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Regardless of the protocol you choose, you must obtain all network addresses before installing or upgrading a network device. This brings its own set of considerations. As you saw in Chapter 4, “TCP/IP Utilities,” using TCP/IP as an example, each IP address must be unique, and just guessing at one is bound to create havoc. Clearly, you need a well-documented IP address and associated parameters, such as where the IP address comes from. Your SOPs should specify how network addresses are to be formatted and distributed.

Workstation Configuration

A standardized workstation configuration serves a company well for a couple of reasons:

■    You can narrow the scope of problems at a client station.

■    You can more easily troubleshoot if everyone uses the same operating system, network client, and productivity software.

This is not to say that everyone in the office has to have the exact same software. The engineering group would most likely need a CAD (computer-aided design) program, along with the appropriate horsepower and RAM. Giving everyone in the company a CAD program, however, would not only waste resources, it would be difficult for the accounting department to use a CAD program to create a paycheck for each employee. Therefore, a standard for workstation configuration is usually mandated by a group’s function. However, once an application is chosen, only that application (preferably the same version) should be used by anyone who requires access to that type of program. Which applications and which versions of each application can be used on the network should be documented in your SOPs.

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