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reply to xdxml12

Re: Network Maintenance Procedures

I'm all for change management but it often hinders getting work done in a timely matter. Probably because we have no general maintenance window.

I don't even want to know what it must take to try and get a change thru in an environment like that carp.
I'm guessing full mouth, a few limbs and a critical organ for the black market is the minimum that must
be donated?


In some small companies, network changes on the fly are the norm. Basically the network administrator has to have the following to curb chaos (and to keep his sanity ).
* Detail documentations (i.e. IP address assignment, network topology and design)
* Thoroughly understand the entire network
* Have advanced network knowledge
* Willing to take a little risk (i.e. testing network reliability on production network)
* Have all architects, engineers, developers, and technicians on speed dial (note: it will help when all of them sit in the same room)
* Keep communication between technical people (architects, engineers, developers, technicians) open and two way especially when someone decides to make changes on network, software, servers, or scripts
* Be conservative in making changes (read: do not make too many changes at a time) in case something goes wrong and need to reverse change
* Plan ahead on everything
* Have a thorough concept of how design the network to be reliable, scalable, and simple to manage
* Continuously work with vendors and providers in regards of issue and new product testing (note: having them on speed dial helps tremendously in emergency situations)
* Always be ready to get down and dirty (note: for those that are not used to run cable or rack/stack, better get used to it)
* Keep all cable run nice and neat at all time (note: having the same understanding and commitment of how one should run cable helps tremendously)
* Go through all project planning down to little details (note: assume nothing is agreeable and make sure all parties involves are within the same page would help tremendously)
* Willing to defend the network with all mights when other teams (i.e. server or developers) try to blame the network, especially when they made you to do things to simply validate what you have been saying all along during the network defending process
* Have all network tools handy (i.e. tcpdump, and any network latency detection tool) in addition to your usual laptop, cables, and Google search
* Willing to take any BS from management or business units even though they are not your issue or your fault (note: have very thick skin helps tremendously)
* Willing to do little politics (read: white lie) as long as you can defend them or to very least make people forget and move on
* Being proactive in front of management or business units to cover yourself in case network infrastructure is crippling
* Document all email communication (note: direct people to send email in addition to oral communication helps tremendously) to cover yourself
* Lastly, make sure that all comes down to not about who is to blame but what everyone can contribute in order to get resolution quick and long term.