Establishing Policy and Metric Baselines

As mentioned earlier, it is recommended that you first begin defining policies and procedures regarding service levels and objectives. Because each environment varies in design, you can’t create cookie-cutter policies—you need to tailor them to your particular business practices and to the environment. In addition, you should strive to set policies that set user expectations and, more important, help winnow out empirical data.

Essentially, policies and procedures define how the system is supposed to be used—establishing guidelines to help users understand that the system can’t be used in any way they see fit. Many benefits are derived from these policies and procedures. For example, in an environment where policies and procedures are working successfully and where network performance becomes sluggish, it would be safe to assume that groups of people weren’t playing a multiuser network game, that several individuals weren’t sending enormous email attachments to everyone in the Global Address List, or that a rogue web or FTP server wasn’t placed on the network.

The network environment is shaped by the business more so than the IT department. Therefore, it’s equally important to gain an understanding of users’ expectations and requirements through interviews, questionnaires, surveys, and more. Some examples of policies and procedures that you can implement in your environment pertaining to end users could be the following:

. Email message size, including attachments can’t exceed 10MB.

. SQL Server databases settings will be enforced with Policy Based Management.

. Beta software, freeware, and shareware can be installed only on test equipment (that is, not on client machines or servers in the production environment).

. Specify what software is allowed to run on a user’s PC through centrally managed but flexible group policies.

. All computing resources are for business use only (in other words, no gaming or personal use of computers is allowed).

. Only business-related and approved applications will be supported and allowed on the network.

. All home directories will be limited in size (for example, 500MB) per user.

. Users must either fill out the technical support Outlook form or request assistance through the advertised help desk phone number.

Policies and procedures, however, aren’t just for end users. They can also be established and applied to IT personnel. In this scenario, policies and procedures can serve as guidelines for technical issues, rules of engagement, or an internal set of rules to abide by. The following list provides some examples of policies and procedures that might be applied to the IT department:

. System backups must include System State data and should be completed by 5:00 a.m. each workday, and restores should be tested frequently for accuracy and disaster preparedness.

. Routine system maintenance should be performed only outside of normal business hours, for example, weekdays between 8:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. or on weekends.

. Basic technical support requests should be attended to within two business days.

. Priority technical support requests should be attended to within four hours of the request.

. Any planned downtime for servers should follow a change-control process and must be approved by the IT director at least one week in advance with a five-day lead time provided to those impacted by the change.

Source of Information : Sams - Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed

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