Document Document Document....
Documentation … that is the one word that is hated and loved at the same time by us I.T Guys everywhere, whether you are a Network , Systems or I/S person, we love when it is around but hate to do it. More and more I found that there is no comprehensive tool out there for all your documentation needs, at least none that I came across.
So what do I do when I am creating my documentation and making it as dynamic as possible? I use a friend of mine call Lansweeper. It is an agent-less blessing from above that uses WMI and SNMP to pull in all the info of the nodes on your networks with a single scan. In combination with this and a detail Visio Drawing, you can have a semi dynamic documentation of your entire network. Yes, I said semi dynamic.
The dynamic part comes into play because Lansweeper can scan the network every day, or on a schedule you define, and add or append any changes that might have occurred. You can then use the node asset URL to link them to the Visio diagram. With a CTRL click, you can pull up more details on any object on the Visio file that is represented as an object on your network.
You don’t have to use Lansweeper, there are other network inventory tools out there that you can use to help create this type of set up. Two other popular choices are Spiceworks (which I used in the past but stop because I couldn't deal with all the ads). Spiceworks now has a subscription service where you can have all the annoying ads omitted from your profile. There is also ManageEngine Opmanager which is pretty good also. I personally love my Lansweeper. It is clean and fast with detailed reports built in.
Did I mention AD integration where I can type in a person's name via the search bar and see what monitor is connected to their system? It just works. Here is a link I found comparing all three … so you can test each out and see which is best for you. If there is one thing I will drill into your head, it is DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, and DOCUMENT.
Whatever your means or method, take pride in your work and etch it in digital format as the modern day gospel.