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Posts Tagged ‘Network

I count myself lucky that I had a professor  in college who took the time to brainwash us all in the ways of network troubleshooting.OSI Model

To this day, I still jolt awake in a cold sweat hearing his voice chant “physical layer! physical layer!”  As many of you know, the Physical layer is  the first layer of the OSI model, the interconnecting medium upon which telecommunications is built.

What he meant was: “Always start at the beginning” or for the more Zen: “If a tree falls in a forest on a box of cat6 cabling, is the contractor still going to use it?”

So now I am finding myself chanting this mantra at anyone who will listen. Why am I reliving my old college days?  Ive found that my professor was right  – when troubleshooting your network, you must always start at the beginning.

We have customers who are ready to tear their hair out  – not to mention their  expensive network equipment – when they call us.  It can be overwhelming to review an Assessment with hundreds of targets, but you can make your life easier if you start at the beginning:

Testing:

1) Ensure your Assessment contains a healthy number of targets that represent the entire deployment (targets on various  subnets, switches, etc)

2) Test to targets from within the same segment and towards other segments

3) Test WAN links and key network locations in EACH DIRECTION

Interpreting Results:

1) Don’t Panic

2) You may find many targets that perform badly, answer these two questions:

a) What are they? (handsets, printers, switches may have variable response to heavy diagnostic testing)
b) where are they? (try to find commonality by subnet and if possible by switch – PHYSICAL LAYER!)

3) Step 2 may answer about 75% of your questions when it comes to finding bad cables, duplex conflicts, bad switch trunks,  etc, but don’t stop there!  Take a deeper dive with outstanding issues to get further diagnostics.  If single tests do not bring an issue to light, consider using real-time monitoring to find help pinpoint transient issues.

Remember, if you didn’t build the network it is that much more important that you completely understand it. By running diagnostics to dozens of targets from various locations and gathering results into one cohesive report, it becomes much easier to quickly identify key performance problems.

PHYSICAL LAYER!

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There has been significant buzz lately about the growth of Cloud Computing. With vendors offering an increasing selection of cloud based applications each year, there is no question that the cloud is where businesses are heading. IDC estimates that the market for cloud products will grow from the current $16B to $56B in 2014.  In the Apparent Networks office, we depend on many cloud based applications, the biggest of which is our cloud CRM database that holds all of our customer, support, sales and inventory data.

There are several reasons why cloud computing applications have a competitive advantage over traditional off-the-shelf solutions, many of which influenced us to move our product offering to the cloud. The most obvious reason is to achieve more efficient utilization of server infrastructure.  By allowing you to pay for just the processing and storage capacity you need for a server at any time, with the capability to upgrade seamlessly, you are minimizing both cost and risk associated with large hardware purchases. Secondly, cloud applications can be updated universally, resulting in a zero administration tool.  No installs, updates or software conflicts exist for the end user using a properly managed cloud product and the maintenance of the server hardware and software is done by the experts, not by your busy IT staff.  From an application development standpoint, quality assurance can always be focused on the current release of the product, allowing for a higher quality product. All of these factors reduce the operating and development costs of applications, resulting in lower costs products with equal or higher value for consumers.

So, why wouldn’t a network administrator want to also move the network monitoring and assessment service to the Cloud too? PathView Cloud, residing in the cloud itself, excels in its unique ability to measure network performance to and from other cloud based applications as well as on your LAN, WAN and VPN. In the increasingly network dependent world of cloud computing, a Remote Performance Management (RPM) tool that can monitor beyond a user’s internal network, especially to a cloud application, is imperative for ensuring optimal business performance.

Learn more about PathView Cloud’s abilities to support a cloud application performance dependent business environment.

 


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