Good morning everybody. This is rants Turley with Tsi. Um, that’s some exciting news in the IT Services Bartlesville world. Uh, the s and Tsi, I’m not shaking cause no longer with the company. So flights, well not flying sell them. Chelsea Turley, my wife is still, she’s still a part of it of course. So we’re going to do what? You can’t do what we can to make the best of this. So I was just a difference of values that cropped up so we wish not the best and when we go. So today I’d like to talk about and network documentation. It’s imperative that businesses understand where more things connect essentially a top level. Um, when talking about network documentation is just looking at it from, okay, what’s connected to this switch? What’s connected to the router? Uh, you can go a little deeper. What ports are open, um, go even deeper than that.
What it systems are running on this connected device. It’s a extremely important to keep track of that. Um, not something you want to do daily. Cha documenting the network, but definitely something you want to do. Probably once I’d say once every quarter at least. I think that would be a good good thing to look at. And if there are issues going on, you can probably, you can do a couple, couple of week or so just to see if there’s any new devices connecting and all that kind of stuff. But as a business owner, that’s not, you know, people bring in their own device, said Byo d is, has really gained a lot of traction since smart phones are so prevalent and bringing in um, laptops and sometimes people bring in their own, uh, printers and other kinds of office Gordon. So it’s nice to keep track of what’s connecting and what is, uh, what you expect to have connected and then what is actually connecting.
It’s nice to kind of do a, a small audit every now and then. So with that being said, a couple of, um, options for doing a, getting your documentation together. Um, we’ve got a few pieces of software that are typically use. Um, first one, uh, it’s open source. It’s free and you’re going to actually wrote a book on how to use it, um, in map. And it’s mostly it’s command line, but they have a zen map which is a gooey for it and it’s, it’s pretty, it looked pretty, um, pretty robust as far as the information you can get it, we’ll actually create a little, uh, visualization of what’s connected where, um, the type of graph escapes me, but, uh, it’s, it seems to be, I mean the price is right most certainly, and it’s a lot of people have used it in the past or it’s used quite often.
Uh, one mostly because it’s open source, but it’s also, um, it also gets the IT Services Bartlesville information that you need in order to adequately document what, what is connected to your network. You get all of the, you get a good portion of information in. There are different types of scans you can run. So that’s one piece. Um, rapid fire tools is also another piece that’s, this is probably not something, unless you’re, unless you’re in a big or a larger business that’s really isn’t something that the businesses would purchase, more than likely find an MSP managed service provider or an it consultant who may have access to this tool that can come in and just do a network assessment for you. Um, I’m not, I’m not 100% sold on it as far as the initial assessment goes because you need administrative credentials and if you’re not in a relationship with the client then or potential client at that point, then I believe it would be, I think it would, they would be hesitant to just give a stranger they’re administrative credentials.
So it’s definitely a good step after that for doing the assessment. But it is a, it’s a little pricier. Um, I think just for the network assessment, you’re looking at around $250 a month, but it generates some really nice looking reports that you know, that probably for a lot of people pays for itself. You know, the, the amount of time he’d spin furnished and is pulling information. I’ve been mapping then creating a document on it that is the presents the information in a way that it makes sense and it, uh, for a bit for a nontechnical person or a business owner, it’s, um, and there might be a little overhead as far as spending the time on that. And as, as a business owner, you know, that’s the most valuable, uh, commodity you have as your time. So that’s one thing to keep in mind when looking at tools to create documentation.
Um, a lot of people actually use one note. Uh, there’s, it has an API so who can kind of build out like a, like a survey type thing that you can take with you on a mobile device, tablet, laptop, whatever, and create a custom checklists. And as you fill in the information, it can pull over to OneNote. And then since there’s, since it has the API, you can actually integrate it with, uh, other RMM tools that make it a lot easier to, you don’t have to touch the information more than once for it to get to where you need it. So, uh, plus with office a you can spring for a little extra and get Vizio, you make some nice looking maps. Um, that’s another option. Uh, confluence from Atlassian is another, another good, um, option. It’s, it’s kind of like think it’s a cross between slack and wow. I didn’t really see much from slack. It, I think it was, it’s definitely a collaborative tool. Kind of like Google docs, which you can also do this with Google docs, but one more overhead. They don’t really have a visualization type product. If they do, I, I haven’t used it. I don’t know, kinda stick to the main three are the main two cheats and docs are, yeah, that’s right. So confluence, it’s actually,
reasonably priced at $10 for 10 years up to 10 users. Or you can do a $10 for one time self hosted version. And it comes with some templates that help with information gathering and just documentation in general. Um, I didn’t really see anything that leapt out at me as far as a
layout for, um, the, where’s this going as a layout for specifically documentation or network documentation or visualization. So it’s one of those, it’s one of those tools that it has a lot of collaborative elements. You can uh, do a at mentions kind of like slack. So there’s that slack I was looking for and uh, you can set up like different documents, styles that uh, or templates for marketing blog post meeting notes, project requirements, just a few things, a permissions. You can do permissions on the page. So this might be something that could be used for customer facing documentation solution to, uh, I know that it glue is often mentioned costs there is a bit more expensive. I think it’s like 40 something dollars a user, but there’s a one time fee or a with a minimum of five users and then a one time fee of around 500. I believe that they’re open with their pricing. They put it out there. So 19, a user with a five user minimum and I don’t see any mention of the onboarding fee. So I guess they’re not as, oh no, there it is. One time fee of four 95. So very often with their pricing. So that tells me that they are happy, they’re proud of their product
and definitely the price reflects that and it’s got a lot of integrations, uh, has just, it seems to be like a more complete solution. It’s, it’s like, uh, I, I would almost liken it to kind of a cross between a strategy or a combination of strategy overview and a kind of PSA light type functionality. So for those of you who aren’t familiar, strategy overview takes the information that you have and kind of builds out of roadmap and you can kind of schedule things as far as uh, like it project roadmap is or a roadmap at for the organization as a whole on where they want to go technologically. Like, for instance, you, it has a long list of things that you can move to address and uh, it can generate a nice looking report and pull it over and you can send it off and it can include a few things.
I haven’t run the report itself, but I have filled in some information for clients and it’s, it’s nice. It’s, it’s pretty, it’s a very inclusive. Um, the next option is Docu snap. So with the Aki snap it’s, um, I didn’t, I don’t think I s I didn’t, I don’t recall seeing any pricing information, but it does create different types of presentations for or visualizations for what you, what you would document and it looks like you can do, uh, you’ve got, uh, diagrams, reports and concepts. I guess that would be more of how you, how, how an IT Services Bartlesville infrastructure would look. Um, you’ve got an, they have a couple of examples here that make sense. Uh, I, uh, active directory directory plan, kind of a tree that shows you how you would lay out the organizational units and active directory, a layer three routing map. This looks a lot like the,
The visualization you get from Zen map, uh, hard work, Rac map. So in this something that, uh, I mean everything’s labeled, but it’s having this visualization outside of it. I, I don’t know if a hardware rac map would make sense for a lot of MSPs or customers in general. Um, I, it’s, I maybe they have, maybe it’s kind of like a, a, yeah. Uh, w w the Cisco packet tracer in that you can, you actually see what that device looks like. Maybe they have all of that information there. So it’s a possibility that it would be helpful for a nontechnical, uh, person that for whatever reason, if they needed to access the rack, they could look at it and say, okay, this is what this looks like. Granted, it’s, that’s a stretch, honestly, but a communication links, it looks like this is how servers interact with each other.
It’s, it, there’s some nice mapping that that comes out of this. Um, and then, uh, the last thing it shows is it, um, it looks like it’s a server dependency because you’ve got a virtual as well. I guess you could lay this out however you need. I, when I first started off singing, oh, cool. Software dependencies, like we have this, granted, I can’t imagine there’d be a whole lot of it. I’d probably make more sense to do a communication link, uh, for software, but for dependencies that just talk some shows like what servers are dependent on, what and what services are dependent on what servers and how if it kind of shows if this were to go down, it would affect these. Uh, once again, um, I prefer, since I’m a one man show, now one man, one woman, one woman show, I think, well, I know that getting a handle on open source free items or free things, our software is, you have to really understand it, to know how to use it.
Typically. Um, it’s not, there’s, there’s a lot of documentation. Um, you pay for convenience. That’s a common thread. So with that in mind, um, network documentation, the importance is it’s very important. You can keep track of how anything on the network, it’s, it’s, that’s a common point of attacks. So, um, just if you don’t understand or know what’s on your network and you don’t have no network documentation, it also helps with troubleshooting tremendously. Knowing what’s connected to what, what could be potentially causing a problem. Uh, broadcast storms, things like that, to tell you where exactly it is. And it’s not even just like a, a connection map. It’s, it’s not even just a key, uh, mapping the connections. It’s map. It could also be overlaying it over a physical or a visual map of the actual building. So their aspect of it. But in any case, uh, thank you for joining me and I hope you have a good day. Thank you.