Part 1: IT infrastructure documentation
Every IT documentation project starts with the infrastructure – locations, rooms and workplaces.
We will show you how to realise this with i-doit.
You are probably at the beginning of your project to create an IT documentation. You may be wondering how to document IT in the right way. This project will be your main occupation during the next months.
With i-doit you can even go a little further. Because you are developing a central IT documentation. This small difference has a significant impact. It opens up many interesting possibilities, but also many necessities.
The biggest advantage of central IT documentation: several users can work on and with it. However, this invaluable advantage also leads to important requirements. Every employee must practice a certain discipline. An approximately equal level of knowledge is also required for all those involved in such a project.
In this first step on your way to IT documentation, you record the infrastructure of your IT landscape with i-doit. You will learn how to create locations and what best practices exist for IT documentation.
Welcome to the video series “6 steps to IT documentation“. My name is Rachel Hutchinson and in the following videos I will guide you through the areas of infrastructure, networks, servers, clients, software & licenses and services, demonstrating how i-doit can help you to fully document your IT infrastructure. .
Before we start creating devices, software and services, we must first create the foundations – the infrastructure. So that is today’s topic in part one of the series. . I will show you how to quickly create the locations, buildings, rooms and server racks of your company..
i-doit offers you the opportunity to navigate your own IT landscape.
Besides the clearly structured tree view, building and room plans can also be used to get a detailed overview.
If you need information about which systems are in the server rack, with just one click, you will get a visualized overview of slide-ins and the devices they contain. I will also show you how to import your existing documentation quickly and easily into i-doit.
Let’s start with the live demo.
If you would like to test i-doit, you can request a 30-day test version free of charge and with no obligations at www.i-doit.com/trial/. On the overview page you will find all the necessary access data, your test license and the i-doit add-ons. Of course you can also use all the add-ons without any restrictions during the test period. You can decide if you want to install i-doit directly onto an existing server or if you want to run it as a virtual appliance under “Hyper-V” or “VMWare” for testing on a client.
Ready? Let’s do it.
The first time we start i-doit we are asked to install our license. Click on “License Administration” to open the Admin Center. After we have registered our license we can activate it and install additional add-ons if necessary. Please log out and log back in so that the changes are applied.
We are now on the dashboard. i-doit already has over 100 predefined object types divided into 4 categories: Software, Infrastructure, Other & Contact. Each user can customize their dashboard and extend it with numerous widgets. In the upper right corner you can see how many objects you currently use and for how long your license is valid.
In the category software, we find applications and system services as well as extensive possibilities to map cluster services, databases and licenses. This means you can completely map your software & license management in i-doit.
Under the category Infrastructure you will find object types to map the basic infrastructure, such as cities, buildings and rooms. It also includes IT equipment such as servers, telephones, clients, printers, cables and server cabinets.
All other object types are grouped in the category Other. Here you will find Layer 2 and Layer 3 networks, SIM cards & mobile phones, contracts, WAN lines, services and much more.
In the category Contact you can create and manage organizations, groups and users. In addition to companies, this also includes employees, stakeholders, suppliers, service providers and organizations connected with your company.
You can also create your own object types and categories and configure them freely. Would you like to have your own object type for your product? No problem, i-doit can be as unique as your company.
We will now create a company with offices in Berlin and Paris. To do this, we select the object type “City” and create a new object via “New”. The object should now be given a suitable and unique name. We then select the root location as the location. The “root object” represents the topmost part of the tree structure. After saving the object we switch to the “Location View” and see it below the “root object”.
The next step is to set up our branch in the city. We recommend always using unique names to be able to clearly identify branches later in reports and overviews. This time we select the object type “Building”, assign a unique name to it and select our newly created city under Location. This procedure is especially helpful if you have several branches in one city.
Since our branch is divided into 2 floors, we have to create a completely new type of property. For this purpose we go into the infrastructure and create a new individual object type called “floor”. What is important here, is that objects of this type should be able to be selected as locations for other objects, because in the next step we want to add different rooms to the floor. If we now save our object type, it immediately appears in the left navigation and we can create our first floor.
We now want to create the ground floor and the first floor. To do this we proceed as before and create a new object with its own name and location. We can simply duplicate our created object and give it an alternative name. It automatically adopts all the properties of the original, including its location.
To complete our infrastructure, we still have to add various rooms. Again there is a predefined object type that we can use for the creation. Below these rooms we will later document our workstations, IT equipment and network sockets.
Now I would like to show you an even faster way to create your infrastructure.
Individual objects and even the entire infrastructure can be easily imported via CSV files. This is particularly helpful if you have previously documented your IT systems in Excel and would like to use i-doit as a central solution in the future. We will now import our branch office in another city with the branch building, several floors and dozens of rooms as a CSV file. For this we only need a table in which we enter the name, the respective object types and their locations in 3 columns.
To be able to import this data immediately, the table must be saved as a CSV-file. Via the menu category Extras->to CMDB ->to Import we get to the import interfaces. In addition to the CSV import, you can also choose from a wide range of other interfaces to import data and information. In the CSV Import section we now upload the CSV file we have created, and use it for the import. In the upper part we can now define an object type.
Since we don’t want to define an object type but have specified rooms and floors in our CSV file Building, we prepare the mapping but do not make any configuration here. The column headers of our CSV file are now displayed in the lower part. We now have to assign these to the corresponding categories in i-doit. We can also save the assignments as profiles so that we’re able to load them easily again if necessary. After the import is completed, we can see via the Location View that the entire infrastructure has been created from our CSV file.
Infrastructure – completed in seconds.
Create a server rack
We create a new object of the object type rack, assign a name and select our server room as the location. Next, we need to specify how many height units our rack has. Once the configuration is complete, we open the overview page and get a visualized display of the freely available rack slots. The view is scaled according to the measurement of height units. .. The existing slots can be additionally segmented or supplemented by vertical slots. As you can see, it is also possible to install devices at the back. This gives you the possibility to realize a 1:1 documentation of your rack. In the next part of the series we will show you how easy it is to install devices.
The server rack view is a great way to quickly get a detailed overview of the devices installed.. In addition, we receive extensive information about which connections are free or occupied.. Power consumption and heat generation are also calculated automatically. i-doit thus actively supports you in your capacity management and helps you plan the introduction of new IT systems based on complete IT documentation.
This brings us to the end of our first part “Infrastructure”. We have created all the necessary locations, rooms and server racks that we will need in the next part of the series to document our network.
i-doit offers over 100 predefined object types out-of-the-box to fully document your infrastructure. You also have the possibility to create your own object types and provide them with the required information. Using the CSV import, you can import your existing documentation within a few minutes to make it centrally available with i-doit. With detailed statistics and information about which ports are free or occupied, you can improve your server, capacity and rack management in the long term.
I would be happy if you join us for the second part of our series, where we will be focusing on the topic of network documentation.
If you have any further questions about i-doit, please contact us at email@example.com.
We look forward to seeing you again!
Other parts of this series
6 steps to IT documentation
6 Steps to Successful IT Documentation is a compact guide and supplement to the six videos in our series “6 Steps to IT Documentation.
Never lose your bearings and get to the complete documentation of your IT landscape in a targeted manner.