Unfortunately, many companies usually don’t consider a network maintenance or support plan until something drastic has occurred. Of course, the best way to avoid this from happening is to have the proper procedural documentation and network support process in place. This will allow your company to function should a network issue arise. When it comes to creating an effective network support plan, there are a few important steps to consider to ensure that the procedure is sufficient for all areas of disaster recovery.
Describe your Current Network Structure
In order to create an effective network support plan, the first thing you need to do is an inventory of all of your equipment and vendor information. This includes all of your specific equipment that relates to your network like computers, servers, vendor account numbers, and contact information. Once you have gathered all of the relevant information, you will need to develop a detailed map of your network. By doing this, you will be able to identify all of the applications and tools that your company uses. Additionally, creating a map of your network will help you document certain configurations that are vital to your network’s operation.
During this step, you will be able to develop a detailed list that will help you practice preventative maintenance steps. This is extremely important because it will allow your organization to create a customized plan that allows you to prevent a wide range of network issues from occurring. For instance, your company can consider the life expectancy of technical equipment, network capabilities, and network deficiencies. By practicing preventative maintenance, you can avoid potential network support problems.
While it’s very important to install updates to your network, they typically need to be done after operating hours or during company downtime. Not only that, but it’s critical that updates are performed once the network has been completely backed up. In order for your company to successfully do this, your organization will need to plan ahead to schedule a specific time to perform the updates and also to determine which updates are needed (Utilities, firmware, Microsoft). Below are some important questions that need to be asked when it comes to updating your network:
- Where are the backups stored?
- Has the restore process been tested?
- Have the backup instructions been documented?
- Is there an automatic run schedule in place?
- Who is responsible for the backup process?