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This chapter is from the book

Just the Facts

When considering the facts in an intermittent or complex network issue (also known in the industry lingo as "troubleshooting a weird problem"), you need to categorize a basic list of objective items that can help point toward a solution:

  • Duration of problem (all the time or intermittent?)

  • Start of problem (date and time)

  • Place (on the network; physical location)

  • Number of users involved

  • Configuration of workstation (like or unlike others?)

  • Number and types of applications involved (running simultaneously with?)

  • User name(s) involved; security group(s) belonged to

  • Measurements

  • Behavior of similar applications

Even though you might have a lot of objective data, you might not have the right objective data to analyze in order to come to the right conclusion. Therefore, your plan item on your first couple of tries on a tough problem will probably be to gather more data. Don't give up; the more data you have, the better guess you can make.

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