An important requirement in any IT manager’s job is identifying the weak points in the network. This involves a careful combination of talking to your users and your predecessor (if possible), and instigating data collection. Every network has its very own folklore! Certain network links may periodically become overloaded, one or two routers or switches may be a little flaky, a server may be past its sell-by date, and so on.
A considerate predecessor might well pass on such vital information to you as you embark on your new job. Let’s assume your predecessor is a kindly soul who wants to help you make an orderly transition into your new role. Further, let’s assume that she tells you to "Watch out for Link 1—it tends to become congested, and the folks on Floor 1 get a little agitated." This is important insider know-how, and we’ll put it to use in the Java code later on.
In many cases, networks are held together by a fragile combination of scripts and insider know-how. What I hope to show in this article is that it is pretty straightforward to produce some Java DMK tools that will assist you in holding your own against the network you manage. There is, of course, no real substitute for a well-designed and well-maintained network, but even in this rare case, our Java tools might provide some assistance.