Standards & White Papers

Secant’s engineers have collaborated to develop and evolve a set of white papers that we call Secant Standards. These documents describe best practices for deployment, configuration, design, and documentation for various technologies. Many years of experience, research, development, and refinement are reflected in our Standards.

Secant Standards are the results of many years of real-world experience and refinement. When Secant consults on or implements a technology project, you’re not just getting the experience of an individual or a few individuals — you’re getting the experience of a team that has contributed to our Standards over the years.

Here are 10 reasons why standards are a vital part of working with technology:

  • Efficiency – Standards help streamline the process of deploying, managing, and configuring technology.
  • Scalability – Implementing the right technology and configuring for future growth leads to greater scalability and greater return on investment.
  • Security – Security in technology should never be overlooked. Standards help maintain a high level of security with each piece of technology being deployed.
  • Manageability – Consistent configurations and deployments lead to greater manageability. It’s one thing to maintain a network with many devices, but it’s even more difficult to maintain a network with many devices all configured differently.
  • Documentation – Standards allow for a common approach to documentation, which leads to more efficient troubleshooting and better decision making.
  • Predictability – Having standards leads to predictable behavior for technology solutions, which leads to less need for ongoing troubleshooting.
  • Flexibility – Standards implement best practices, which provide greater flexibility when future changes are needed, allowing the technology infrastructure to grow and adapt to new business needs.
  • Performance – Configuration in technology can greatly affect how the technology performs. We always optimize our configurations with performance in mind.
  • Resiliency – When technology is not designed and configured appropriately, a small change in the environment can result in major outages. We always plan for the appropriate level of fault tolerance to meet the availability needs of the organization.
  • Visibility – The best way to maintain a technology environment includes having a high level of visibility of the environment at all times. We always plan for appropriate monitoring and alerting so that problems are identified as soon as possible.

IP Addressing and VLAN Numbering

Publication No. 100

This document provides a standard for the assignment of private IPv4 addresses and the numbering of VLANs within an organization’s network. This standard should be adhered to in all locations where the Secant IP Addressing standard is already being used. For existing networks that do not currently use the Secant IP Addressing standard, the existing IP addressing scheme should be evaluated to determine if the network can be reconfigured to this standard. In most cases reconfiguring the network to use the Secant standard is  highly recommended and can occur with relatively minimal downtime. This IP Addressing standard scheme can also be phased in over time in many cases depending on the existing IP addressing scheme and network configuration.

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Service Accounts

Publication No. 101

An account used by an application (rather than a user) can be referred to as a service account. Many network applications such as backup software require a saved set of credentials to run. This standard identifies best practices for creating, configuring, and documenting service accounts.

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SMTP Notifications

Publication No. 102

Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) notifications are one of the most common built in notification methods for applications and devices. Many applications and devices support sending SMTP notifications directly from the application/device to an SMTP server. This approach to notifications has a number of limitations but is still considered worthwhile for many devices and applications particularly when other more sophisticated monitoring methods are not already being used. For example, one limitation to monitoring backups with this approach is that if the backup services are not working at all, then the service can’t send an alert to notify someone that the backups are not working. Thus, the recommended approach to monitoring and alerting involves using a combination of strategies including more sophisticated monitoring solutions. Secant offers several more sophisticated monitoring and alerting solutions.

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