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Network troubleshooting and diagnostics: Introduction

Network troubleshooting and diagnostics begins with realizing that there is a problem and then finding out what that problem really is. Once you know the root cause of the problem, the resolution is usually a Google search away. But finding that root cause can consume the vast majority of the time involved with fixing the problem. No matter what your experience level with troubleshooting, maintaining a good tool suite along with a good technique is critically important. This chapter, excerpted from "The Shortcut Guide to Network Management for the Mid-Market" by Greg Shields, will dig into both to help you become a better troubleshooter.

This tip is excerpted from "Network troubleshooting and diagnostics," Chapter 4 of The Shortcut Guide to Network Management for the Mid-Market , written by Greg Shields and published by Realtimepublishers.com. You can read the entire e-book for free at the link above.
Shortcut Guide to Network Management for the Mid-Market

The most difficult part of any troubleshooting process is often just learning that there is a problem. Throughout, this guide has discussed how an effective NMS can keep you informed about the status and health of your network. We've discussed how an NMS can inform you when a network fault occurs or when performance suffers. We talked about how that same NMS can assist with maintaining a stable and consistent configuration for the devices on the network. Utilization of an effective NMS with administrator notification goes far toward resolving this difficult part of troubleshooting -- knowing if there even is a problem.

Next up in difficulty is finding out what that problem really is. It isn't a stretch to say that the same NMS that alerts you when a problem occurs can assist with problem identification. But sometimes the event or condition that triggers the alarm isn't always the root cause of the problem. If you receive an alert that a network link isn't meeting its performance SLA, you don't always immediately know what is causing performance to drop.

Once you know the root cause of the problem, the resolution is usually a Google search away. But finding that root cause can consume the vast majority of the time involved with fixing the problem. It is this process of network troubleshooting where network administrators truly earn our keep. The ability to quickly and efficiently perform troubleshooting when a problem occurs separates the veteran administrators from the green ones. No matter what your experience level with troubleshooting, maintaining a good tool suite along with a good technique is critically important. This last chapter will dig into both to help you become a better troubleshooter.


NETWORK TROUBLESHOOTING AND DIAGNOSTICS

  Introduction
  Developing good troubleshooting technique
  Tool suites for identifying the problem
  IP address management
  Network engineering applications

About the author:
Greg Shields is a Principal Consultant with 3t Systems in Denver, Colorado - www.3tsystems.com. With more than 10 years of experience in information technology, Greg has developed extensive experience in systems administration, engineering, and architecture specializing in Microsoft, Citrix, and VMware technologies. Greg is a Contributing Editor for both Redmond Magazine and Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine, authoring two regular columns along with numerous feature articles, webcasts, and white papers. He is known for his abilities to relate highly technical concepts with a drive towards fulfilling business needs. Greg is also a highly sought-after instructor and speaker, teaching system and network troubleshooting curriculum for TechMentor Events, a twice-annual IT conference, and producing computer-based training curriculum for CBT Nuggets on numerous topics. Greg is a triple Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) with security specialization and a Certified Citrix Enterprise Administrator (CCEA).

This was last published in September 2007

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