Tips & Tricks: Fully documenting your network.

During regular ‘closet crawling’ (aka site surveys) we often find a few important details overlooked… and we all know… the devil is in the details!

It’s not uncommon for both customers’ own network staff and prior service providers they’ve called in to leave out key pieces of data while surveying a network. It’s an honest mistake, but one we certainly don’t like to make.

A common oversight are the 3 C’s – Cameras, Controllers and Card Readers.

These devices are often out of sight- and therefore- out of mind. When your team or your consultant is documenting your network, be sure to track down any devices running on, through, over and around it- including the 3 C’s. This handy little tip comes from many trips on site with my father- who would document a pin, were it lodged in a patch cable.

Cameras are easily overlooked and may or may not be part of the IP network. Controllers may include appliance controllers, storage controllers, even HVAC controllers. Card Readers are another gotcha that may be in plain sight, but a ‘forest and trees’ situation. Be sure to include those, along with any accompanying physical security devices.

It’s important to understand the tiniest details, especially if you’re planning to implement new security functions, such as VLANs, NAC or 802.1X.  Work out the details ahead of time and you won’t have any nasty little surprises when you commit your new configs.

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Author, speaker, and recognized authority on network and wireless security architectures, Jennifer (JJ) Minella helps organizations solve technical problems and align teams.

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