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InterSystems IRIS System Administration Specialist

InterSystems IRIS, System Administration, System Diagnostics, Backup, High Availability, System Performance, System Security

The InterSystems IRIS System Administration Specialist exam is designed to validate core skills for system and database administrators who install, configure, manage and monitor, and secure InterSystems IRIS server software.

Purchase Certification Exam

Exam Details

Target Exam Role

InterSystems IRIS System Administration Specialist

An IT professional who:

  • installs, manages, and monitors InterSystems IRIS environments,
  • and ensures data security, integrity, and high availability.

Recommended Preparation

Recommended Practical Experience

  • At least 1-2 years of cumulative experience managing InterSystems IRIS data platform version 2019.1 or higher.

Exam Parameters

Number of questions: 72
Exam time limit: 2.5 hours
Passing score: 65%
Language offered: English


This exam includes access to InterSystems Platform Management Documentation as a look-up resource available during the entire exam.

Exam Topics and Content

The exam contains question items that cover the areas for the stated role as shown in the KSA (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities) chart immediately below. The question items are presented in multiple formats including multiple choice, multiple response, etc.


Installs and configures InterSystems IRIS
Installs and upgrades instances
Installs development, client, server, and custom instances; Performs different security installs of InterSystems IRIS; Identifies structure and contents of folders in the Installation directory; Starts, stops, and lists instances from the command line; Upgrades existing instances
Configures namespaces, databases, memory, and other system parameters
Creates, views, and deletes namespaces and databases; Identifies contents and characteristics of default databases; Maps and manages globals, routines, and packages; Determines when it is necessary to directly edit the iris.cpf and when it is inadvisable; Determines appropriate size of global buffers and routine buffers, and tunes them as needed; Determines appropriate journal states, database size, and maximum size for database; Determines disk space requirements for installation and operation; Determines memory requirements for installation and operation; Determines appropriate values for generic memory heap settings; Increases lock-table sizes
Manages licenses
Activates and reviews licenses; Configures license servers

Manages and monitors InterSystems IRIS

Manages databases

Mounts, dismounts, and expands databases; Compacts, truncates, and defrags databases; Checks database integrity; Manages data; Manages routines

Manages user and system processes

Performs process operations: suspend, resume, terminate; Inspects processes; Manages process locks; Uses Task Manager to view, schedule, execute, manage, and automate tasks


Manages journaling

Configures journal settings and locations; Uses journaling; Identifies the importance of enabling the "Freeze on error" option for data integrity; Differentiates between WIJ and journal functions; Uses Journal Profile utility; Restores journals; Purges journal files

Diagnoses and troubleshoots problems

Accesses and configures system logs; Identifies and interprets errors stored in system logs; Runs IRISHung/Diagnostic Report; Identifies and terminates stuck/looping processes; Inhibits access; Gains emergency access to configuration
Monitors system
Uses ^PERFMON to monitor system; Determines which monitoring tools are appropriate for different performance issues such as journal profiles, ^BLKCOL, and ^SystemPerformance; Runs the ^SystemPerformance utility; Determines global sizes

Implements system continuity
Implements mirroring
Identifies requirements to set-up mirroring; Identifies mirror members and describes mirror communication; Configures mirroring; Determines failover possibilities; Adds databases to mirrors
Implements ECP
Uses ECP; Configures ECP data and application servers; Monitors and controls ECP connections
Manages backups and recoveries
Plans backup strategies including frequency required, journal file retention, and considers OS level vs InterSystems online backups; Identifies contents included in backups; Uses the FREEZE and THAW APIs for snapshot backups; Verifies backups; Restores system
Implements system security
Uses audit log to track user and system events
Enables and disables audit events; Views audit entries and audit event properties; Identifies the root cause of common audit events; Manages audit database
Manages security
Creates users and roles; Assigns roles and privileges; Grants permissions to resources; Enables and disables services; Protects applications and resources within applications; Implements database and data element encryption; Encrypts journals; Manages system-wide security settings; Imports/Exports security settings; Reduces attack surface; Implements two-factor authentication; Identifies the multiple layers involved in configuring and troubleshooting the Web Gateway (including connecting an external web server to InterSystems IRIS)