Key Network Documentation Helps You Manage and Monitor Your Network
We’ve talked about the importance of monitoring your network. You can only set up appropriate monitoring if you know the details of your network. To do that, you need complete, thorough network documentation.
In addition to helping you plan your monitoring strategy, network documentation helps you troubleshoot problems when they arise. The documentation also helps you train new personnel.
If you don’t already have good documentation, those benefits make it worth the time to create it. If you do have existing documentation, take time to review it to make sure it’s up to date and comprehensive enough to meet your current needs.
Network Documentation Requirements
Network documentation consists of a set of documents—diagrams, charts, tables, and prose—that record the important facts about the different elements that comprise the network from different perspectives. These include:
Network topology and physical layout diagrams.
Indicate network devices, including routers, switches, and firewalls, and their connections. WiFi equipment is also important; cloud services are important these days, as well. Create Layer 1, 2, and 3 network diagrams to capture details, and maintain a table with detailed circuit information. It’s useful to have rack layout diagrams showing exactly where equipment is mounted.
Ports, circuits, and IP addresses.
List circuits and their provisioning details. Document the details of WAN and VLAN configurations. Record all static IP address assignments.
Critical services include name services such as DNS and WINS, remote access services, and DHCP. Record all VPN details.
Document the network policies that control user capabilities. Diagrams that focus on security-related devices are useful. While firewalls are part of traditional network diagrams, you should document other security devices such as probes or taps; servers devoted to security software such as SIEM should also be noted.
Critical asset list.
Create a list documenting all critical infrastructure assets. These include the switch, router, and firewall hardware, as well as servers running critical network and security services.
When you don’t have network documentation, you don’t know where to start to solve a problem, how to effectively provide security, and how to expand to meet new demand. Network management services from Prescient Solutions can help you get your network under control. By understanding your needs and your existing network, we can design, deploy, and support a fully documented network that provides your business the capacity and security it needs to function effectively. Contact us to learn more about network services from Prescient Solutions.