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What do you get when a ITSP guy becomes in-house IT? Unfortunately me...

By Wheezey ·
(For more detailed info about me check bio)

I'm a new IT Admin- literally new (3weeks) in both aspects of time and position. I have a live network and a few servers now under my control, but have no knowledge of what needs to be done and in what order. From all that I've read, this is where I want to start:

-Documentation of Network
-Structure of my domain- server roles and set up

I'm looking to learn about what's entailed with domains, forests, roots, AD, Terminal Services, W2003 SBS, W2008, GP, and on. So first things first, I'm trying to understand my servers roles and if they are even set up correctly. It's come to my attention that the administrator that I followed hadn't had things set up correctly (management's assessment).

Any paths that I could be pointed to or if you'd like to know what I have so far for helping me discover and manage would be great!

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First, welcome to TR.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to What do you get when a IT ...

You've been handed a network that you won't be able to document overnight, but at least you've picked a starting point.

Assuming these are Windows servers, there are a couple of tools readily available. Look in the Programs menu or the Control Panel for the Administrative Tools menu. From there, look for Server Manager. That should give you a start on determining what that server does.

Keep coming back, we'll be happy to help. If you have more technical 'How To' questions, use the 'Ask a Question' button to reach our members who are the expert troubleshooters. This 'Discussions' is the forum place for general topics like your one above, and for darn near anything else.

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You could start

by Charles Bundy In reply to What do you get when a IT ...

With the people end of things. Take a look at AD and document OU, GP, Groups and Users. Then with that in hand ask management what they think is wrong with the setup and what would make them more productive.

I'm pretty sure that there was a really good post within the last two years which included checklists when walking into a new shop. (jclyde?)

This is a really good place with a lot of savvy folks. If you can post specific questions most folks are ready with answers (or search the forums.)

Best of luck to you!

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Welcome to TR

by NickNielsen In reply to What do you get when a IT ...

Don't be afraid to ask the questions. You may get the occasional "What kind of admin are you?" response, but if you make clear that you have no previous experience, most TR peers will be happy to help you out.

For basic information, you can't go wrong with the <a href="">'Dummies'</a> books. They'll provide what you need to know to start, and there's a book for almost everything, including Active Directory, Windows Server 2008, and networking in general. Most of them run at $24.95 retail, but you can usually get them from Amazon at about a 20-30% discount.

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Filling in the blanks and additional roles

by Wheezey In reply to Welcome to TR

I appreciate the responses and the warm welcome; especially due to my lack of experience in this field. I've been reading this site and others hourly trying to get a better foundation- once again thanks!

I received the logins to my servers and found out a little more information for what I have. I'll be able to draw up in more detail exactly what server does "what" and more. Not to make this task sound small, but I actually have another responsibility as the IT guy... communication services.

Luckily this is more of my realm from my previous line of work. But here's the kicker. I have a 5 sites, and each one has separate ISP's and TSP's. On top of that there's no and I do mean no documentation of contracts, services, delivery media, and more. So my additional topic, are there any known procedures practices with maintaining communication services? Documentation procedures, application for management, and so forth.


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No documentation of contracts or services?

by NickNielsen In reply to Filling in the blanks and ...

Who does your purchasing? They should, at the very least, be able to tell you who the providers are and provide you copies of the contracts and SLAs. If they can't help, Accounts Payable can tell you who they're cutting checks to. (If there's no record of that, bail now. The company is screwed. )

I'd be inclined to start with identifying the providers, determining if they are meeting contract requirements, corporate needs, etc. As for practices or procedures, I'd worry more now about identifying what I've got and figuring out how to manage i now. Wait until you know what you have before trying to implement any best practices.

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Follow the pay stubs....

by Wheezey In reply to No documentation of contr ...

There aren't any filed contracts, service agreements, SLA's, etc. unfortunately. I do have some scattered bills though, and that's actually what I was going to use for reverse investigating my providers and services. Nice call!

Accounts Payable doesn't know "who" directly they deal with as the old admin was in charge of the filing- whole other topic .

I'm finding out some tid-bits based on the paper trail, and it isn't looking great. It appears communications services were handled by our separate store managers. So I have remote sites that are operating through our Terminal Services on who knows what kind of connections.

I'm more for a "one solutions provider" (if applicable). Anyone have any national recomendations?

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One provider

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Follow the pay stubs....

Well, I start with the one that currently is charging you the least, or the least per amount of used bandwidth. Call their customer service and see if you have an existing account rep. Show him or her your numbers from the other providers and see what he can do.

Normally I'd recommend working with Purchasing and letting them do the negotiating, assuming they aren't as clueless as AP.

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Re: One Provider

by Wheezey In reply to One provider

So far I've located almost all my service providers, many are basic wholesale ISP's that bundle in all forms of "service". I'm looking to collapse a lot of those into a few providers.

Good tip on the account rep. Been back tracking from invoices/bills for account numbers, then taking that to customer support, then looking for account reps and business account creation. Some of my locations were set up under the old IT Staff member's name- not company... oh boy.

AP and I are becoming pretty close lately! They like that I'm actually looking at contracts as where that wasn't done :).

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Documentation: Both digital infromation and hard copy

by Wheezey In reply to Welcome to TR

There wasn't much to be found like I had said. But now that I've discovered some info on my network- server OS, CAL's, network device warranties, subscriptions and such, how do you store them?

For example, I have the CAL's listed on my SBS, but they're not printed our for hard copy filing. When you have CAL's, OS licenses, software licenses, what's the ideal filing method?

I'm looking at Binders that can store plastic sleeves for CD's, and printing/copying SKU's and license codes for these binders.

Another thing that I'm wondering, is when a new PC comes in it has those CD's with drivers and such. What should be kept? (I'll put this in a question post)

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System CDs

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Documentation: Both digit ...

If I'm getting more than one of the same model, I keep one set of CDs for that model and trash the rest. Unless there are unique license numbers on each; usually the ones for Windows are on the system case.

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