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Best Practice For Documenting a Server

By aaronpctech ·
You guys are so great with helping me out along my way to becoming a great Admin. I have another question tat might seem dumb, but I want to know the right way.

I am in the process of documenting different things on my network and I have came down to the Servers.

What are some key things I should document about these servers. SO far I am thinking the obvious: ipconfig settings, which are domain controllers, what applications are on each....

What else should I look for and/or pay close attention to.

Any and all of your opinions are greatly appreciated.

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DR Crashbox

by Stubby In reply to sorry, that may be a cult ...

I agree with GG here - but am not convinced it's a cultural thing.

I'm a UK'ite and have never heard this term before. What GG refers to I simply call a "DR Kit".

Horses for Courses I guess.

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I suppose it depends on your neck of the woods!

by gadgetgirl In reply to DR Crashbox

(Mine is Newcastle Upon Tyne, btw)

I made the distinction because the HR department where I used to work had a DR Kit - which covered eventualities for the entire organisation, barring IT.

The DR Crash box was so named to enable techies to respond when the servers crashed.....

And as you appreciate, we just had to make the distinction for the (l)users......!!


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DR Crashbox??

by aaronpctech In reply to Also.....

Ok, I feel really stupid right now, but if I dont ask, I wont know. What is a DR crashbox???

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Software Documentation

by NewBeeAdmin In reply to DR Crashbox??

I have no problem with hardware documentation. I do that as much detail possible in the excel document. But with regards to Software Documentation have no idea where to start what to include in it. Done few but internally dont feel as if thats it for the documentation. Any body have any kind of template with regards to Software Documentation and would like to share that would be great.

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My server's doc example

by alessandro.panzetta In reply to Also.....

I hope this helps, hereafter a short list of what I normally write for server's dox:

-manufacturer/model/serial (if you can link the manufacturer's specs dox)
-addon peripherals (SCSI, DATs, REV, etc)
-RAID config
-Running services (AD, DHCP, DNS, WINS) and for every service the applied modifications (DHCP range and options, AD GPOs etc)
-Administrative Users and where the passwords will be kept (Like the DSRM pass, the Administrator pass in which room/locker)
-Any additional software and its settings (APC PowerChute, Symantec Corporate, etc)
-Responsible personnel/contacts

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Good Idea

by aaronpctech In reply to My server's doc example

I need to add RAID COnfig an More of the running services.

Not exactly sure what the DSRM pass is.

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Simple Idea, lot of work

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Best Practice For Docume ...

The documentation should allow you take take a collection of hardware and software and build a replacement from scratch. It should also tell you enough that you can highlight and work round any differences in hardware and software at the time you need to do it.

Oh and don't keep it only the server, and do keep it up to date.

The last one is key, by the way. It's not something you are going to do often, it's quite likely (hopefully) the person using it has never done it before, so divergences from the documention are not going to met with aplomb, extreme panic is more likely.

Oh and bear your audience in mind. Resist all attempts to have you write an idiots guide, you want the idiot to be too scared to do it and shout for professional help.

Put a revision history on the front page in 40 point bold red characters as well, just in case you get some clever git who knows all about it.

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haha very entertaining

by aaronpctech In reply to Simple Idea, lot of work

Thank you Tony for your entertainig, yet important tip. When you say dont keep it only the server, what are you refereing to? Are you refering to writing up SOP's for all procedures that I do?

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Where's the documentation for this server

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to haha very entertaining

Oh we keep it on the server that the doc pertains to, so it's easy to keep upto date and you can always find it.

I'm seeing a problem here !

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Simple misunderstanding

by aaronpctech In reply to Where's the documentation ...

I see what you mean, I thought you were saying dont document jsut the server. I gotcha now. That would not be smart keeping all the documentation on the server.

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