Documentation Services

Greyhound Technologies

Documentation Services



Why Network Documentation Is Critical To Your Business?

Greyhound Technologies Documentation Services is the smart business choice to provide your business with a comprehensive documentation kit. Our Documentation Services provides a comprehensive and detailed report of every aspect of your physical and logical network layout. Our Documentation Service will provide you with the following:

  1. A Building Diagram and Floor Plan
  2. A Physical Diagram
  3. A Logical Diagram
  4. Hardware Information
  5. Software Information
  6. Configuration Information
  7. Network Administration Information
  8. A Change Log customized to you existing environment
  9. A Disaster Recovery Program
  10. Security Information
  11. HIPAA Compliance - if required

Our Documentation Services will be delivered to you in 3 formats:

  1. Prited Copy
  2. Adobe Acrobat File
  3. CDROM

Some Bad Excuses.......

  • The last Network Administrator kept the information in his/her head and didn't bother to write anything down.
  • Documenting a network takes time and I don't have the time.
  • We have documentation but it isn't current.
  • We contract with a consultant/vendor to take care of our network and they keep the information with them.

Benefits of Network Documentation

Faster troubleshooting

Good documentation reduces the need to research solutions to the same problem each time the problem arises.

A visual diagram can help identify potential problem areas in a more timely manner.

Reduced information loss

Prevents loss of important network information when employees leave the organization, making the transition period less painful.

Easier task sharing

Network administrators can successfully delegate network responsibilities because important information is available in written form.

Improved network design

A current network diagram is a key element in any design process.

What is the GREATEST benefit to you?

Complete up-to-date network documentation will save you TIME!

How much information do I need to include?

Theoretically

A good rule of thumb is to include everything you would need to rebuild your ENTIRE network from scratch.

Realistically

The amount and depth of your documentation will vary depending on the complexity of your network and the resources you have to create/collect the documentation.

Examples of information you might include are:

  • Building diagram/floor plan
  • Physical network diagram
  • Logical network diagram
  • Hardware information
  • Configuration information
  • Protocol information
  • DNS information
  • Network administration information
    - Contact information
    - Vendor information
  • Device log sheets
  • Procedure documentation
  • Baseline network utilization reports
  • Acceptable use policy
  • Security policy
  • Disaster recovery plan

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Documenting Your Network, Step 1: Diagrams

Network Layout Diagram

Using a building diagram to create a network layout/cabling diagram that includes:

  • Telco demarcation point
  • Wiring closet
  • Cable runs
  • Physical locations of important network devices

Physical Network Diagram

In order to quickly and effectively troubleshoot your network, you MUST understand the overall physical layout and connectivity. Physically, how do the pieces of your network fit together? The best way to understand this is through a physical network diagram.

What information should I include?

List all network devices and endpoints.

A network device is anything that is used to transfer data from one point to another. This includes routers, switches, hubs, remote access equipment, firewalls, etc.

Endpoints are workstations, servers, printers, etc.

Where do I begin?

Start at the edge device or point where your network connects to the outside world; for example, the Telco Demarc.

Physically verify and document how each additional network device or endpoint is connected. For example:

  1. Follow the cable from the Demarc to the CSU/DSU
  2. Follow the cable from the CSU/DSU to router
  3. ...

Tip: While you are creating your Physical Network Diagram, label each device you identify.

  • Create a labeling scheme
  • Don't base labels on a person's name.
  • Label both ends of each cable.
  • Make sure writing is legible

Do I have to use a software program to create the diagram?

Your documentation can be as simple as a hand-drawn network diagram or as complex as a series of inter-connected Visio diagrams with embedded device configuration information. The important factor is that the information is accurate and up-to-date.

Advantage

  • Using a software package can make updates easier. Just make sure you clearly identify the current version of your network diagram.

Disadvantages

  • Some packages are complex and expensive.
  • Learning curve can be quite high.

Create the Network Diagrams

Create A Physical Network Diagrams

It is not important what tool you use to diagram your network. It is important that you do it.

 

Create A Logical Network Diagram

The logical network diagram deals with upper layer information (i.e. protocols, applications, etc.). It provides detailed information on how traffic gets from one device to another logically.

  • Routing
  • Server/Client

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Documenting Your Network, Step 2: Device Information

Tracking Your Information

You may create your own network tracking document or you may find the tool at the following link helpful. The tool provides guidelines for collecting and organizing your information, followed by tables and forms that can be used for recording configuration information.

Hardware

List hardware information for each network device and endpoint.

  • Make/model
  • Serial number
  • Number of ports
  • Network interface card make/model
  • MAC address
  • Type of connection (RJ45)

Configuration Information

Documenting the configuration information can be even more critical than the hardware information. Hardware is easily replaced, but a lost custom or non-standard configuration can be impossible to recreate. Document configuration information for each device.

  • Print off hard copies of configuration files.
  • Keep copies on floppy disk or another server.
  • Document specific software configurations.
  • TCP/IP - ranges used
  • IPX/SPX - network numbers
  • Appletalk - zone information
  • Registered domain names with corresponding IP addresses:
    www.mydomain.com 192.168.1.254
  • Indicate the network device on which the IP address is configured:
    192.168.1.254 -- Netware FS 3

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Documenting Your Network, Step 3: Network Administration Information

Network Administration Resources

  • Call lists - who to call when there’s an outage on the Network (LAN or WAN)
      -Contact Persons
      -Phone Numbers
  • Hardware vendor information
  • Software vendor information
  • License information for software
  • Maintenance contracts

Log Sheets for Hardware/Software Upgrade/Patch Information

Log information for each network device or endpoint.

  • Configuration changes and the date those changes were made
  • Update or patch versions
  • Hardware upgrade or replacement information – part numbers

Document Procedures

General network administration

  • How to create users
  • Templates used
  • Printers used

Server administration

  • Windows domain information
  • Netware NDS information
  • Schedules – backups, patches, auditing log files, etc.

Documenting Your Network, Step 4: Other Important Information

Acceptable Use Policy

Include a current copy of your organization’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). An AUP is the written policy that outlines the terms and conditions for network use. It defines what is considered acceptable use and also the penalties for rule violations.

Security Information

  • Copy of Security Policy
  • Who has access to password information
  • Procedures for reporting a Security Incident

Disaster Recovery Plan

Include a current copy of your organization's Disaster Recovery Plan. A good disaster recovery plan includes the following:

  • Up-To-Date Complete Backups
  • Quick Access to Replacement Hardware
  • Quick Access to Existing Software Applications including Patches and Fixes
  • Fire-proof Safe for On-Site Tape Media Storage
  • Off-Site Storage of Tape Media

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Next: Disaster Recovery Services


How to partner With Greyhound Technologies?

It’s simple! Just contact us to discuss this partner program further.

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