Resources, Tips and Knowledge

Chapter 1: What Network Documentation Is (& Why You Should Give a Bleep About It)

Network Documentation Defined

Network documentation is the act and process of creating helpful records and maps/diagrams for teams who manage the network. These records and maps give IT teams the information they need to better respond to network issues, keep infrastructure growth right-sized, reduce costs, save on stress, and get home on time.

Network documentation, which, as we discussed in the introduction to this ebook, is essential for ensuring networks run as expected, for reducing the mean-time-to-repair (MTTR), and for giving IT teams the insights they need to ensure the network is optimized for efficiency.

Network documentation can be composed of anything that is important for IT teams to know. Generally, it includes:

  • Diagrams that depict the entire network (including connections and devices) 
  • Locations of servers alongside backup schedules
  • Information about software, including: support information, patches, pertinent dates, versions running, license information, etc
  • Information needed to contact vendors
  • Any service agreements that are in place
  • Historical records of past issues and how they were resolved — inclusive of dates and the results so that future IT professionals working the network can look into the past see what has worked, and what hasn’t, to fix an issue

Good network documentation is a mix of graphical network depictions as well as written information. Excellent network documentation allows you to click on a graphical depiction of a device and drill down to get any and all of the information you may need for a given issue or concern.