What is Network Documentation

Network documentation is very important which provide valuable information and help for network failure. For example, in a small network of one or two switches and a firewall, there isn’t much to document and it is enough to put everything in a single diagram.

But in a bigger network, the network administrators need to follow the general principle. So, the actual documents you need will vary depending on the network. When designing a new network or mapping an existing network, document the network on the following point minimum.

Create a network documentation policy

A network documentation policy is very important which describe what aspects of a network need to be documented.

Network Documentation

Create network documentation for topology

Create topology which provides a visual reference that indicates the physical connectivity and logical Layer 3 addressing. This topology diagram should include all segments of the network, the routers connecting the various segments, and the servers, gateways and other major pieces of networking hardware. For larger, the administrator can create a block diagram of each segment map and then make a detailed diagram of each individual segment.

Document server names, roles, and IP addresses

The information included in a topology diagram is not enough for specific functions, there is more information that needed to a network administrator for doing their jobs effectively, So for each server, document the role of the server, IP address, and name. It is possible that a server has multiple IP addresses or has multiple NICs, so it is also important to document that information.

Create a log file for each server

The log file is an important document for any network device and server. When a server and network devices fail to serve, the network administrators and network engineers trace the failure by seeing recent change.

And the log file maintains and monitors recent changes in the network such as patch and application installations and modified security settings. The log file help troubleshooting problems and also can re-rebuild the server in the event of a failure.

Software versions, proof of licenses and hardware components

The applications and their versions running on each server and their license must be documented. The receipt of the software is also important in the network documentation just in case your customer becomes involved in a software audit. The hardware documents should include the device connected to the network, configuration, backup, firmware revision and the record of the password.

Document the Active Directory

The documentation of all active directories is not possible but at some important points, the active directory must be part of network documentation.

  • The domain names in the forest.
  • The structure of the Active Directory.
  • The location and contents of each group policy.

Backup procedures

The backup procedure is very important to write and documented because it is the best defence against failure. It is important to document the backup software used and its version. The description and the backup type also required to document.

Label everything

Labelling is an important part of network documentation as well as networking. It is important to label each server, devices, and cables. This will make it easy to recognize the different pieces of hardware listed in your network document.