Network troubleshooting in practice
How the Allegro Network Multimeter got a large customer service center back on its feet
BITMARCK, a leading IT firm in the healthcare sector, supports health insurance companies serving altogether some 26 million people. Whenever malfunctions occur during the installation or operation of IT architecture, action needs to be taken fast. After all, apart from wasting time and money, errors also cause annoyance if the client – be it a bank, web shop or insurance company – can’t respond to customers’ enquiries fast enough.
Successful troubleshooting is all the more vital if problems are being suffered by a new client. BITMARCK had been contracted to set up and maintain Citrix terminal servers at two of the health insurance company’s eighteen sites – including in Leipzig, where Allegro Packets is also based.
But complications quickly emerged in Leipzig where for some reason, the connection between the network and the terminal server didn’t work smoothly.
As a result, applications ran extremely slowly and sometimes not at all. Monitors kept freezing and nothing seemed to work as it should.
Ulrich Niedermeier, the network manager in charge at BITMARCK, describes the successive approach used to locate the error.
“First of all, of course, we tried to find out whether it was our fault, i.e. whether the interruptions were caused on the server and network traffic wasn’t arriving where it was supposed to. But everything was running properly at the data center. The funny thing was that the performance issue only affected Leipzig, not the other site. Having ruled out the server, we examined the clients. Colleagues and contractors from Munich flew to Leipzig to try and isolate the problem. But once again, the cause couldn’t be found.”
Herr Niedermeier continues: “The problem for IT firms is that your options when it comes to probing clients’ networks for malfunctions are limited. It’s not your own network and so we can’t be expected to have an overview of the configurations carried out or the software installed. For intensive network troubleshooting, we always have to call in external specialists.”
In the end - upon the recommendation of ICS Intelligent Communication Software GmbH - Mr. Niedermeier came across our problem diagnosis tool, the Allegro Network Multimeter. He and his colleagues put the device through its paces during a live demo and quickly realized it was just what they needed for troubleshooting: a flexible tool which can rapidly pinpoint the problem – and is ready to use in next to no time. “It’s a cinch!” as Herr Niedermeier puts it.
Because the Allegro Network Multimeter is a plug & play device, there’s no need for the time-consuming configuration frequently required by software solutions. Instead, the device is flexibly hooked up to the mirror port or tap or as a bridge – and starts working immediately.
Troubleshooting tool for rapid fault identification
And that’s exactly what was done in this case. Once the Allegro Network Multimeter had been connected and switched on, the error was quickly detected. On our browser-independent web interface, Herr Niedermeier and his team could see on the IP level that the client’s network traffic was communicating with the terminal servers on a misconfigured path.
The error was diagnosed, and subsequently making the necessary adjustments and feeding the network traffic into the correct network were a piece of cake. As a result, the server connection now worked smoothly – and staff at the customer center were able to start helping their customers again without being plagued by technical snags.
Advantages at a glance
- Rapid fault diagnosis
- Easy to install
- Cuts costs
- Can be posted wherever it's needed
Allegro Network Multimeter
For Herr Niedermeier, solving the error meant not only the long-awaited completion of the project but also genuine added value and financial savings. He now has a device at his disposal which can be used on all his clients’ networks whenever sporadic errors occur.
And instead of spending hours travelling, he can carry out remote debugging by simply posting the Allegro Network Multimeter to the local system administrator. Moreover, the external resources required to record and analyze traces have also been slashed. The bottom line is that, after just a few weeks, the Allegro Network Multimeter had paid for itself.