There are 12 chapters and 2 appendixes in this book. The book begins
with individual network hosts, discusses network connections next,
and then considers networks as a whole.
It is unlikely that every chapter in the book will be of equal
interest to you. The following outline will give you an overview of
the book so you can select the chapters of greatest interest and
either skim or skip over the rest.
- Chapter 1, "Network Management and Troubleshooting"
This chapter attempts to describe network management and
troubleshooting in an administrative context. It discusses the need
for network analysis and probing tools, their appropriate and
inappropriate uses, professionalism in general, documentation
practices, and the economic ramifications of troubleshooting. If you
are familiar with the general aspects of network administration, you
may want to skip this chapter.
- Chapter 2, "Host Configurations"
Chapter 2, "Host Configurations" is a review of tools and techniques used
to configure or determine the configuration of a networked host. The
primary focus is on built-in utilities. If you are well versed in
Unix system administration, you can safely skip this chapter.
- Chapter 3, "Connectivity Testing"
Chapter 3, "Connectivity Testing" describes tools and techniques to test
basic point-to-point and end-to-end network connectivity. It begins
with a brief discussion of cabling. A discussion of
ping, ping variants, and
problems with ping follows. Even if you are very
familiar with ping, you may want to skim over
the discussion of the ping variants.
- Chapter 4, "Path Characteristics"
This chapter focuses on assessing the nature and quality of
end-to-end connections. After a discussion of
traceroute, a tool for decomposing a path into
individual links, the primary focus is on tools that measure link
performance. This chapter covers some lesser known tools, so even a
seasoned network administrator may find a few useful tools and
- Chapter 5, "Packet Capture"
This chapter describes tools and techniques for capturing traffic on
a network, primarily tcpdump and
ethereal, although a number of other utilities
are briefly mentioned. Using this chapter requires the greatest
understanding of Internet protocols. But, in my opinion, this is the
most important chapter in the book. Skip it at your own risk.
- Chapter 6, "Device Discovery and Mapping"
This chapter begins with a general discussion of management tools. It
then focuses on a few tools, such as nmap and
arpwatch, that are useful in piecing together
information about a network. After a brief discussion of network
management extensions provided for Perl and Tcl/Tk, it concludes with
a discussion of route and network discovery using
- Chapter 7, "Device Monitoring with SNMP"
Chapter 7, "Device Monitoring with SNMP" focuses on device monitoring. It begins
with a brief review of SNMP. Next, a discussion of NET SNMP (formerly
UCD SNMP) demonstrates the basics of SNMP. The chapter continues with
a brief description of using scotty to collect
SNMP information. Finally, it describes additional features of
tkined, including network monitoring. In one
sense, this chapter is a hands-on tutorial for using SNMP. If you are
not familiar with SNMP, you will definitely want to read this
- Chapter 8, "Performance Measurement Tools"
This chapter is concerned with monitoring and measuring network
behavior over time. The stars of this chapter are
ntop and mrtg. I also
briefly describe using SNMP tools to retrieve RMON data. This chapter
assumes that you have a thorough knowledge of SNMP. If you
don't, go back and read Chapter 7, "Device Monitoring with SNMP".
- Chapter 9, "Testing Connectivity Protocols"
This chapter describes several types of tools for examining the
behavior of low-level connectivity protocols, protocols at the data
link and network levels, including tools for custom packet generation
and load testing. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of
emulation and simulation tools. You probably will not use these tools
frequently and can safely skim this chapter the first time through.
- Chapter 10, "Application-Level Tools"
Chapter 10, "Application-Level Tools" looks at several of the more common
application-level protocols and describes tools that may be useful
when you are faced with a problem with one of these protocols. Unless
you currently face an application-level problem, you can skim this
chapter for now.
- Chapter 11, "Miscellaneous Tools"
This chapter describes a number of different tools that are not
really network troubleshooting or management tools but rather are
tools that can ease your life as a network administrator.
You'll want to read the sections in this chapter that discuss
tools you aren't already familiar with.
- Chapter 12, "Troubleshooting Strategies"
When dealing with a complex problem, no single tool is likely to meet
all your needs. This last chapter attempts to show how the different
tools can be used together to troubleshoot and analyze performance.
No new tools are introduced in this chapter.
Arguably, this chapter should have come at the beginning of the book.
I included it at the end so that I could name specific tools without
too many forward references. If you are familiar with general
troubleshooting techniques, you can safely skip this chapter.
Alternately, if you need a quick review of troubleshooting techniques
and don't mind references to tools you aren't familiar
with, you might jump ahead to this chapter.
- Appendix A, "Software Sources"
This appendix begins with a brief discussion of installing software
and general software sources. This discussion is followed by an
alphabetical listing of those tools mentioned in this book, with
Internet addresses when feasible. Beware, many of the URLs in this
section will be out of date by the time you read this. Nonetheless,
these URLs will at least give you a starting point on where to begin
- Appendix B, "Resources and References"
This appendix begins with a discussion of different sources of
information. Next, it discusses books by topic, followed by an
alphabetical listing of those books mentioned in this book.
|0. Preface||0.3. Conventions||