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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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Unless...

by noyoki In reply to Simple misunderstanding

Unless it were backed up offsite... We only *have* one (real) server, and starting very soon, it will be backed up via the net offsite. (Otherwise, we had the server backed up to cd's weekly and to a diff comp daily... with the exception of the internet backup stuff, it's not the best system, I know, but it's what I was given.)

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Unless

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Unless...

your offsite backup is corrupted and then you lose the backed up server. It's eggs and baskets time, depends on how the backup is done. Must be verifiable and you must prove that what you have backed up will enable you to restore. The latter is the bit that people forget. A documentation server does not have to be expensive, nor is a filing cabinet with a paper backup. But whatever system you put in place, from Marvo the memory man to outsourced data-centre with muliple redundancy, document management is the key. I forget how many times people had excellent hardware systems chock full of out of date documentation.

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keeping it on a server or backup

by jmaechtlen In reply to Unless

- if you are doing a DR, you may not (yet) have anything to restore onto?
That's why you need the paper docs, so you can get the machines running to start restoring/patching/whatever.

right?

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Scripting is your friend

by lowlands In reply to Best Practice For Docume ...

Depending on how many servers you have, you might want to think about automating the process as much as possible. From a central server run scripts that gather information on all your systems. Make sure the output gets backed up.
With vbscript(windows) or perl(Unix) you can pull almost anything you like from your systems. If you schedule these scripts to run on a regular basis, you'll always have up to date information on your systems. If you want to get really fancy, you can even export all the data to a database. It leaves just a few things to add manually, passwords for example.

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I wish I could do scripts

by aaronpctech In reply to Scripting is your friend

I wish I could do scripts but I have no experience in that area. Does anyone know of a good website that'll teach one how to write simple scripts?

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script sources

by lowlands In reply to I wish I could do scripts

For perl: http://www.perlmonks.org/index.pl?node=Tutorials

For VBScript: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/default.mspx

or google the script language + tutorial. That should bring up some more resources. There are scripts out there for almost anything you can imagine. You'll only have to adjust them to matc your environment

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WMI Script which documents server

by markguer In reply to I wish I could do scripts

Search the web for WMI server configuration, there are tons of working examples you can mooch.

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Some useful programs

by rasilon In reply to Best Practice For Docume ...

There are some useful programs that can automatically extract information about a computer (hardware, software, patches, etc). I've used:

Belarc Advisor
AIDA32
Everest Home Edition

Hank Arnold

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One More

by TidBits In reply to Some useful programs

Try also SIW (System Info by Gabriel Topala) - freeware - version I use is 1.54 Sept 20, 2005

Like Belarc and AIDA32, it digs through and present to you all sorts of info about the system.

Here is where you take a 'snap-shot' of your system - generate a report to save as htm. Use this as your baseline.

I keep a folder for each server/workstation for time stamped snapshots. I could have also build an Access database to import and organize the 'essentials' but it is not on my priority right now.

And yes, have a copy secured off-site and append passwords, registration keys etc to the documents. You need these in emergencies.

Regards.

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Details, Details

by vwebb In reply to Best Practice For Docume ...

Dont forget VLAN's , Gateways, ETC.

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