In the first installment in this series, we discussed whether or not you have pain. If you’re still reading, you probably determined that you do, indeed, have some very real pain points that you want to solve with automated network mapping and documentation.
Your next step, then, is to define what you want to do…vs. what you actually need to do. Of course, need will outweigh want. That being said, sometimes ‘want’ makes things a lot more fun.
Ask yourself this: ‘what do I want to document…and what do I need to document?’
Bottomline? There is a huge difference between documenting to get the job done — and documenting for the sake of using some cool features. Going forward as you evaluate software solutions and vendors — and find yourself in doubt, go back to the simple question, ‘Do I need this or do I want this’.
Should you keep reading? Here’s a handy checklist to recap what you’ve learned this far:
What do you need to document?
It’s key to sort out what you actually need to document vs. what would be nice to document (or fun or cool or impressive).
Are there specific requirements driving this project?
What is the end goal of your project: what measurable results will you (or your bosses) need to see?
What is the reason?
In just a few words, describe the reason for your documentation project.
What is your real pain?
See the first installment in this series. If there is no real pain then stop reading — and get back to work (sorry).
What’s your budget?
Do you need to find a free way to document the network or are you looking for automation that can streamline things and deliver more ROI? Know what your budget is (or isn’t) before you spend time looking at software solutions.
Do you have the time?
Let’s face it: it takes time to properly document and diagram the network. Do you have the time for this? Is your boss on board? If they aren’t, stop reading now and go back to watching cat videos on Youtube.