Documenting Windows infrastructure for an IT department


Technologies Used: Visio, SnagIt, Personal Brain mind-mapping software, Exchange 2003 & 2010, Remote Desktop, Google Postini, Active Directory, ActiveSync, Outlook Web Application (OWA), Sharepoint, Windows Server 2003

Dates: 9/2012 to 11/2012

Samples:  (Confidential, but I might be able to reveal short excerpts of these docs in person).

An IT company hired me to document email architecture for a major international media company.  This media company had three administrative groups for running Exchange in 3 different data centers. Two were running Exchange 2010, and  one was running Exchange 2003. But  all administrative groups shared Active Directory  Resource to allow all users and distribution lists. The media company used public folders, ActiveSync and OWA; the Exchange 2003 data center (which I documented most thoroughly) used clusters and Storage Groups on Storage Area Networks (SANs); it also ran servers for  message archiving, web proxying, faxing, Blackberry,  business continuity and antivirus. It also used Postini (a Google Enterprise app) for  email security.

The Exchange 2003 data center  was constantly experiencing  outages and needing to implement stopgap fixes. Also, the media company lacked any documentation of what the current system was like (because a key Administrator had recently left).  My job was to talk to  current Exchange administrators and outside Exchange experts to write a 12 page technical white paper recommending short and long term solutions to upper management. I also wrote a 25 page Technical Design Document which documented all major system components of the 2003 data center plus all the configuration settings for the Exchange bridgehead/frontend/servers, system policies, connectors and message formats.

An important part of my job was producing system architecture diagrams  to illustrate the ways that different components interacted with one another. These diagrams  could be used as quick references by management and support staff to understand the implications of any proposed action.