I know that this ones has been thrown around before but the recent thread about SMT wanting to have all the information about a network has sparked it off for me again I'm afraid.
I have opened up a section of the wiki and the sections I have put on there are pretty arbitrary. If people want to start suggesting alternative headings please feel free but I have bundled it into easily recognisable areas. There is no single starting point on it but if you keep with me it should be clear why I have gone for this order.
You cannot replace everything (or even insure for replacement) without know what you have got to start with. So, this is looking at what tools you use to record your assets, what information about each asset is recorded, where the data is stored, the processes involved in getting the data on each asset, etc ...
As the name says really, what each server does, what it controls, how it is configured (ranging from explaining about DHCP reservations through to GPO settings and ADM templates / login scripts you have carefuly crafted) ... you get the idea.
For the network junkies amongst you this ranges from what plugs in where, at what speeds, droplists for patch panels to switches, logical diagrams and configuration information.
Now you know what you have, what it does and how it connects ... how do you take a copy of it all? Who looks after it? Stored on site / off site? DP considerations?
Contracts and Agreements
Some of the stuff you have is managed by someone else ... so how do you know that *they* can get it back up to speed pretty sharpish. Also, do you know they will get it back up to speed or just start from scratch .. or worse still ... walk away!
Network Restoration Process
Now you know what you have, what it does, how it connects, how you have taken a snapshot / backup ... what are teh precise instructions to build it all again from scratch if the worst should happen? Do you make the instructions modular based around services or technologies? What needs to be done first? And second?
Other Local Contacts
Let's face it ... if another local school was in dire need we would try to rally around. Do you know who are the contacts at the LA? The other local schools? Do you know if they have particular specialisms?
To do some of the above you need to use specific user accounts (eg Backup Admin, Domain Admin, etc) and these need to be recorded and kept locked away in case of emergency. Do you keep a copy off-site just in case?
Would people be interested in breaking this down and doing a discussion week on week or just dropping stuff into the wiki.
Ok .. I'll make it easier. If it is done in here I will try and collate it for the Wiki.
I should even ask if there is a need for this ... but would end up LARTing anyone that said no ... unless they decided to share their ready made example of course.
Seriously though ... I am happy to collate on this one and see how it measures against FITS etc.
I don't want to make the job bigger but should it not be business continuity planning.
Yes, it is indeed part of the Business Continuity Plan a school should have, but I thought I would just build it up from the basics first and then introduce the idea of Business Continuity when we get to the point of rebuilding it all ... after all, if there is no school to rebuild it into then you have to learn to adapt. But that is a conversation for another day unless people want to break out and discuss that first?
hope you are well?
Interesting as with film/music back omi important to have at least 3 or more back ups but then that would small
compared to a whole school!!
I have also started to use online back up as well as other tried and trusted methods.
Backups on regularly used large volume data such as video / audio files for editing are a speciality of their own really. It all depends on how regularly the editors need access to old materials I suppose. I'd be interested in seeing how somewhere like Wildern deal with this.
This was a great help and pointed me in the right direction, I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for taking the time to make something so mind bogoling dead easy.
Ok, it seems my rant the other day sparked of an email or two to me ... but please post things on here (thanks PEO who has).
Getting down to the areas again
Since assets come in various shapes, sizes, costs, uses, etc then to some extent it is up to you as a school to develop a bit of consistency about how you record then and how you make use of this information.
I would expect to see the following
- Serial Number
- School Asset Number
- Purchase Date
- PO Number
- Disposal Date
This would be the bare minimum required for insurance purposes but there are other fields that many will add in.
- Asset name (which may change during the lifetime of the asset)
- Hardware Specification fields [CPU, RAM, screen size, etc] (all of which depend on how much you use the asset register as a true inventory)
- Principle User (which may vary, could be a department, could be whole school or could be a specific user)
- Software Specifications [OS version, installed software, etc] (you could tie this into your software inventory and remember that you licences are actually assets too!)
I have a few others I would add in but if people want to contribute to the list I'll tidy it up and add it to the wiki.
Please continue to add more Tony :)