Network documentation may not be the most glamorous part of your business, but it is necessary to keep information flowing from user to user. No matter how many end users your company manages, it is important to have visibility into the hardware and software of their computer networks.
Before dismissing the need for a clear map of every device, consider the advantages of network documentation and why being proactive can save you time and money. For the most effective automated process for documentation, contact us at Liongard.
What Is Network Documentation?
How could you keep track of every aspect of your whole network without accurate network documentation?
The process of network documentation involves tracking every bit of hardware, software, and cables. It can be as simple as a single spreadsheet you input manually or as complex as a software program to keep tabs on an entire large corporation’s computer and server network.
Thorough documentation should include the device types, software versions, updates, operating systems, licensing agreements, and support contacts in your environment as well as remote locations so that details and clients do not slip through the cracks.
This can be overwhelming and cumbersome which is why Liongard automates this process for you. With Liongard, your network documentation will be automated and you’ll even have a historical view of all your clients’ systems.
Why Network Documentation Is Necessary
Your computer network is the essential structure that keeps your employees connected. Without it, you could not perform even basic communication tasks. However, if you only have one or two people on your IT support team who understand your network’s configuration, what would you do if they left your company? With thorough documentation, you can onboard new IT hires and get them up to speed without missing a beat.
Network documentation lets you know where every aspect of your computer system is and how the various parts relate to each other, making tools and solutions work faster. The better you know your network, the less time and money you may waste figuring it out when a problem arises.
Key Benefits of Network Documentation
Network documentation may sound like a lot of work, but think of the benefits your IT department or entire organization can realize.
Having a diagram of each piece of hardware, cables, servers, and connections to the cloud gives you a literal picture of your network. You can then use that layout to better understand where any weaknesses exist or how traffic backs up your flow of information.
Troubleshooting is easy when you can identify precisely where the problem is. Think of the time you can save when you have a system failure or other unforeseen issue with critical devices. You may be able to get your company up and running in a fraction of the time with a virtual infrastructure map to help you.
Standard Operating Procedures
Leaving the knowledge of how your network functions to just one or two people can be a nightmare if they are not available when you need them. With a network documentation tool, anyone with knowledge of IT can step in and pick up where the last person left off.
Budgeting and Forecasting
How can you plan for upgrades or replace outdated technology if you do not know what you have? Documenting your network can help with capacity planning as you grow, updating devices that no longer function, or switching to network documentation software for better efficiency.
The more you know about your computer network devices, the better you can handle them. That efficiency can save you money across the board, which in turn can only help your bottom line.
How Do You Share Network Documentation?
Security is always an issue with any network to protect it from tampering or hacking. Your entire staff does not need to know the ins and outs of your devices, so it’s wise to limit who sees and interacts with your network documentation software. Once you have your documentation up to date, designate a few network engineers to control access to that data.
Items You Should Document
Network documentation should be comprehensive and rigorous. It can be a significant undertaking upfront, but once you have your network setup in place, you should only need to make changes as they occur. Make sure to include diagrams of each of these items in documentation so that you stay connected and no device falls through the cracks:
Server Rack Diagram
With this map, you can recognize the source of any problem or account for your configuration. Include the connections, layout, and even power strips so that you do not overlook any details.
Cloud Architecture Diagram
These diagrams are added safety features because they document where and how your devices link to your cloud. You can also report connection speed to identify any data slowdown quickly.
Everything you document in your networks makes up the topology. Think of topology as the big picture or overview of how all your devices connect and work together.
IP Address Allocation
While IP addresses may not seem an integral part of your network, you should not leave these details to one or two IT technicians. This tool gives you the ability to grow or reuse addresses when needed.
This tool is your safety net when it takes the responsibility of the network off the shoulders of only one or two engineers. Having a robust strategy that is ready to implement makes larger networks functional even when your staff is away from work or a user triggers a concern.
People Also Ask
How do you create network documentation?
You can inventory your network by hand, but the process can be time-consuming and tedious. With automated network documentation software, you can create your topology and track issues in a fraction of the time.
Which software is best for documentation of your entire network infrastructure?
Consider the amount of detail you need to include. The more complicated and expansive your networks, the more you can benefit from network documentation software that provides for any contingencies.
What are automated network documentation systems?
These essential tools take care of inventory management for you. They allow your team to concentrate on other networking priorities because the system handles the network monitoring and details.
Which software is best for network diagrams?
The best network documentation software manages your entire network, including updates and other tools. The return on investment with the best software is immeasurable because it streamlines multiple networks, generates reports, and makes finding solutions a breeze.
The Right Network Documentation Software for Your Business
At Liongard, we can help you unlock the power of effective network documentation with a unified automation platform that works for you. Request a demo to learn more about our services, hear what our clients say, and see a demonstration that may leave you wondering why you waited so long to implement a more innovative network strategy.