Looking for documentation "system" How are you doing IT documentation? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hi,

    I work in an enviornment where we have 60+ servers, and many different peices of software spread over several buildings.  Our documentation is lacking to say the least.  It's currently stored in peoples heads, or in files and folders in network shares.  It's redundant, messy and unorganized.  Some documents are just written on paper, and in a filing cabinet.  I am rather new here, and we have some other new hires so the need for good documentation is really showing itself lately.

    I think that a good way to document things is by "system", rather than by server.  So for example the "Email System" might contain documentation about everything that makes Exchange work which would contain documentation on the multiple exchange servers we have, and everything that they are dependant on, such as Active Directory.  I think that in more complex enviornments, knowing the dependancies are important because if you make a small change, you could affect many other systems at the same time.  So in the case for the "Email System", I wouldnt expect much documentation on Active Directory (because it's a dependancy), that would be another system in itself to be docuemented, but at least it would be linked to the Email System as a dependant.

    Another example for the dependancy need is say you had 10 domain controllers, and your SPAM filter is only using 1 DC for LDAP lookups, and you decided to decomission that DC, now your SPAM filter is broken because you didnt have the right documentation.

    So, does anyone know of software that can do this?  Is anyone else documenting their IT infrastructure this way? If the software gathered information on it's own, thats cool but I can gather information myself for documentation.  I was thinking about Sharepoint, since that is fairly customizable and would at a minimum allow for more organized documentation, but I am really looking for something which could handle the dependancies of systems.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Changed type Kevin Remde Saturday, October 2, 2010 11:54 AM This is open to several possible answers.
    Friday, September 24, 2010 12:37 PM

All replies

  • Hi there,

    This may not suit your needs, but we are currently working with a company called GxPi, to develop a SharePoint based EDS.

    The system is suited to the pharmaceutical industry (2nd most heavily regulated industry in the world) but would work well in your situation. The idea is, all documents are stored electronically and trigger workflows, and links to other documents.

    So for instance, you work with GxPi to define a unique numbering system, or master list of systems, then you can set up links between the various documents beneath that system, so if a document is changed, or decommisioned, or anything, it triggers alerts to any else you should be aware of.

    That's one example, the guys at GxPi can pretty much tailor it to do anything you want.

    It may well be overkill, the tailored version we are getting built for us is costing somewhere around £20,000.

    Thursday, January 6, 2011 10:12 AM