Reducing Spreadsheet Chaos in Infrastructure Documentation
Excel will always be used by IT teams to document their systems and environments, but it's flexibility also causes maintenance chaos. In this webcast we assess the benefits and drawbacks when compared to specialist infrastructure documentation toolsets.
RecordedSep 13 201046 mins
Your place is confirmed, we'll send you email reminders
Problem – “We have to maintain 100s or 1000s of Visio diagrams to explain the complexity of our data centres, networks, applications, services and more. But… it’s difficult because it takes too much resource, it’s difficult to get consistency, we lack in-depth Visio skills and changes are constant.”
Answer – Use Visio’s automation features and get an infrastructure database to create and maintain large amounts of Visio diagrams which are consistent and up to date.
Result - Less engineering effort and skills, faster decision making, improved communications between project and operations teams. Plus, information is readily available for migration planning, risk assessments, impact analysis, change and capacity across a large estate.
If you are currently manually maintaining Visio diagrams for racks, floor plans, cloud, data centres, servers, applications, ITIL service maps (and more). Then this webinar could reduce a lot of pain and cost.
From a recent project, is 20 minutes (4% of a man day) more attractive than 68-man days to draw 270 rack layouts? Or 300 network diagrams refreshed every night?
Creating and maintaining IT focused Visio diagrams isn’t simple, but it is made a lot easier using our free AssetGen Visio utilities. This webinar will show you how to use our Visio add-in and data driven methods to reduce manual effort and improve consistency. Our presenter will cover examples of rack layouts, network diagrams, ITIL service maps, cabling, floor plans etc, to show how days and hours of engineering time can be reduced to seconds. If you are an existing Visio user you can use some of the methods immediately!
Part 2 goes into the detail of capturing copper, fibre and power connectivity of multi-site IT infrastructure. Our Part 1 webinar on 18th February 2021 covered the planning and structure of the audit process, with many requesting a deeper dive into our methods and the tools used. Part 2 shows how forms, reports and diagrams are used by audit teams to simplify the capture of existing, evolved infrastructure spread over multiple locations. We assume attendees have seen Part 1 to benefit most from this webinar.
How can you be confident that systems and data are safe, when the complexity involved can't be easily understood? External and internal threats are risks can't be recognised and protected against when there are communication gaps between IT teams, service providers and outsource partners. If infrastructure documentation isn't trusted, comprehensive and maintained, then expect change management, risk control and governance to suffer.
When connectivity documentation (or lack of) doesn't support project, risk and capacity information needs, then a connectivity audit is needed. David Cuthbertson will cover how Square Mile captures multi-site IT infrastructure data, so physical connectivity can be managed and updated efficiently. It can be expensive and painful to capture copper, fibre and power connectivity - but even more expensive and painful if you do it badly. And if the data isn't trusted or detailed enough then maybe another audit is needed - so best to get it right the first time!
Many organisations would like more complete and accurate IT systems documentation, preferably with less effort. There are better ways than creating a multitude of isolated spreadsheets and diagrams that become impossible to maintain. Our webinar will cover techniques to reduce workload and improve consistency for documenting IT infrastructure technologies such as networks, servers, applications, data centres, cabling, etc. The larger the infrastructure the greater the benefits of the methods that we’ll cover. The solutions could be as simple as adopting standard naming conventions, linking Visio diagrams to Excel, or maybe integrating data sources to remove duplication.
Lack of accurate, up to date infrastructure documentation causes extra work and additional costs for any project, operations and risk management team. This webinar focuses on cost and control benefits, showing how process improvements need effective ways of maintaining IT systems documentation. The webinar explains how efficient management of data is used to meet the many IT information needs.
For our October webinar, Rene Samuels from the Netherlands is our guest presenter. Rene is often brought in by customers to help troubleshoot system and application dependencies, where complexity and change risks cannot easily be described or understood. By engaging with different IT teams to help simplify and map detailed system dependencies, Rene facilitates the common understanding needed for major transformation and transition projects. We have asked Rene to explain how his approach and the use of the AssetGen system overcome the factors that prevent internal customer initiatives from achieving the results he can deliver.
Migrating data centres or moving to co-location is complex and subject to cost overruns, especially where existing infrastructure documentation is of questionable quality. We'll show how the use of database driven toolsets can help automate the project processes and avoid many of the typical problems that organisations with overstretched teams encounter.
How we approached the baseline auditing of a large multi-data centre environment - with the issues and decision points along the way. As well as the common issues of inconsistent data on a large scale, there were also a few unexpected challenges on the way...
With multiple approaches to implementing cloud computing, customers have a variety of technical choices to consider as part of their cloud strategy. Many vendors have attractive offerings which may look tempting at first glance, but you could end up being locked in with no capability of porting to another platform. It’s good to make sure that you retain control of both cost and technology – even when vendors consolidate and change pricing policies. Iain Cox of EA-Optimised will cover how his organisation approaches the strategic and technical issues that lead to a vendor independent approach. From his experience Iain will use various case studies to illustrate the type of skills and information needed for successful deployments, where the latest techniques are to use standardised components to help give flexibility and use multiple vendors for resilience. EA-Optimised have implemented multiple deployments over 10 years across many vendors for their clients – mainly public and financial sector.
Our webinar covers methods and best practices to manage multi-site connectivity and data centres. We will cover common issues such as naming and labelling, network configurations, build documents, workflow, etc. Alongside record keeping these are all challenges that make connectivity management difficult. The aim is faster delivery of change with less effort/cost and centralised control. Both data and power examples are coverednin the webinar.
Visio is a great tool for creating a diagram that visualizes data centers, racks, networks, floor plans, data centers, wifi hotspots, systems, applications, cloud computing, etc. In our webinar we'll show how to create and update the 100s or 1000s of diagrams needed for medium and large organisations.
The newer Cyber security frameworks repeat the same need for configuration management processes as other frameworks such as ITIL and Cobit. Informed decisions and risk assessments should be based on maintained understanding of your IT infrastructure and systems, not a quick look before certification. Guessing and assuming dependencies does not continuously secure an environment, build confidence in control measures, or help when reacting to ransomware or attacks. This webinar looks at some of the requirements of cyber frameworks and how to reduce the effort in delivering suitable configuration management processes and outputs.
The Part 2 session is a hands on "how I do it for real" by David Cuthbertson, covering database driven mapping linked to Visio diagramming. A quick journey from multiple whiteboards to a system that can cope with 1000s of servers and applications. Ideal for anyone trying to combine ITIL CMDBs with impact analysis and risk assessments. To get most benefit from this webinar we recommend you watch Part 1, where David covered different approaches to mapping IT systems and infrastructure.
As most data centers don’t have integrated DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) toolsets – it doesn’t mean they’re badly managed. Often it means that streamlined processes and existing information sets work well enough to manage data center space and capacity, with expensive DCIM systems not offering enough value, or requiring more skills to do the same job. This webinar covers how data capacity management and control can be improved by adopting best practices, process changes and better use of existing data.
Understanding and communicating change impacts, dependencies and risks is made all the more difficult when it is all conceptual. This webinar looks at the different methods available to create and maintain diagrams when 100s or 1000s of servers are involved.