If you are a Unix sysadmin you'll know about sed, awk and shell scripts. Perl can do everything they can do and far more besides. Furthermore, Perl does it much more efficiently and portably. Don't take my word for it, ask around.
If you are an NT sysadmin, chances are you aren't used to programming. In which case, the advantages of Perl may not be clear. Do you need it? Is it worth it?
After you read this tutorial you will know more than enough to start using Perl productively. You really need very little knowledge to save time. Imagine driving a car for years, then realising it has five gears, not four. That's the sort of improvement learning Perl means to your daily sysadminery. When you are proficient, you find the difference like realising the same car has a reverse gear and you don't have to push it backwards. Perl means you can be lazier. Lazy sysadmins are good sysadmins, as I keep telling my boss.
A few examples of how I use Perl to ease NT sysadmin life:
- User account creation. If you have a text file with the user's names in it, that is all you need. Create usernames automatically, generate a unique password for each one and create the account, plus create and share the home directory, and set the permissions.
- Event log munging. NT has great Event Logging. Not so great Event Reading. You can use Perl to create reports on the event logs from multiple NT servers.
- Anything else that you would have used a batch file for, or wished that you could automate somehow. Now you can.