IT Best Practices

What are Runbooks?

In a world of networking and computer systems, a runbook is a setlist of procedures or instructions that a system administrator completes to achieve a certain operation. Traditionally, runbooks account for procedures including the following:

1. Beginning the operation/task
2. Stop the function
3. Supervise the system
4. Debugging and Troubleshooting

Decision flow-charts are often included to cover several scenarios that an operator may come across while running through the procedure, in the chance that things don’t go as planned, there is a work around or a solution.

What is Runbook Automation

Runbook automation typically referred to as RBA is the capability to develop, manage, identify, and give feedback on workflows supporting systems and network operations. Recently, the need for RBA began to rise in correlation with the increased need for improvements in IT efficiency and the automation of provisional tasks that once took a core amount of an IT professionals time.

What is an IT Information Library (ITIL)?

An IT information Library is an aggregated source of key IT service management practices, with the most commonly referred to ITIL being a series of books including certification and consulting services.. The purpose of an ITIL is to align the business needs of an organization with their IT services. A broader definition of an IT information Library is a mass pool of IT knowledge that ranges across all specific segments of networking and IT service management. ITIL’s provide countless benefits, the most significant of which are business risk aversion, improve customer relations, having cost-effective best practices, and allowing you to develop an IT environment that is able to grow and scale efficiently.

Network Documentation

Documentation is one of the most important aspects of managing a network. There are a myriad of procedures, configurations, and protocols that are nearly impossible to remember on a day-to-day basis. The purpose of documentation is to provide a series of organized and specific instructions to complete a majority of network management tasks. For example, troubleshooting a particular issue within your network requires multiple precise steps to secure the network, and without the proper documentation to guide users along, critical mistakes are easily made which have the potential to cause more problems than the ones you started with.

Beyond avoiding the risk of making a mistake in troubleshooting an issue, documentation saves countless amount of research hours for yourself and your employees when seeking to fix a commonly occurring issue. Rather than spending hours seeking a solution to a problem from the past week, documentation provides an easily accessible resource to provide a solution. Furthermore, documentation enables new employees to transition into their new roles efficiently, and decreases the massively important knowledge gap when veteran employees depart the organization.

A vital aspect of managing a network is having consistency across the organization throughout different teams. By possessing standardized documentation, you are enabled to develop consistency across your network, thus increasing the knowledge of your IT team and their ability to work efficiently throughout the entirety of the company.

How to Perform an IT Tools Gap Analysis

Organizations often find themselves missing a key component in their ability to operate efficiently, or scale at a healthy rate. By performing an IT Tools gap analysis, you can identify the core problems in your networking strategy that are limiting your ability for growth and efficiency. Of course, first step in performing a gap analysis is to break down the critical components of your current strategy and identify what is either missing or lagging in terms of productivity, capability, and cost effectiveness and creating a technology road map. Without properly identifying the gap within your organization, the potential for a suggested solution to accommodate the gap is limited, and increases the probability of issues across the team and the degree of business risk involved in its implementation.

Once you have the IT tools gap identified, the next step is to decide what the future state of your network environment is going to look to like. Create a list of goals and objectives that clearly define the how the network is intended to operate in the future, with the specific criteria in mind provided by Network Depot:

•The organization of your business
•The direction of your business
•The products or services you offer
•The processes that you undergo
•The IT aspects of your business
•The bottom line of your business

By developing a strong understanding of your goals alongside the current networking and business environment, the route to successfully meeting objectives is clear. There are always several facets of any given business that you can improve upon, however when choosing IT tool solutions, the decision is more difficult due to a wide range of products that cover several issues. Indeni Insight can help make this decision for you, by providing key insights about your devices and network that enable you to pinpoint the issues within your environment.

BlueCat acquires Indeni to boost its industry-leading DNS, DHCP and IP address management platform to help customers proactively assess network health and prevent outages.