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Server Documentation

Posted on 2006-07-07
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Last Modified: 2006-11-18
What is the best way to create documentation for servers on a network.  I am the new sys admin for a software company.  The guy who was here before me left six weeks before I arrived.  I've been doing daily operations kinda by the hip.  I was just for looking for some examples so I can hit the ground running.  Our environment consists of Windows and Linux servers.  All either running MS SQL or Oracle.  

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Question by:watchingant
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4 Comments
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Joe
ID: 17062188
You can look into trying this software. Although depending on how many servers you need to document you can look into creating this with Viseo.

http://www.neon.com/ls1.shtml?gclid=CND6t5XAgIYCFTvTJAodIwQAjA

Joe
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Expert Comment

by:kommie2000
ID: 17062238
3Com has a free product that will go out and scan your network for you.  It's called Network Supervisor.  

Steel Inventory is another freeware product that will go out and find the info as well.

What sort of information are you looking to capture?

the other product I have found is from http://www.mishelpers.com called Alchemy Network Inventory.  It captures the most information I have ever seen, even down to the driver versions.
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by:ECNSSMT
ID: 17062353
If you are talking technical specs, there is not much, but it has to be updated ever so constantly.  
Build information; service packs; application that its running plus any software modifications.

The biggest thing would be PROCEDURES.  If you are a small shop; there are other priorities that will require your attention.
For medium to large orgs; it becomes more so important.  
Procedure on how to start a process up; stop a process; backups etc.  So when the key person gets hit by a bus; the business continues.  Updates are also important.

Regards,
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SunBow earned 225 total points
ID: 17063015
The easiest one conceptually, and yet hard to do is to enforce a simple log.

Get a blank notebook, even a spiral one will do, and even expend for each server.

Any time a change is made, action taken, problem noticed, you (or whoever is nearest) jot it down in the log.

A rule of thumb is that 9 of ten problems are due to one of the last things done to the server. Yet in practise, something as simple as "today we upgraded to sp-2" is somehow too hard to do.

But having a good notebook is a great way to start documentation, for you only need do a little at a time and can always organize it and reorganize later on, as you learn of what it is that is important. It could be how jobs are done in sequences, or how your toplogy is or evolves, or how permission levels were defined, etc. You don't know much how important something is until you establish track record.

You should plan for contingency of outage, by preparing to build/rebuild any of them, and do get that written down, so you will not forget. You may want some form of inventory, it won't hurt to start that early either, whether it is about users, permissions granted, hardware and its capabilities, spare parts, networking, contact lists, architecture, organization,space used (are disk drives slowly filling to capacity?)
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