Oneupweb : Status of Your Infrastructure

As a systems administrator, or sysadmin, a few of your primary responsibilities include installing, supporting, and maintaining servers and/or other computer systems, and planning for and responding to service outages and other problems. That said, it is critical that you’re ‘all knowing’ when it comes to the status of your infrastructure.

Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of different tools, processes, procedures, etc. to help you keep organized and on top of everything. I have found the following to work pretty well:

Microsoft Office Visio – Microsoft Office Visio, is a commercial diagramming program for Microsoft Windows that uses vector graphics to create diagrams.

Visio is used to diagram the infrastructure specific to how and where everything is connected.

MediaWiki – MediaWiki is a free software open source wiki package written in PHP, originally for use on Wikipedia. It is now used by several other projects of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation and by many other wikis, including this website, the home of MediaWiki.

MediaWiki is where all the documentation is stored. There are a plethora of network documentation templates available on the web. An example template would be Document your Network provided by Toolbox.com.

Nagios – Nagios is a powerful monitoring system that enables organizations to identify and resolve IT infrastructure problems before they affect critical business processes.

Cacti – Cacti is a complete frontend to RRDTool, it stores all of the necessary information to create graphs and populate them with data in a MySQL database.

RRDtool is the OpenSource industry standard, high performance data logging and graphing system for time series data. RRDtool can be easily integrated in shell scripts, perl, python, ruby, lua or tcl applications.

Spiceworks – Spiceworks provides a free systems management, inventory, and helpdesk software application, Spiceworks IT Desktop, designed for network administrators working in small-to medium-sized businesses.

Spiceworks is used for asset management and change, add, move requests.

A huge benefit of all these tools (except Microsoft Office Visio) is that they are OpenSource.