Hardware is the Core
Without Hardware or computer equipment there can not be a network. You can have the most efficient wiring structure and exceptional color coding but that does not make up the network.
It will always boil down to the switches/hubs, routers, firewalls, servers and user computers.
So what's the big deal?
To be effective you will need to know virtually everything about what connects to this network. Not necessarily how they work like a user would but you need to know the connectivity aspects.
For instance, I used to have a user that had a very expensive and highly complicated instrument and it ran OS/2 as the operating system. Well I knew OS/2 and how to connect it to the network but that was it. I could not tell you how the equipment ran.
The first step is tracking down all of the physical devices. You will need to track down every piece. Ask co-workers and managers. But track them down. Be diligent about it.
Lastly, know your inventory so that maintaining or administering can be done easily. It is better to know about it ahead of time and be prepared rather than be surprised to find a piece of hardware that the company has had for two years.
You should be identifying the equipment now and documenting. So learn while you are doing it. Ask questions.
* What is the Operating System
* How much Memory does it have?
* What is the CPU speed?
* How fast is the network card?
* What is the IP address?
* Does it require special configuration settings?
You get the point now.
Copyright (c) 2006 Buddy Shearer
Buddy Shearer is not a sought-after Internet marketer but rather a regular guy trying to make a living. He can be found building up Network Management Consultant and other useful information.