Network topology—This is usually done in the form of a diagram that shows the major network nodes, such as routers, switches, firewalls, and servers, and how they are all interconnected. Normally, printers and workstations are not included.
Server information—This is all of the information on servers that you will need to manage or administer them, such as name, functions, IP address, disk configuration, OS and service pack, date and place of purchase, warranty, and so forth.
Router and switch port assignments—This includes detailed information on WAN configuration, VLANs, or even the assignment of a port to a network node via the patch panel.
Configuration of ...view middle of the document...
You would probably also have procedures for dealing with problems that are reported by users and for routine maintenance of the servers.
Where do you get the information?
If you're documenting a network you administer, you probably know more about that network than anyone else. Even if the information that needs to be documented isn't in your head, you probably know how to track it down. But if you are asked to document someone else’s network, either as a new supervisor for the network support staff or as a consultant, you can't rely on your own knowledge. To gather the necessary details, you'll have to interview all of the other administrators extensively.
Getting the information you need from the administrators might not be easy. For one thing, political factors can thwart your efforts. It may be that an administrator resents you, seeing you as an “outsider.” It may be that an administrator feels threatened by the documentation project or feels that documentation is unnecessary. In these cases, you will need all the skills of a diplomat to extract the necessary information. You will have to find a way around these obstacles. Maybe you'll be able to make the administrators see that they're an important part of the project.
Even when administrators are willing participants, you may run into problems communicating with them. Many times, people will overlook matters that they see as obvious, but are far from obvious to someone else. Or they may be perfectly capable of performing their job, but lack the skills to describe it to others. You will need to be both patient and tenacious in talking with the other administrators, often approaching the same problem from different directions to get the needed information. And you'll still probably have to do some investigating on your own.
If you are hired in at the level of senior network administrator, and the previous administrators left no information behind—and no knowledgeable staff members are available—you will need to seek the information you need from the...