Knowledge tracking tools

What do people use for knowledgebases?

I'm looking for a better (preferably open source) way to track change plans, event resolutions, etc.

e.g. an easy way to dig up what the changes that occured on a system were for, who did them, etc.
Obviously rancid et al shows us what changed when, but not the change plan that was responsbile or what problem it solved.

Possibly adopting a new ticketing system as part of this, so if people have built such system on top of RT, etc, that would be good to know.


An internal Wiki with a page dedicated to each machine or machine-class.
There's good integration between TWiki and Bugzilla, but we have the
classic dichotomy of ticket systems vs bug-trackers: Bugzilla is better
for software, RT is better for hardware and networks.

Wikis greatly increase the retention and availability of knowledge: they
are easy to use, so people *do* use them; they are easy to search, so
people do that, too.


I like RCS better than RANCID for config change tracking, although an
ideal system would probably involve both.

RANCID is great for alerting you to changes people "forgot" to report, or
to unauthorized network changes, since it goes and diffs the configs
whether a change has happened or not.

Tracking config changes in RCS the way I've done it and seen it done
elsewhere involves manually checking the config out before making changes,
and manually copying the config to the TFTP server and checking it back in
whenever a change has been made. It's a bit more work, but it prompts the
user for an explanation of the changes whenever a config is checked back

This isn't a good defense against somebody who doesn't want their config
changes to be known about, but if people are serious about using it you
get a "this person did this because of this as reported in this ticket
number" notation to go along with every configuration change.


I'll second the suggestion for an informal wiki; simple, zero-policy, and
allows people to cross-reference information in a far richer manner than
you can get out of most "knowledge base" applications. Plus, if you have a
team of a few people, one or more will usually take on an unofficial role
of "wiki mom", cleaning up the worst of the grammatical errors, adding and
maintaining links, etc.