The following points summarize the key concepts of this chapter:
Documenting a Running Network
- By creating a good inventory and a baseline of performance values, you can establish a benchmark against which to compare network performance in the future and identify any needed modifications.
- A network monitor is used to capture and filter data packets and analyze network activity.
- A protocol analyzer is a tool that is used to track network statistics.
- Identifying network bottlenecks will help to determine what network components need to be upgraded.
- Ping and tracert utilities are used to confirm network connections.
- Performance monitors are tools that can be used to track server performance.
- Network operating system manufacturers have created system-management software to aid with monitoring and managing the total system.
- After establishing a baseline, the administrator needs to maintain a history of the network by documenting any subsequent changes and their impact on the system.
Upgrading a Network
- If a network server's CPU is busy over 80 percent of the time, the CPU or the amount of memory in the server might need to be upgraded.
- Performance-monitoring tools can check individual disks for excessive activity. When a disk has a slow response due to excess activity, disk access can be balanced by moving data to another disk.
- If a network has been designed as a bus topology and its users are experiencing frequent network crashes, it might be necessary to upgrade to a star or ring topology.
- The three elements of a server that need to be considered for upgrading are memory (RAM), disk space, and processing power.
- The benefits of upgrading a server are faster processing, the ability to handle more users, and the ability to run more sophisticated software.
- Upgrading a NIC can increase the speed at which a server or workstation can access a network, thus improving performance.
- Upgrading the network media can be expensive, but can improve the speed and performance of an older network.
- To install a new NIC card, you need to follow the same procedures as installing any other expansion card.
- Installing new media for a network can require the expertise of a professional installer. This is especially true if you need to upgrade to fiber optics or wireless systems.
- Upgrading routers, brouters, repeaters, and bridges requires a trained technician.
- When an upgrade is complete, it is necessary to confirm the changes.
- The best way to confirm a working NIC is to use the ping utility to ping the host or another workstation.
Moving a Network
- Planning is the key to successfully moving a network.
- For a long or complicated move, it can be best to use professional movers.
- When a network will be down for several days, it is important to communicate to the users the plans for the move and what they can expect.
- If the network cannot afford any down time, the new network will have to be fully operational before the old network is turned off.
- All hardware and software must be verified before the network is turned over to the users.