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If It Ain’t Broke, Break It

If It Ain’t Broke, Break It

Aug 17 2016

A slow or malfunctioning network isn’t just a nuisance for your organization and its customers, it’s a source of lost time and revenue. That is why experts recommend going a step further than simply identifying the issue and resolving it – you need to be able to recreate the problem, and fix it again. Here is how cause analysis can reveal issues hiding behind some of the most common network problems.

Using Cause Analysis to Validate Network Repairs

Scenario 1

Your team installs new products on the network. When it comes time to install a new product on the network, your team reaches out to familiar source so they know the product will be compatible. It arrives ready to install, so they make the addition right away and it seems to work smoothly.

Why run a cause analysis: Even when dealing with products from a trusted source, it is critical to test them before installing the products on your network. In this case, even if an issue does not arise, it’s important to validate the solution (i.e. the new product) by uninstalling it and testing the network, then the product itself. This will give you a control to base your tests off of once the product is reinstalled.

Scenario 2

You are overdue for software updates. Like running on an old operating system, overdue updates on individual programs can create issues for your network. Your colleagues get to their necessary updates eventually, and all seems to work fine.

Why run a cause analysis: Regularly updating software is a surefire way to ensure your network is protected and running smoothly. Postponing updates, or omitting interim ones in favor of the latest versions, can leave gaps in your network security. If your team has failed to run updates chronologically, trace updates back and test.

Scenario 3

Your organization’s machines are running on old operating systems. Your colleagues, possibly even your CEO, have noticed that the organization’s network is running at a snail’s pace. They discover that many of the machines are running on an older operating system, so they go ahead and update to the latest version. The network issue seems to be back up to speed.

Why run a cause analysis: Updating to the newest operating system might get the network back up to speed, but more critical issues could be lurking beneath the surface. The old OS may have allowed malicious data to enter your network, in which case the new OS will merely be a bandage over the real problem. Run a cause analysis by uninstalling the new OS and testing the network.

In all three of these cases, issues with your organization’s network appear to be resolved. However, further problems could be lurking beneath the surface. The best way to validate a solution is to recreate the problem with cause analysis. Consistently monitoring your network will also help reveal issues and help you better secure your organization. Passive network monitoring tools from Datacom Systems enable you to maintain full network visibility before, during, and after issues arise. For more cause analysis advice, contact our Support Team.