Workflow within an IT team often involves both separation and coordination between management-related tasks and those performed by other team members. Within a config change approval system, for example, a manager might set the policy and strategy based on which team members make changes to their assigned areas of the network. Conversely, when a team member sets up a device config change that targets a specific set of nodes, a manager often provides approval for the change and may schedule the day the time for the change to take place.
One division of labor that often goes unintegrated in the daily processes of network maintenance is tracking the support status for the different devices running on the network. It’s common for a manager to track support and maintenance of equipment as an acitivity isolated from other more integrated network monitoring processes.
The disadvantage of isolating support, planning, and procurement to management oversight is in creating a single point of failure. While a manager checks the activity of team members, nobody tends to check the manager’s awareness of which devices on the network are nearing end of life or end of vendor support.
The significant advantage of delegating consistent tracking of device support status to a team member with responsibility for the relevant area of the network is that the responsible team member consistently keeps support status in mind when planning device configuration work. As a result, in planning changes in the network, different team members can appropriately engage managers to plan and procure device upgrades as an integral part of maintaining the of integrity of the network. Also, a manager who receives reports on end of life and end of sales related to network devices can trust the point person on the team to provide the most strategic information about what to do about the devices that appear in a report. Team members gain additional ownership over the devices they maintain and managers gain an overview that helps them focus without being bogged down with unnecessary details.
SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager version 7.2 introduces an End of Life and End of Sales tracking feature that integrates this additional awareness into the IT team’s daily monitoring workflow.