You know the drill: the phone starts ringing and your inbox is blowing up because something’s wrong with the Network…again. Never before in history has there […]

Faster Network Troubleshooting: 2 Must-Have Ingredients

You know the drill: the phone starts ringing and your inbox is blowing up because something’s wrong with the Network…again. Never before in history has there […]

You know the drill: the phone starts ringing and your inbox is blowing up because something’s wrong with the Network…again. Never before in history has there been a time like today: the demand for the technology that powers business operations is growing exponentially and the IT infrastructure — that lays the foundation for the technology businesses use — has never been so important…or over-taxed! When something goes wrong, and invariably, something always goes wrong, how do you minimize the losses that start incurring with each minute of downtime?

You need to be able to do the following quickly:

  • Efficiently pinpoint the problem
  • Identify exact what is impacted (such as other equipment, applications)
  • See any notes about related issues that have been left before
  • Access information you need such as warranty info, security patches, updates, vendor contact info, and more

So, how can you get all of this information at your fingertips?

#1. Network Diagrams

Network diagrams are key to troubleshooting effectively. What are network diagrams? Simply put, they are visual depictions of the network. They typically come in two flavors, depending upon what you want to see — the physical network or the logical network. Logical network diagrams show you how the information flows through the network whereas physical network diagrams show you the physical devices and objects in the network. Good diagram/documentation software gives you access to both views with a click.

Network diagrams give you an overview of what you have in the network, where it all is, and how it connects together. Beyond just an overview, they can also give you detailed information about your routers, devices, ports, cards, firewalls, and connections. Drill down further and get information on what has worked in the past when there’s been an issue, license info, warranty info, vendor contact info, security patches, etc.

#2. Current Information

But, what these network diagrams tools lack is the automation piece. Network diagrams are a powerful tool for troubleshooting…with one big caveat: they have to be current. So, maybe you, or a colleague, has drawn some network diagrams by hand or using Visio in the past.

Maybe you still reference those diagrams from time to time… what’s the problem? They’re not current. Networks are in a constant state of flux: it’s simply not possible to keep up with a myriad of network changes using diagrams that require manual updating. I’ve heard from organizations who have so many spreadsheets and Visio diagrams that it was so hard to find which spreadsheet correlates to which Visio diagram and there just is no way to search for information with so many scattered files. Information that’s not accurate won’t do much to help…Sure, Visio and spreadsheets can get fairly complex (if you put in the time investment), automated network diagram software such as netTerrain ensures the information in your diagrams remains up-to-date and accurate.

Automated network diagram software will automatically discover the network and map the network with web-based diagrams, of what is on your network. netTerrain, for example, uses SNMP and captures Layer 2 and 3 data, with CDP, LLDP, routing tables, etc. You can also easily pull in your data, in real-time, from an endless array of sources (homegrown tools, ServiceNow, AWS, VCenter, Broadcom (formerly CA) Spectrum, spreadsheets, Visio, and much, much more).

Bottom line? If you’re reading this, you may be thinking it’s time to upgrade your current documentation/diagram system (or lack thereof) with a supported, modern, and automatic solution — such as netTerrain. If you’d like to schedule a 15-minute discovery call with us, click here. During this call, you’ll get to find out how netTerrain may (or may not) help solve your pain points and make life easier, get a free trial, or schedule a demo.

Fred Koh
Fred Koh
As a seasoned sales executive, Fred Koh serves as Director of Sales and is responsible for Graphical Networks sales and channel partner program, marketing strategy, and operations.

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