Accurate documentation is the first step in developing effective network evaluation criteria. Engineers rely on current-state information that gives a blueprint of the present network to correctly analyze a network. Diagrams, protocol details, and descriptions of equipment in use are all part of network documentation. A complete list of protocols used on a network provides a reference point for evaluating devices that may connect to the network.
Current-state documents are collected during a network survey. During this process, it's important to obtain information about existing configurations to avoid re-inventing the wheel when designing new systems or technologies. Survey results can help determine what types of equipment should be included in future revisions of a network design. Current-state information is also useful for identifying needs that may not be apparent from just looking at old wiring diagrams or outdated equipment manuals. For example, current practices that aren't documented might include using certain ports on routers for specific purposes or allowing certain users access to specific services.
In addition to current-state information, engineers need to know about changes made to the network over time to ensure that older devices still work as expected. For instance, if a switch port has been disabled after being used previously, this fact must be documented before installing new switches or routers because ignoring these instructions could cause serious problems for users on other devices connected to the network.
A network must fulfill a number of requirements in order to be called successful and efficient. The three most crucial are performance, dependability, and security. Performance may be assessed in a variety of ways, including transit time and response time. A network should have low transit time, which is the maximum delay between sending a message and receiving an acknowledgement. High response time is when messages are delayed while waiting for connections to be established or lost. Dependability means that services will always be available when you need them. Security ensures that only those who are intended to see a document can view it. Networks require special equipment such as switches, routers, and servers. These devices control how information is transmitted over networks.
All networks contain computers, but not all networks are computer networks. A computer network is a group of interconnected computers sharing resources on their individual units. Computer networks can be public or private depending on the number of participants. Public networks such as the Internet allow any user with an Internet connection to join in the conversation. Private networks are limited to specific groups of people with access privileges within the network's owner's facility.
Computer networks can be divided up into four broad categories: local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), metropolitan area networks (MANs), and personal area networks (PANs).
Your network documentation checklist also serves as proof that you are adhering to industry best practices to the best of your abilities. 1. Develop a Network Documentation Policy: A network documentation policy serves as the template for your intentions. It should include the following information: identification of who is responsible for creating and maintaining the documentation (this could be you or an outside consultant), the frequency of document maintenance (should be consistent with industry standards), the form of the documentation (spreadsheets, diagrams, lists, etc.), where it will be stored, how it will be updated (e.g., by you or an outside party), and how long it will be retained (this should be consistent with applicable laws). The policy should be reviewed by your management team and/or IT staff to ensure that there are no discrepancies between its content and their understanding of how you intend to implement it.
Once you have developed this policy, you should follow it yourself and make sure that your staff understands their responsibilities under it. They should be given periodic training on how to update the documentation correctly and promptly.
Finally, you should confirm that your staff has received adequate training and put procedures in place to prevent them from removing or altering any of the documentation themselves. For example: don't allow staff members to edit spreadsheet cells without proper authorization, and verify that nobody is working alone when making changes to critical pieces of the infrastructure.
Network documentation is a technical record of the hardware, software, servers, directory structure, user profiles, data, and how everything interacts with one another. Any information that assists administrators and IT professionals in keeping the network up and operating properly should be included in network documentation. This may include but is not limited to: firewalls, routers, switches, servers, applications, users, groups, directories.
All networking equipment has some type of manual or instruction manual that can help answer many questions that may arise while administering the device. These manuals often cover the setup of the device including any advanced features such as password protection or configuration files. They may also cover common problems and solutions for using the device. For example, a router's instruction manual might cover things like why your connection keeps dropping, how to fix this problem, and other topics related to using and maintaining the device.
Networking documents are also important for when you have to work with vendors or other third parties on behalf of your organization. For example, if you need to provide instructions to someone who is setting up services for your organization then they will likely need access to these same documents to do their job effectively. Without proper documentation, they might make mistakes that could cause serious issues for your organization.
Finally, well-written networking documents add value to an organization. They show that the staff understands how networks work and what needs to be done to keep them running smoothly.