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I work in an IT dept. at a higher ed. institution. Because the department is small and the infrastructure simple, managing all the services we offer out to the school (like LDAP, AD, various DBMS', etc) has always been a sort of word-of-mouth operation. However, in recent months the task of remembering which services affect others has become increasingly complex. Keeping track of what is running where and how it affects everything else (Ex. if I take this server down, what services that might be relying on that machine will be affected? How will other machines be affected?).

Because of this, I'd like to find some software to keep track of all these interrelationships not only to simplify the integration of new services and servers into our infrastructure, but to ensure that future employees won't have to be caught up to speed on all of this stuff. Also, so that nothing gets lost because it was trusted to memory...

Is anyone aware of software that'd be helpful in this case? I'd been thinking about how I'd develop something myself, but if I can save the time, that'd be fantastic...

Thanks everyone :)

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My first approach would be to ask the question: "Does documentation solve my problem?"

I might suggest examining a Wiki approach (foswiki) or some kind of diagrammer (Visio).

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The type of software you're looking fir us called configuration management. There are probably option out there, but our large dept built in house.

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I guess you are running a windows based domain, have a look at SCOM (System Center Operations Manager) or MOM (SCOM's predecessor)

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There's quite a few - look for any ITIL compliant serice management products although they're possibly overkill and expensive. I've found the wiki approach an easy way to at least make a start on things as the more prescriptive products to the extent that the team haven't bothered to keep them up to date.

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