available on the market supports more than one managed domain at the same time. It helps prevent the hassle of having more physical systems that perform the same task and for the hosting companies this is a requirement that makes the service productive. However, without delegated administration, a high number of domains is very difficult to manage and look after.
Delegated administration offers the following advantages to system administrators that manage multiple domains at the same time:
- Allow power users to manage their own resources
- Decrease the overhead for system administrators
- Modular management of multiple resources
- Decreased update times
- Decreased configuration times
All of these create a simplified and robust method to manage and maintain the integrity of the email service. Delegated administration is therefore one of the most useful features of a large scale setup in any enterprise.