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TAP Into Technology

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Be Prepared: What to Bring when Troubleshooting a Network

Posted by Tony Fortunato | 10/19/15 12:00 PM

Picture this - I’m troubleshooting a problem with a client. We get into the elevator go down a few floors, past a few card access protected doors, into the server room and get ready to start troubleshooting. I ask for an AC outlet to connect my laptop and other tools into. Oops, only one outlet available in that rack and no power bars to be found. So now the client scrambles around looking for a power bar or if he can temporarily unplug something. And the story goes on with Ethernet ports, etc, followed up with multiple trips back to the IT storage room and calls to other staff looking for stuff.

In this blog we will go over what you should have with you on your next engagement troubleshooting a network.

The point is that I am onsite for a limited time and cannot afford to spend extra time looking for power bars, patch cables, etc. To make this a bit more stressful is at times I may be working after hours or at site with no equipment.

The other week someone emailed me and asked what tools do I bring along to by engagements and I answered, “It depends on what I’m doing and the technology I’m working with.” The goal is to bring just enough that you are not weighed down like a pack mule, but to bring some extra equipment to avoid some obvious issues. For example a few patch cables of varying lengths. How many times have you cursed your cable because its 1 inch too short, or you run into some equipment that still requires an old fashion cross over cable?


What Your Network Is Missing 7 Tools To TAP

I think every analyst should have a written or mental list of what equipment they should always have on hand to reduce the number of things that may trip you up. In this video I cover what I’m bringing along for a VOIP baselining/troubleshooting engagement.



Want to learn more about the many network tools that help you manage your network? Download What Your Network Is Missing: 7 Tools To TAP


Topics: Network Management

Written by Tony Fortunato

Tony Fortunato is a Senior Network Performance Specialist with experience in design, implementation and troubleshooting networks since 1989. Tony will teach or troubleshoot on your live network as part of his customized onsite training service for your staff.