Network maintenance is an ongoing chore, like housework. And network maintenance is just as annoying and boring as housework. (Can you tell I have an attitude about housework? I hate doing things that I get to watch come undone, do them again, watch them come undone again, do them again…).
Some maintenance jobs need to be done with relentless frequency, while others are intermittent. The only way to manage the job of maintaining your network is to prepare for the task properly. You must have the information and tools you need at hand. Information that you keep on a computer might not be accessible when you most need it—drives die, controllers that run the drives get terminally ill, power supplies fail, and so on.
In this chapter, I’ll discuss some of the annoyances you’ll face as you work to keep your networking running smoothly (or, just running). I’ll cover ways of documenting your equipment, network settings, and other important data so you have a reference when you have to update or replace equipment. I’ll present some methods of making the backup process easier and more convenient, which makes it more likely that backups will be performed every day. And, I’ll talk about the need to upgrade equipment and operating system files.
Every time one of the computers on my network has a problem, I have to check the settings. I keep a file of each computer’s settings in a file ...