Archive for September, 2009

Why Autonegotiate Fails

September 17, 2009

The IEEE wrote the 802.3u standard that defines auto-negotiation for Ethernet interfaces. The problem is that the standard was optional, and also open for interpretation.

As a result, many devices don’t correctly auto-negotiate and your network ends up with duplex mismatches, 10meg speeds that should be set to 100meg, and collisions when you should have none.

This problem continues to plague network administrators, as it can take many hours to track down exactly where the problem is,  only to discover a duplex mismatch that can be fixed in under 30 seconds.

Thus, finding the “needle in the haystack” in the first place is the difficult part of the process.

The user typically complains about “network slowness” or a “poor quality VoIP call”.  That leads to 4-5 hours of troubleshooting.  In many cases, the problem isn’t evident at the time the engineer checks due to the network being a very dynamic environment — the problem tends to go un-resolved and the user remains dis-satisfied.

What you really need to do is to be proactive and root out the duplex mismatches so they won’t cause problems down the road.


Have More Eureka Moments in your Life

September 3, 2009

Have you ever been researching a problem for hours on end and then finally stumble across the source of the problem and then scream “Eureka!” and quickly solve the problem?  Remember how good you felt as a result?

 I’d be willing to bet that you’d want to have more of those moments (but without the hours of painstaking research and without your users or boss looming over you impatiently waiting for a solution), right?

What if I told you that you could have complete visibility into your entire network — not just a few core links, and not just utilization and an “errors” graph, but complete knowledge of when network faults occur, where they occur, and exactly why they occur?  My guess is that you’d become addicted to such a solution because you could solve a ton of problems in your network and look and feel like the expert that you are.

Total Network Visibility is the ability to know when network faults occur in your network, and be able to quickly locate where and why it happened.

Your next “Eureka” moment is just a few minutes away….