In our last post we talked about how muffing a device configuration could be one of those dreaded career limiting moves. It’s easy to do. There are over 17,000 Cisco IOS commands. How’s your average network admin to know the difference between Clock Rate vs. Bandwidth and Process-ID vs. ASN? Well fortunately, there’s a better way if you’re willing to learn a few new skills.
How Best Practices Can Help
Many of us, we live in a “ready, fire, aim” world. We are under tremendous under pressure to get things done fast -- so fast that we don’t have time to aim first and then fire! What does this have to do with network configuration? This – most technical problems aren’t solved using technology alone. Resilient solutions take a combination of technology and process. While others are firing and missing, use this opportunity to step forward and propose some meaningful changes to your process. A good place to look for process ideas is an IT governance framework like ITIL. Most teams recognize the need for improvement and you’ll be well regarded for making needed recommendations.
Another helpful perspective is to adopt a holistic approach to solving the problem. Take a broader approach. Which leads us to our overlooked network configuration practices.
These practices support good process and will allow you to take an effective comprehensive approach helping you to 1) identify devices and protect working configurations, 2) know what changed and when, 3) know when device configurations are out of compliance with standards and practices, and finally 4) recover from harmful changes or catastrophic failure quickly. In summary these practices will help you reduce human error, be more productive and improve network availability – the stuff great promotions are made of.
In our next post we will explore each of these practices in more detail and talk not only about specific objectives, but also specific actions to take to achieve these objectives.
You can also find and read other posts in this 7-part series here