Troubleshooting network problems: the challenges

Finding the cause of the problem can be more difficult because of 1 or more of the following challenges:

  • No standard troubleshooting workflow
  • Increasingly complex network and application systems
  • Different tool sets and documentation methods
  • Isolating the problem is too time consuming
  • Technical skill sets widely vary

 
When we take a closer look, we discover that often legacy tools and methods are used to troubleshoot daily problems.
However, as technology such as BYOD and IoT become more common, those old-school methods won’t be sufficient, costing your organization time in lost productivity, user patience and ultimately money.

Why isn’t what you are doing working?

In most cases this is how IT teams work:
A call comes in, a ticket is created and after a few basic checks a technician goes to the user’s desk to do some tests.
There is, in many cases, no standard way of working. Each technician does the tests he thinks are necessary based on his experience and training, using the tools he prefers.
As a consequence the same problem can be solved quickly or not depending on the technician who handles the ticket.
When a ticket is escalated, usually the engineer needs to start all over again with the tests as there is no or little documentation on what tests were done or which were the results.

NetScout LinkSprinter

How to resolve these issues faster?

New situation:
A call comes in, a ticket is created and after a few checks, the technician goes to the user’s desk with his LinkSprinter. When plugged in to the user’s connection, a standardized autotest starts for:

  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • Link to the Switch
  • DHCP connection
  • Gateway connection
  • Internet connection

And in less than 10 seconds, the technician can detect what is going wrong.

LinkSprinter_Cloud

And what about the test results?

The results are shown on the LinkSprinter with colored LEDs (green, red and yellow) indicating whether there is a problem or not.
To understand the red or yellow lights, there are 2 options:  email or web service.
Both giving the same information, allowing annotations (text and/or photo’s)
 
LinkSprinter is designed to make documentation easy. It can be configured to send all test results to the Link-Live Cloud Service, offering each team member the same information. Additionally this information can be used for historical reporting, baselining and future troubleshooting.
 
Link-Live supports automated test results uploaded from other NETSCOUT handheld tools, providing a single dashboard that can include copper, fiber and Wi-Fi test results in a single location.
Curious about the other handheld tools? Read this blogpost

Conclusion

The LinkSprinter enables IT teams to quickly troubleshoot network problems. An automated workflow is created by streamlining and simplying common tests. The easy-to-read LED’s and test results enable any technician or engineer to get to the root cause of the network problem, solve it and no longer lose precious time on documentation.
Download the full NETSCOUT whitepaper “Problem Domain Isolation with LinkSprinter” in the right column.Or contact us at NET-measure to get more information.