The Essentials Series: Network Troubleshooting and Problem Identification

by Greg Shields


For the harried network administrator, any tools that automate otherwise manual tasks and quickly take them from problem to resolution are highly desired. Techniques and technologies exist today that make a lot of the otherwise highly-manual activities of the network administrator significantly easier. The Essentials Series: Network Troubleshooting and Problem Identification discusses a few of those tasks along with ways to make them easier.


The first article discusses the need for high-level flow analysis monitoring to augment traditional packet-based monitoring for problem identification. The second article then continues the discussion with a look at tracking down problems betweenthe network and the application. With the right integrated notification solutions in place, finding a problem's source grows easy. The final article moves into the needs for centralized and automated configuration management for the prevention of problems before they happen.


Article 1: Bandwidth Monitoring and Traffic Analysis

In this article we look at the differences between traditional packet-based monitoring and the problems it has a hard time resolving. The article discusses how what is needed is a higher-level perspective through the technique of flow analysis commonly called NetFlow monitoring.

Article 2: Isolating Network vs. Application Problems

The traditional IT organization usually tasks network administrators with managing the network and application administrators with their applications. But problems aren't always localized to one of these two halves. Finding the resolution to complex problems across servers, networks, and applications requires interaction with both teams. This article discusses how the right tools enable the necessary levels of teamwork for quickly identifying and resolving problems.

Article 3: Automating the Top 5 Network Tasks with Configuration Management

Configuration management at first blush can be a dry topic. Yet the automated logging and storing config files is something that not all environments do. This article discusses the benefits gained by the environment and the administrator with the addition of effective network configuration management and automation.