SYDI – Network documentation made easy

SYDI is a project aimed to help system administrators to document their servers. The premise is that everybody things documentation is important, but mostly it never gets done. I would say that the reasons for why this happens lies somewhere between these two statements:

Documentation is boring

I don’t know where to start

While SYDI won’t magically make documentation more fun to do, it can automate some parts of it and give you a starting point. Most of the work with the project has gone into SYDI-Server which is a collection of VBScripts which collect information from Windows computers by using WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) and then writes the output to Microsoft Word or XML files.

The new home for SYDI

While the project is currently hosted over at sydiproject.com, I don’t want to maintain that many websites so I’m moving my different sites and merging them with Networklore.

Other tools

Aside from SYDI server I’ve created three other variants. All of the other tools have “issues”.

SYDI-SQL – Targets MS-SQL servers and creates a report in Word. It’s been some time (years) since I used MS-SQL myself, and at some point Microsoft changed their database scheme without talking to me first. So that broke some parts of SYDI-SQL. Specifically it is while gathering configured jobs on the SQL-Server. This can be disabled through the command line options so that the script doesn’t try to gather the jobs. At some time I will install a SQL-Server and see what could be done about this bug.

SYDI-Exchange – This was a proof of concept script which could document a Microsoft Exchange organization. The problem is that the script was written for Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003. I have not worked with Exchange versions after that and I don’t think that I will start any time soon. So while the script isn’t useful for documentation purposes you might find it useful if you are learning to script and want to see how you can query an LDAP server.

SYDI-Linux – Back before I had kids I had time to tinker with Gentoo Linux, the SYDI-Linux script was created together with a colleague when we were using Gentoo a lot. The script is still online but probably not that useful. While I use Linux more and more these days I don’t have any immediate plans on recreating this script. I don’t know if it is necessary in the same way now that we have tools like Ansible and Puppet.

These older scripts are still available for download over at the old page.