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📄 Contents

  1. 1.1 Building a Site from Scratch
  2. 1.2 Growing a Small Site
  3. 1.3 Going Global
  4. 1.4 Replacing Services
  5. 1.5 Moving a Data Center
  6. 1.6 Moving to/Opening a New Building
  7. 1.7 Handling a High Rate of Office Moves
  8. 1.8 Assessing a Site (Due Diligence)
  9. 1.9 Dealing with Mergers and Acquisitions
  10. 1.10 Coping with Frequent Machine Crashes
  11. 1.11 Surviving a Major Outage or Work Stoppage
  12. 1.12 What Tools Should Every SA Team Member Have?
  13. 1.13 Ensuring the Return of Tools
  14. 1.14 Why Document Systems and Procedures?
  15. 1.15 Why Document Policies?
  16. 1.16 Identifying the Fundamental Problems in the Environment
  17. 1.17 Getting More Money for Projects
  18. 1.18 Getting Projects Done
  19. 1.19 Keeping Customers Happy
  20. 1.20 Keeping Management Happy
  21. 1.21 Keeping SAs Happy
  22. 1.22 Keeping Systems from Being Too Slow
  23. 1.23 Coping with a Big Influx of Computers
  24. 1.24 Coping with a Big Influx of New Users
  25. 1.25 Coping with a Big Influx of New SAs
  26. 1.26 Handling a High SA Team Attrition Rate
  27. 1.27 Handling a High User-Base Attrition Rate
  28. 1.28 Being New to a Group
  29. 1.29 Being the New Manager of a Group
  30. 1.30 Looking for a New Job
  31. 1.31 Hiring Many New SAs Quickly
  32. 1.32 Increasing Total System Reliability
  33. 1.33 Decreasing Costs
  34. 1.34 Adding Features
  35. 1.35 Stopping the Hurt When Doing This
  36. 1.36 Building Customer Confidence
  37. 1.37 Building the Teams Self-Confidence
  38. 1.38 Improving the Teams Follow-Through
  39. 1.39 Handling an Unethical or Worrisome Request
  40. 1.40 My Dishwasher Leaves Spots on My Glasses
  41. 1.41 Protecting Your Job
  42. 1.42 Getting More Training
  43. 1.43 Setting Your Priorities
  44. 1.44 Getting All the Work Done
  45. 1.45 Avoiding Stress
  46. 1.46 What Should SAs Expect from Their Managers?
  47. 1.47 What Should SA Managers Expect from Their SAs?
  48. 1.48 What Should SA Managers Provide to Their Boss?
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This chapter is from the book

1.8 Assessing a Site (Due Diligence)

  • Use the chapters and subheadings in this book to create a preliminary list of areas to investigate, taking the items in the Basics section as a rough baseline for a well-run site.
  • Reassure existing SA staff and management that you are here not to pass judgment but to discover how this site works, in order to understand its similarities to and differences from sites with which you are already familiar. This is key in both consulting assignments and in potential acquisition due-diligence assessments.
  • Have a private document repository, such as a wiki, for your team. The amount of information you will collect will overwhelm your ability to remember it: document, document, document.
  • Create or request physical-equipment lists of workstations and servers, as well as network diagrams and service workflows. The goal is to generate multiple views of the infrastructure.
  • Review domains of authentication, and pay attention to compartmentalization and security of information.
  • Analyze the ticket-system statistics by opened-to-close ratios month to month. Watch for a growing gap between total opened and closed tickets, indicating an overloaded staff or an infrastructure system with chronic difficulties.
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