Critical Docs

The basic infrastructure info every small/medium organization should have

Too often we’ve seen small and medium organizations lacking the basic documentation they require to protect themselves from catastrophic problems.  This basic information is critical if something happens to your IT Manager and they are unreachable or unable to fulfill their duties for any reason.  Accidents happen, people leave, relationships breakdown, it’s not pleasant to think about but it is necessary to plan for.

One form to rule them all

For each small/medium client we do a site survey for, we provide a form they can hand a new IT Manager to get them quickly up to speed.  This form, along with a network map, is meant to provide all the basic and critical information for infrastructure operation.  We suggest keeping an updated copy of this form and a network map in 2 separate locations at all times, secured but accessible to the owner and president.

Below is the spreadsheet in MS Excel and OpenDocument format.  If you run a small or medium organization and are missing this information you probably want to download and have your IT Head fill out this form right away.

Site Survey – Critical Information Form (MS Excel XLSX)

Site Survey – Critical Information Form (OpenDocument ODS)

Maps – Window to the Network

In addition to the completed spreadsheet you’ll want a map of your network (IP Topology Map).  A network map shows the parts of your networks (subnets) and the key devices that interconnect and attach to them.  Below is a sample IP Topology Map for a fairly simple network:

Right info to the right people

With these two documents your small/medium organization should be able to get a replacement IT Manager up to speed or provide information to a contractor to do emergency repairs if the IT Manager is not reachable.  If providing to a contractor for a specific task be sure to only provide the information they require.  A contractor repairing a web applications shouldn’t have access to your switches or routers.

Trev Peterson

I've been working in Communications and Technology since 1990. I've worn a lot of hats in that time, everything from Desktop Support to Custom Hardware Engineer (for a short stint) with lots of learning along the way. Some things to describe me would be:
-Believer in KISS (principle - Keep It Simple Stupid, not the band)
-Adventurous (love to push my comfort zone and try new things)
-Linux / FLOSS Fan
-Love the CLI, especially for remote support

Nothing beats working with people fired up about their projects. Passion is contagious ;)

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