Recording Your Deployment Procedures
Though each deployment is unique, most incorporate the same basic steps. You can count on installing multiple systems throughout your career, and if you keep a record of your deployment process, you can use it to make your next deployment easier and more efficient.
Your deployment procedures should document every step in the deployment process, from plugging in power cables to setting the root password and applying patches. If you write down the steps you take when installing the first couple of machines, you later can work that into a formal document detailing the proper installation of servers in your environment. The following list contains some deployment information you might want to record:
Access policies for your data center, including phone numbers and addresses
Combinations or locations of keys for locked cabinets and cages
Where to rack certain types of hardware (for example, you might have a rack for your production Web services and another for office services)
Location of software media and documentation
Loading procedures for operating systems
Installation procedures for application software
Any mistakes, problems, or inconsistencies you find during the installation process, and how you solved or worked around them
Keep a Log Book
Any notes or procedures you write down should eventually be placed in a binder or even on a company intranet containing all of your formal documentation. Sharing your documentation with other people will expedite future installations and prevent them from making the same mistakes you might have made.
The next few sections will go through the deployment process in more detail.