Friday, June 6, 2008

Managing your network contracts

I've got a fairly complex infrastructure for a small time Admin. At least, I feel like I do.

I've got a point to point between an office and a co-location, I've got 3 office locations, and soon to have two colocations. Soon, one of the offices is going away, and I'm implementing an MPLS network to function as the primary VPN (Juniper Netscreens as the backup).

I've got a total of 5 IP network connections to manage, plus a T1 worth of phone lines at the corporate office, and a couple dozen telephone lines between the other two offices.

Recently, we moved an office from downtown Manhattan to north-central New Jersey, and in the process had to switch carriers. Our telephone provider couldn't give us access in NJ, and our T1 provider couldn't do anything less than a T3 there. Since we're not made of money, we went with DSL there (a big, big mistake. Never trust a best effort service as the primary network connection for any of your offices). I'm almost to the point where we've got an AT&T T1 line in there. I got the IP information today.

Anyway, I've got a lot of connections to keep track of. Currently I have an internal wiki page to keep track of all my connections. I'd prefer something a bit more structured.

Does anyone have any suggestions for managing vendors? Is there software out there that I'm missing, or does everyone just keep it in the electronic equivalent of a filing cabinet (or a real one?).

Comment and let me know!