Linux System Discovery

Over the last couple of weeks I have been working on doing some in depth “System Discovery” work for a client.

The client came to us after a major employee restructuring,  during which they lost ALL of the technical knowledge of their network.
The potentially devastating business move on their part turned into a very intriguing challenge for me.

They asked me to come in and document what service each of their 3 Linux servers.
As I dug in I found that their network had some very unique, intelligent solutions:

  • A reliable production network
  • Thin Client Linux printing stations,  remotely connected via VPN
  • Several Object Oriented PHP based web applications

Several open source products had been combined to create robust solutions

It has been a very rewarding experience to document the systems and give ownership of the systems, network and processes back to the owner.

The documentation I have provided included

  • A high level network diagram as a quick reference overview for new administrators and developers
  • An overall application and major network, server and node object description
  • Detailed per server/node description with connection documentation,  critical processes , important paths and files and dependencies
  • Contact Information for the people and companies that the systems rely on.

As a business owner myself,  I have tried to help the client recognize that even when they use an outside consultant,  it is VERY important that they maintain details of their critical business processes INSIDE of their company.  Their might not be anything in business that is as rewarding as giving ownership of a “lost” system back to a client.