Network Administrators - Systems Journal

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by BigPaul, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. BigPaul

    BigPaul New Member

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    I’ve been trying to keep a systems journal this year so that I can report on when certain things happened or when things were done to servers. I was just wondering if anyone else did this and if so what format is your document in? Word, Plain TXT, HTML? Also how is the document laid out?


    I would be very interested to learn how others are keeping track of things and what they are keeping track of.


    Thanks,
     
  2. sonicsuby

    sonicsuby New Member

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    We have a change management system called Remedy. And then a whole bunch of rules around exactly how it will be used or they kill you.

    For a smaller company, I'd use excel and then keep the page updated on your intranet. That will make it easy to track what's going on, will make it easy to quickly check and will impress management if they ever happen to review the log (stuff on the web is neat!).
     
  3. BigPaul

    BigPaul New Member

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    Remedy looks pretty cool... but I doubt I could get it implemented here... we have 20+ servers and around 700 end users I've simply been keeping track of the server / network end of things tracking, downtime, ect.


    One thing that brought me to write this post is the other day we were doing some changes on some of our DB servers and the changes made our main load balance server tweak out and drop half of our terminal servers. My write up for that incident includes all the work we were doing on the DB servers plus what we had to do to get the other servers back online.


    I was thinking of splitting the document up into multiple… one for each server… but you wouldn’t really get the full impact of what happened if you just read through and saw that we had to reboot the one server at that time.


    I guess I’m just looking for a cheap/free but “prettier” than plain txt way to document all of this stuff.
     
  4. Supergeek

    Supergeek New Member

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    Are you *trying* to get downsized? Documentation allows morons to take over your position.

    Of course, documenting the amount of work you did, how many millions of dollars you saved by heroically reversing a situation that was above and beyond your job description can be a good thing...

    Actually I was looking for some kind of (free) change management software recently to help out a small company I consult for. They have a subversion server and that's about it.
     
  5. BigPaul

    BigPaul New Member

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    That is one reason but the documentation is more for personal use than anything else. Maybe a little nugget of gold to leave behind for the next admin if I decide to move on to something else. The admin that was here before me did not document things and I’ve had to pretty much figure stuff out on my own.


    But the major thing being that I have so much on my plate right now in both my personal and professional life that I have taken to writing as much stuff down as I can so that I don’t forget things.
     
  6. Supergeek

    Supergeek New Member

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    I hear ya. When I'm working, I always carry something to jot notes on, old fashioned style, with a pen or pencil. Gadgets just aren't quick enough most of the time, or they crash, run out of juice, etc. Was that 10.1.1.5 or 10.1.5.1? Was it a /25 or a /26 netmask? That kind of stuff will kill you if you don't write it down.

    If it was me, I'd set up my own webapp on a server using PHP and MySQL with the fields I needed. Then you can update it from any PC with network access to that server.

    If that's too much work and/or you don't have the experience to do something like that, Access or FileMaker Pro offer the same sort of functionality.

    Aside from that, Google "change management" and see what kind of hits you get. I wasn't very successful when I looked, but I didn't look very hard either.
     

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