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Taking over a small network

Posted on 2009-04-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I am studying for my MCITP on Windows Server 2008.  I have a new client who wants me to take over their network.  They are running Windows Server 2008 and they have about 20 client computers running XP and a few network printers.  Since I am new to this, I need to know what questions to ask them about their network.  I do not want to sound like I am completely new but I am hoping that someone with experience can tell me what I need to know about the network to take it over.  Such as, type of firewall, router, bandwidth... etc.  This is time sensitive for me as i only have a couple of hours before my meeting.  So I guess my question is... If you were taking over this small network, what information would you need to know about and what questions would you ask?
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Question by:rbudj
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tigermatt earned 900 total points
ID: 24086500

I'd first begin by enquiring about their core infrastructure. In other words:

How is the network physically wired?
What switches and routers do they use? One central switch, desktop switches, Layer 3 VLAN-capable switches in each building... etc.?
Who is the ISP?

I'd then proceed to investigate how many servers they have. Do they run an SBS network or a standard vanilla Server 2008 Standard Edition installation? Do they have an Active Directory domain? How do users access their email - an in house mail server (if so, what sort - Exchange etc.), or externally hosted email at their ISP?

That should be just a few questions to get you started.

-Matt
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by:johannortje
ID: 24086526
Are you speaking to IT people or business people at the customers?
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Author Comment

by:rbudj
ID: 24086598
i will be speaking with the current IT person who is leaving.  Also, where do I view the CALs?
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by:johannortje
johannortje earned 600 total points
ID: 24086662
Ask for a tour of the existing infrastructure.
Using the tour a oppurtunity to ask questions.

Ask for a network diagram. With the subnets etc.
What daily challenges are there daily?
What change control procedures are in place?

What remote access is available, eg: VPN/RDP etc...
What other sections of IT is outsourced...
Third party contact details like service providers...

Ask if he is available, say via IM if you have a quick question to ask him.
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by:tigermatt
tigermatt earned 900 total points
ID: 24086892

On a Server 2008 system, CALs work on an honour-based system. They are never installed to the server; you just need to have the correct CAL paperwork to make the use of the system legal, and they need to be readily-available in case you are ever audited.

-Matt
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Author Closing Comment

by:rbudj
ID: 31567465
thanks yall.  i feel a bit better going into this.  
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