Friday, May 13, 2016

What Do You Do with the Network Documentation Binder?

My latest SOP video addresses the Network Documentation Binder.

What is that? Well, basically, it's a physical binder at your client that includes . . .

- Basic network map
- Network addresses
- Machines
- IP allocation
- ISP Information
- Where data is stored
- Printer configurations
- Group policies
- Where email is stored
- Backup strategy
- Software licence keys
- Network shares
- Warranties
- Network shares
- Users
- Firewall configurations
- Key passwords
- etc.

There's a little more than this information - but not a LOT more. The bottom line is that you just the most important information. Some documentation tools (such as Belarc) give you massive amounts of completely useless information that you'll never use.

Think about what you need when you take on a new client. That "core" information that's missing most of the time is what you need. This is not the "How do I ..." documentation but the "How is it configured?" documentation.



  1. Thanks for the video. As far as making this information available electronically and securely in real-time (such as we might check our bank balance online, why not offer the client access to the binder)? Any thoughts or ways you might suggest making that a reality?

  2. In our practice, the primary physical binder lives at the client office, either next to the server or in a secure file cabinet. But once a year we have it scanned to PDF so that we have a copy in our client folder and the client has a copy on their server. We never keep documentation from the client

    1. Thanks for the note. You mentioned most of that already in your video. Great work, by the way. I appreciate you taking the time to make these.

  3. We currently use Google Drive - a folder is created for each client in Drive, and under each client we have an array of folders and files, some consistent and many are not. But in any case, we create a Google account for each client that has a server (most of our clients do), and install Drive on the server using the account we create for the client. We share each client folder with the respective Google account so that the client's folder appeared on the client's server, in the designated location for Drive. The client's Drive folder is shared (hidden) and permissions given to the business owner/primary contact, along with the domain admin. In doing this, we can create and update documention for a client in one place, from anywhere. As long as Drive is working, the client documentation status up dated. Am thinking of adapting your structure - possibly a standard set of folders for each client with the network documention binder info - and maybe printing out a full list periodically in putting it in a binder, to have a hard copy at the ready, even if it might be a bit outdated. Sure beats not having anything!

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  5. Good stuff. Thanks, Schyler!


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