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Network Troubleshooting Tools by Joseph D Sloan

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Chapter 3. Connectivity Testing

This chapter describes simple tests for individual network links and for end-to-end connectivity between networked devices. The tools described in this chapter are used to show that there is a functioning connection between two devices. These tools can also be used for more sophisticated testing, including the discovery of path characteristics and the general performance measurements. These additional uses are described in Chapter 4. Tools used for testing protocol issues related to connectivity are described in Chapter 9. You may want to turn next to these chapters if you need additional information in either of these areas.

This chapter begins with a quick review of cabling practices. If your cabling isn’t adequate, that’s the first thing you need to address. Next, there is a lengthy discussion of using ping to test connectivity along with issues that might arise when using ping, such as security problems. Next, I describe alternatives to ping. Finally, I discuss alternatives that run on Microsoft Windows platforms.

Cabling

For most managers, cabling is the most boring part of a network. Even administrators who are normally control freaks will often jump at the opportunity to delegate or cede responsibility for cabling to somebody else. It has none of the excitement of new equipment or new software. It is often hidden away in wiring closets, walls, and ceilings. When it is visible, it is usually in the way or an eyesore. The only time most managers ...

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