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Network documentation checklist

Originally Published:
May 2019

As the number of network-connected devices grows, IT needs a reliable method of keeping track of device info. Erik Eckel advocates using a simple checklist for quick access to the critical details. This basic list will help admins record pertinent information for items such as telecommunications gear, storage infrastructure, and conference room equipment.

Overview:

Almost without fail, organizations are increasingly deploying network equipment. Whether for door access control, wireless networking, voice communications, or data connectivity, network devices are pervading facilities.

With various projects deploying network gear at different periods throughout the year, and with a variety of equipment having different manufacturing dates, warranty expiration periods, and lifecycle windows, simply tracking what equipment is physically deployed where is a challenge. Regardless of size, businesses are struggling to keep pace.

Fortunately, an old school tracking method works really well: the checklist. All companies require some mechanism for tracking technology assets, and network equipment is particularly critical.

While electronic asset management systems and automated management platforms all promise to discover and track network devices, most network administrators know from experience that there’s no substitute for simple lists. Basic, manually drafted documentation isn’t subject to database corruption, failed discovery due to incompatible firmware, omission due to a device being powered down, or routing and switching configuration problems and other issues that can result in automated software platforms missing or incorrectly reporting inventory.

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