19 October, 2001 – Simple human error and lack of proper planning leading to basic faults are the two root causes of local area network (LAN) downtime and inefficiencies. This is the conclusion of user research by British network management specialist Chevin.
Poor configuration, faulty equipment and ineffective use of bandwidth all plague IT departments, but most problems are caused by relatively basic mistakes, Chevin claims. The research exercise forms part of Chevin’s ongoing product development strategy for its flagship TeVISTA network management system.
The poll was carried over a six week period between 16 July and 24 August 2001 by staff at Chevin’s UK customer support centre , who are responsible for the company’s UK customer base, which includes blue-chip corporations in retail, manufacturing, transport, finance and construction; local government; and small businesses.
The 10 most common causes of ‘downtime or ineffective LANs that required urgent maintenance’ cited, in order of frequency, were:
1 Misconfigured routers: devices installed incorrectly in the first instance
2 Faulty Ethernet cards: poor quality cards that fail soon after installation, but take some time to detect
3 Broadcast storms: caused by legacy applications on legacy servers, which should have been taken out of commission
4 Unwanted protocols: many networks suffer from having had Windows terminals, printers and other peripherals installed along with extra protocols, but these are left on the network when they are no longer in regular use
5 Poor switch allocation: LAN bottlenecks caused by too many devices being allocated to run through one overloaded switch
6 Server overloading: poor ongoing maintenance of file servers causing slow spots on the network
7 Faulty devices: fundamental faults with devices attached to the network, which can be difficult to detect initially
8 SNMP management tools: the design of Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is such that it can impact the performance of the devices being managed and adds to the traffic burden on the network.
9 Rogue equipment: unauthorised connection of illegitimate or inappropriate devices to the network
10 Power outage: the total failure of power supplies to networked devices
“Our experience shows that despite networking technology having evolved at a blistering pace in recent years, simple faults and human error can bring all that investment in new efficiencies crashing down,” said Chevin’s Vice President of Marketing, Koby Amedume. “The problem is that simple problems can be extremely difficult to detect unless you can see everything that’s happening on your network. Chevin is actively working with its customers to help them to achieve this.”
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Chevin is a leading provider of innovative software systems that enable organistions to manage and optimise their mission-critical networks. Its flagship product, TeVISTA, is platform-independent and gives a real-time overview of everything that is happening on the network as well as historical reports. All sizes of distributed networks can be managed remotely through intuitive graphical interfaces. Likely problems can be anticipated and avoided so that downtime is prevented, and network capacity can be scaled to meet demand.
Chevin was founded in 1989 and has offices in Europe and the US. Its software provides solutions for organisations whose business success depends on the effectiveness of their network and who find ease of use and a low cost of ownership particularly appealing. Customers include telcos and service providers, blue-chip companies, e-businesses and medium and large enterprises. Users of Chevin technology include AT&T, BT, ICL, British Gas, Siemens, Securicor and Reuters.
Alia Ilyas/Steve Earl
020 7494 6570
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