Telco networks grow fast and sometimes in an uncontrolled
way. The increased complexity prevents simple methods of
bug-fixing being successful. To keep an overview, the Network
Manager needs all the information from which he or she can
derive future trends. Information is needed about network
traffic, number of active subscribers, protocol distribution,
data flow analysis, timing properties among other relevant
After many years of experience we have found the following
methodology to be best practice:
1.) Gather Information
The way to be most efficient as a troubleshooter is to narrow
down or isolate the possible sources of the problem. The way
to get there is with information. Therefore it is important
to know as much as you can about the problem before you jump
headlong into trying to fix it. Gathering information about
the nature of a problem will save time.
2.) Verify The Problem
Confirm objectively the nature and extent of the problem.
If you are troubleshooting your own system, you may be wondering, "Why
would I need to verify the problem? I know there is a problem
and I know what it is!" That may eventually turn out to be
a true statement, but if you are working in a complex system,
it is important to work with a clear description of the problem.
3.) Try Quick Fixes
What is a quick fix doing in serious troubleshooting practice?
A quick fix is sometimes a time- and moneysaving method which
can be defined as a repair action, which
- can be performed quickly.
- involves little or no risk of harm to the system.
- has little or no cost.
Quick fix does not imply a temporary or substandard repair
action. A quick fix is not necessarily the most likely solution
to the problem, but because it is easy to perform and takes
little time or expense it is worth trying. There is nothing
more frustrating than spending lots of time isolating a problem,
only to find out hours later that a quick fix solves the problem.
4.) Isolate The Problem
It is most important that you proceed in a logical fashion
and with a plan. This part of the troubleshooting process can
be the most difficult and the most time-consuming. Locating
the problem can be thought of as gradually narrowing down the
possible sources of the problem until at last there is only
one possible source.
5.) Perform The Repair
Fixing the problem is usually pretty straightforward if you
know what it is. However, there is a consideration concerning
security: Make Backups! If the repair does not solve the problem,
you should be able to return the system to its prior state.
It might be difficult or impossible without backups.
6.) Verify The Repair
Knowing that it is fixed and thinking that your system is
fixed are sometimes two different things. To be sure that full
functionality has been restored, good troubleshooters test
the systems they repair. Is It Fully Functional? Once you have
performed a repair, it is important to test more than the immediate
At this stage you might figure out that the hardware is responsible
for you problems. Sorry, we do not provide technical support
for hardware. Please call the vendor directly. Most vendors
provide online technical
If you are sure you can exclude faulty hardware, you might
check for configuration problems. A valuable helper can be
a test tool, for instance a cable checker, network tester or
a protocol analyzer. If you are considering purchasing one,
it's a good idea to visit the following links
Passive (Tektronix K1103 Protocol Analyzer) and active (Inet
Spectra Network Simulator) testing gear is obtainable for rent
from sc5m.com as well.
Remote diagnosis service
In case your network persists in behaving strangely, our telephonic
support service answers your questions. We specialize in diagnosing
and fixing circuitswitched and packetswitched telco networks.
Please make sure to provide as much as possible information
(see chapter 1, step 1: Gather Information) about your network,
the problematic environment and the malfunction. (Sorry, we
do not provide free technical
On site troubleshooting service
We provide an on-site network troubleshooting service for
circuitswitched and packetswitched telco network. The on-site
troubleshooting service comprises diagnosis of malfunctions
in your network by an experienced network specialist. With
the help of sophisticated test equipment (protocol analyzer
and traffic generator) existing network faults are localized
and solutions for their removal are sought. A written report
containing all the task activity, results and proposals will
be handed over.
The network snapshot service delivers a well-structured and
informative snapshot of all your network activities. All parameters
- among others network traffic, protocol distribution and data
flow analysis - will be displayed in graphical as well as in
Network relevant data and statistical data like the ones mentioned
above under network snapshot service are collected on a regular
basis. This makes trends visible and helps the administrator
to calculate future
changes in the network.
We carry out conformance testing and validation of signaling
systems for all network entities in your circuit switched or
packet switched telco network. Due to our experience in various
forms of telecom signaling and test requirements we are an
ideal partner to support your acceptance test.