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Chapter 22. Troubleshooting Your Network > Tips from the Windows Pros: Monitori...

Tips from the Windows Pros: Monitoring Your LAN

As businesses increasingly rely on computers by the thousands, flung far and wide around the globe, the job of managing them—that is, monitoring, identifying, and correcting problems—has become an industry of its own. Enterprise management is a hot expression in the computer industry now. Very pricey software systems have been developed to centrally monitor computers, networks, hubs, routing hardware, UPSs, and even computer room fire alarms. These systems detect problems and can notify staff via pager, email, printouts, or, who knows, probably even carrier pigeon.

The purpose of these systems is to catch problems as they develop, with any luck, before they disrupt people trying to do their work. Instrumentation is the key here: Equipment has to be designed to be monitored. A TCP/IP-based protocol called Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) has been around for years, and “managed” network equipment is capable of being probed and reconfigured via SNMP. Along with this capability comes a hefty price tag, but the net cost of maintaining and dispatching staff to fix problems is much greater.


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