Ok, I’ll explain the title by starting off with a story.
I received a call from a company about having an intermittent network outage. It was a major company that was brought to its knees for two days, almost completely unable to do business during that time. They called and I was ready to jump on a plane any minute once they said the word GO. A few days later, after receiving no response, I gave them a follow up call to check and see how things were. They said the problem was fixed, and that they had found an old router plugged into their core switch. After removing it the problem went away, leaving them feeling confident that they found the solution.
I had about a hundred questions flood into my head. How long was the router there? Did the problem start occurring only after it was connected? What type of traffic was the network experiencing during the “outage”. Were any users able to access and use applications?
How do you know that you fixed it for sure? Now you may get the title. Come on people…. TEST!
Problems that are “fixed” but not tested and understood are doomed to repeat themselves.
This is not an isolated story. When a problem strikes, people may start scrambling to find a fix and cross their fingers after it is applied. Instead of truly testing that the root cause was resolved and understanding why the problem caused the symptoms in the first place, network techs may rely on perception from the users instead of factual results from testing. If a problem all of a sudden goes away, how do we know it won’t come back? How can we setup monitoring tools that will tell us when the problem occurs again instead of hearing it from the users?
All these questions have solutions. I’m not writing this article to sell the reader on one tool or another. But I am selling the reader on testing, analyzing, fixing, then testing again. This process will truly address the root cause of network problems and will help them go away for good.
If you have any specific network issues you would like to see discussed on Love My Tool, please comment below!