By Brien Posey, Contributor
Although arrangement affidavit is consistently a acceptable idea, it’s abnormally important for account providers and value-added resellers (VARs). Documenting your customers’ networks can accomplish the troubleshooting action abundant added able back problems arise. These aforementioned arrangement abstracts can additionally advice you atom areas of your customers’ networks that may allegation to be upgraded, giving you the achievability of earning added revenue. Finally, acceptable arrangement affidavit proves that you attach to industry best practices, and could be your best aegis should a chump anytime book action adjoin you for article network-related.
There are a cardinal of arrangement affidavit articles accessible that can abetment with the affidavit process, and Windows Vista additionally has mapping capabilities congenital in. Some of the added acclaimed arrangement affidavit applications include:
Actualize a arrangement affidavit policy
A arrangement affidavit action should detail what aspects of a arrangement allegation to be documented, abnormally anniversary server. A affidavit action additionally communicates to anniversary ambassador absolutely what is accepted of them apropos the affidavit process.
Actualize a arrangement cartography diagram
Ideally, you appetite this map of the network’s cartography to accommodate anniversary arrangement segment, the routers aing the assorted segments, and the servers, gateways and added above pieces of networking accouterments that are affiliated to anniversary segment. For beyond networks, you may accept to actualize a accepted articulation map and accomplish added specific maps of anniversary alone segment.
Certificate server names, roles and IP addresses
While the advice included in a arrangement cartography diagram is not necessarily specific, there is assertive advice that you should accommodate for anniversary server, alike if that advice has to be placed in an appendix. For anniversary server, account the server’s name, its IP abode and the role that the server is assuming (DNS, DHCP, mail server, etc.). Keep in apperception that a server may be assigned assorted IP addresses or accept assorted NICs, so you should certificate that advice too.
Actualize a change log for anniversary server
When a server fails, the abortion can generally be traced to a contempo change. As a allotment of the arrangement documentation, accede authoritative a log book for anniversary server for documenting changes such as appliance and appliance installations and adapted aegis settings. Not alone will the log advice you troubleshoot approaching problems, it can advice you clean the server in the accident of a adverse failure.
Certificate software versions and affidavit of licenses
Document the applications and their versions active on anniversary server. You ability additionally accommodate a archetype of the software authorization or a cancellation aural this affidavit aloof in case your chump becomes complex in a software audit.
Certificate accouterments components
I accept talked about documenting alone servers, but it’s appropriately important to certificate switches, routers, gateways and added networking hardware. The affidavit should accommodate advice such as:
Certificate the Active Directory
I could apparently address a book on Active Directory documentation, but actuality are a few things that you should accede documenting:
Certificate your advancement procedures
Backup is your customer’s best aegis adjoin a catastrophe, but it will do little acceptable if cipher can amount out how to use it. Be abiding to certificate the advancement software acclimated and its adaptation (very important). You will additionally appetite to certificate the band circling scheme, a accepted description of what’s included in anniversary advancement job and breadth the advancement tapes are stored.
I already had a applicant ask me to do a consulting activity for them. They gave me a absolute and well-written archetype of their arrangement affidavit to analysis advanced of time. But back I got on site, I accomplished that none of the accouterments was labeled. All of the servers looked identical and there was no way to differentiate amid them.
Get a characterization maker and characterization all servers, analytical accouterments apparatus (gateways, routers, etc.) and the best important cables. This will accomplish it accessible to analyze the assorted pieces of accouterments listed in your arrangement document.
Appraise your documentation
The aftermost footfall in the affidavit action is to appraise your arrangement affidavit to accomplish abiding that it’s acceptable for you and your customer’s needs. Think of your arrangement affidavit as a analytical allotment of your adversity accretion strategy. Back the aboriginal abstract of your affidavit is complete, you allegation ask yourself if it’s acceptable abundant to advice addition with no above-mentioned ability of the bureaucracy to clean the arrangement from blemish in the accident of a catastrophe. If the acknowledgment is yes, again you’ve done a acceptable job on the documentation.
About the authorBrien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Best Valuable Professional for his assignment with Windows 2000 Server and IIS. Brien has served as CIO for a civic alternation of hospitals and was already in allegation of IT aegis for Fort Knox. As a freelance abstruse biographer he has accounting for Microsoft, CNET, ZDNet, TechTarget, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and added technology companies. You can appointment Brien’s claimed website at www.brienposey.com.
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