Software Hardware and Tools

6th May 2020 0 By indiafreenotes

Hardware Tools

The following are the tangible, hands-on tools you should have available for your use when managing and maintaining your network. While virtually monitoring your system is made easier with the right software, the network itself still lives and breathes through the technological foundation you’ve built here in the real world.

  1. Butt Set

Used in telephony, a butt set allows you to test your network’s phone lines using alligator clips and a handheld set.

  1. Cable Certifier

Want to verify your cable’s bandwidth and frequency? A cable certifier can help you confirm that your CAT 5e cable meets proper specifications, supporting speeds of 1000 Mbps.

  1. Cable Tester

A cable tester can help you verify that your cable is wired correctly or to troubleshoot suspected faulty cables, allowing you to identify short or open cables. Fluke Networks is a great resource for high quality cable testing and diagnostic hardware.

  1. Crimper

You’ll need a crimper to attach cables and connectors.

  1. Toner Probe

Need to find the other end of a cable? Then a toner probe’s your new best friend, allowing you to place a tone on one end of the wire to find the corresponding tone on the other end with a speaker and contact probe. This excellent troubleshooting tool can also be used to identify cable continuity because a short or open cable will not complete the circuit and produce the tone.

  1. Environmental monitor

Your environmental monitor will log the conditions (temp and humidity) of the room in which your sensitive network equipment resides. An excellent tool for monitoring the conditions in your data center(s) and/or server rooms, an environmental monitor can help you identify those issues that could potentially cause problems for your equipment helping you to sidestep a down. Tracking these logs can also assist you in ferreting out potential environmental causes of problems like random reboots or overheated systems. AVTECH makes a wide range of tools to monitor your environmental and power status in server rooms.

  1. Loop back plug

Want to test your data ports and NIC jacks? A loop back plug can help you verify that data is flowing properly on that port, both sending and receiving.

  1. Multimeter

Your multimeter can help you with continuity checks, measuring voltages, amperage, and resistance. Touch the probes to two ends of a wire and listen for the multimeter’s characteristic beep. No beep? Your cable has a break in continuity it’s that simple.

  1. OTDR & TDR

The optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) and time domain reflectometer (TDR) work similarly, allowing you to isolate the locations of breaks, measuring the distance between cable ends by sending a signal down the cable and measuring how long it takes to return or reflect the signal back from a break. Both are invaluable in troubleshooting breaks and even more minor disruptions in the electrical flow of your cables. OTDR works on fiber optic cables.

  1. Punch Down Tool

Allowing you to “punch down” connecting cables to wiring blocks or terminate cables to jacks with a small amount of pressure, the punch down tool is spring loaded and a must have for all those maintaining a network.

Hardware or Software Tools

Some tools offer an opportunity for choice between hardware or software to do the same job, which you choose will depend on your network’s needs, budget, and priorities.

Protocol Analyzer aka “Packet Sniffer”

Want to hunt down an unauthorized application or suspected attack on your network? Send in the sniffer. Protect your network by analyzing traffic, troubleshooting problems or suspicious activity using a protocol analyzer. While many folks view a hardware-based protocol analyzer solution as superior to software solutions, the cost difference and network priorities of your organization may make a software solution a better choice for you.

Regardless of which you choose, this hardware device or software program is used to sniff out issues and allows you to see a snapshot of wireless traffic on your network, capturing packets traveling over the network for analysis. Packets are then saved in a capture file and can be inspected for information like the source and destination IP addresses, service set identifier (SSID), source and destination media access control (MAC) addresses, source and destination ports, and payload data, allowing admins to verify they’ve been compromised and to identify the location of the computer involved. Wireshark provides both free and commercial resources for deep inspection of network activity.

Software Tools

While there are many all-in-one solutions available to help you monitor, analyze, and maintain your network – we’ll leave the choice of which to use up to you. Here is a list of the most common tools your network management software should contain and how they can assist you in doing what you do.

  1. Bandwidth Monitor

Monitor the average BPS and utilization percentage of interfaces, identifying traffic bottlenecks in a switch or router in real-time with this vital bandwidth tool. Presented in an easy-to-understand graphical format.

  1. Network Monitor

Continuously monitoring device response time, your network monitor alerts you via email, reporting node status and prioritizing severity. Ipswitch creates industry leading tools to visualize and monitor your network.

  1. Port Scanner

Track down unknown or unwanted services running on your system using a port scanner to scan for port status, associating ports with known services.

  1. Switch Port Mapper

Manual cable tracing is both time consuming and a total drag, save yourself from tedium and identify each switch port a device is connected to within a switch using a switch port mapper. Useful in helping you quickly assess port availability and gain real-time operational status and speeds of each port.

  1. System Details Update

Streamline your system details update process using this handy tool that lets you to view, scan, modify, and update the details on a range of devices all at once.

  1. TCP Reset

Providing a list of all established TCP connections in a device, the TCP reset lets you verify legitimate connections and reset those that are unwanted or unauthorized.

  1. Wake-On-LAN

Wake it up when you’re on the go-go. Wake-on LAN allows you to remotely “wake” or boot up a machine in low power mode on the network with the use of a remote command. Solarwinds provides free tools to manage your network power consumption and use wake-on-lan technology to save energy and remotely control system power.