Networking II Lesson Plan Week 29 Addendum

Troubleshooting Windows Server 2003 Networks

Troubleshooting Methodology

  1. Maintaining a network requires monitoring, proactive maintenance, and reactive maintenance. Each of these concepts is intuitive. Only the terminology will probably be new to students.

  2. Monitoring involves examining the network to ensure proper functionality.

  3. Proactive maintenance involves taking steps to prevent future problems while reactive maintenance involves correcting problems that have already occurred.

  4. Something that students may not think about is recording reactive maintenance procedures in order to hasten repairs the next time around.

  5. Reactive maintenance can be further broken down into various troubleshooting procedures. Reference figure 14-2 when discussing these procedures.

Teaching Tip

Like the scientific method, no administrator strictly adheres to the troubleshooting procedures provided in this or any other book. The purpose of such information is to serve as a guideline and not a requirement.

Troubleshooting Tools

  1. This section lists a number of troubleshooting tools that should already be well known to the student. These tools include: Network Monitor, System Monitor, Performance Logs and Alerts, Event Viewer, Task Manager, and the Services snap-in.

  2. Each tool will be discussed in future sections.

Network Monitor

  1. Network Monitor was introduced in earlier chapters. A key issue to remember is that Network Monitor requires the Network Monitor driver to function properly.

  2. The rest of this section is involved with showing off the various features of Network Monitor. Having students play with the software while using this section as a reference will probably serve most useful here.

  3. The next activity will give students more practice with Network Monitor.

Teaching Tip

The following three activities are related. It might be more convenient to combine the three activities into a single activity before assigning them to the class. This will also reduce the number of assignments graded if such grading is required.

Activity 14-1: Installing Network Monitor

  1. In this activity, students will install Network Monitor.

  2. This is an easy activity. Note that the Network Monitor Driver should be installed automatically assuming that the installation of Network Monitor was completed successfully.

  3. Ensure that the network monitor driver is bound to the appropriate interface.

Activity 14-2 Using Network Monitor

  1. In this activity, students will use Network Monitor to monitor network traffic.

  2. This activity help students familiarize themselves with the shortcut key-strokes F10, F11, and F12 used to start capturing data, stop capturing data, and displaying captured data respectively.

Activity 14-3: Creating a Filter in Network Monitor

  1. In this activity, students will create a filter in Network Monitor.

  2. A filter will be created such that you only view SAP frames within Network Monitor.

System Monitor

  1. System Monitor is an extremely powerful tool. It can collect a multitude of data concerning real-time system performance.

  2. System Monitor is useful for collecting information concerning: server performance, problem diagnosis, capacity planning, and testing.

  3. Information in system monitor can be displayed in graph, histogram, or report form.

Teaching Tip

The following three activities are related. It might be more convenient to combine the three activities into a single activity before assigning them to the class. This will also reduce the number of assignments graded if such grading is required.

Activity 14-4: Exploring System Monitor Settings

  1. In this activity, the student will be asked to explore Windows Server 2003 System Monitor settings.

Activity 14-5: Adding Counters to System Monitor

  1. In this activity, students will add object counters to the System Monitor tool.

Activity 14-6: Saving and Viewing System Monitor Data

  1. In this activity, students will explore options for saving System Monitor data.

Performance Logs and Alerts

  1. This tool is located within the Performance snap-in.

  2. This tool can be used to automatically collect data either locally or from another computer located on the network. The information can be viewed later using Microsoft Excel and similar software.

  3. This tool allows you to: collect data in binary, comma-separated, or tab-separated formats, view data while it is being collected and after it is collected, configure parameters such as start and stop times for log generation, file names, and file size, configure and manage multiple logging sessions from a single console window, and set up alerts so that a message is sent, a program is run, or a log file is started when a specific counter exceeds or drops below a configured value.

  4. Students need to know that logging does increase overhead on a server. Therefore, make sure logging is not enabled at all times.

Activity 14-7: Configuring Performance Logs and Alerts

  1. In this activity, students will be configuring performance logging and alerts.

Event Viewer

  1. Event view is probably the most common and effective monitoring and troubleshooting tool in Windows Server 2003.

  2. Ensure students know that they can use Event Viewer to troubleshoot services, hardware, and system problems.

  3. Different log files track different events. Students should know the type of information help within each type of log-file.

  4. The three typical log files found within Event Viewer are: Application log, Security log, and System log.

  5. Also, make sure students are told about the additional log files found on domain controllers. These logs record events logged by Active Directory and file replication events.

  6. How to use the Event Viewer will be better understood after the following activity.

Activity 14-8: Viewing Event Viewer System and Application Log Events

  1. In this activity, students will view events in the Event Viewer system and application logs.

Task Manager

  1. Everyone who is familiar with Windows should be familiar with the Task Manager tool.

  2. This tool provides very quick ways to check server and network performance. Also, students will be familiar with the task of shutting down non-responsive applications.

Activity 14-9: Using Task Manager

  1. In this activity, students will use Task Manager to control applications and processes and gather basic system performance data.

Services snap-in

  1. The services snap-in can be used to disable any services that are not necessary. This can greatly increase security and performance.

  2. Each service can be set to manually, automatically, or to never start up.

  3. A service failure can be set to be handled in a number of different ways.

  4. The rest of this section should be used as reference when performing the next activity.

Teaching Tip

Make sure students are careful when messing with services. Disabling the wrong services can cause troubleshooting headaches later on.

Activity 14-10: Configuring Windows Server 2003 Services

  1. In this activity, students will configure the startup properties and settings of Windows Server 2003 services.

Troubleshooting Network Connectivity

  1. Anytime you are troubleshooting network connectivity, you must have a broad knowledge of networking aspects if you expect to resolve problems quickly and efficiently.

  2. The text provides the following troubleshooting hints for the situation in which a computer cannot access resources on the local network: verify the IP configuration, ensure that DHCP is functional, verify the configuration of IPSec, and check the network media.

  3. Note that the steps given above require the administrator to have a broad knowledge of many different networking concepts.

  4. If a computer cannot access the Internet or a remote network, try the following troubleshooting steps: Verify the IP configuration, check router configuration, check the network media.

  5. If a computer cannot access resources on the local network using name resolution, try the following steps: verify IP configuration, ensure that DHCP is functional, ensure that DNS is functional, and ensure that WINS is functional.

Additional Activities

  1. You are just hired as a new administrator and want to impress your superiors by ensure that the network is always operational. List as many proactive maintenance techniques that you can think of the keep the network completely operational.

  1. You wish to monitor the network activity of the machines on your network remotely. You decide that Network Monitor, provided with Windows Server 2003, would probably be the best program for this. Is this a good idea? Why or why not.

Solutions to Additional Activities

  1. The solution of this activity will vary greatly with each student. The purpose of the question is to get students to think about all the tasks that may be required to properly maintain a network and keep it going. Things cited could include various tasks such as: periodically scanning for viruses, periodically updating virus software, periodically updating the Windows software, viewing log files, backing up files, checking security permissions, etc.

  1. This would have been a good idea if you had wished to monitor network traffic on a machine locally. The version of Network Monitor shipped with Windows Server 2003 only allows you to view local traffic. However, there are other versions of Network Monitor that can be obtained which allows the remote monitoring of network traffic.