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Over the years, thousands of tools have been developed for debugging TCP/IP networks. They range from very specialized tools that do one particular task, to generalized suites that do just about everything except replace bad Ethernet cables. Many of them are absolutely free. There is only one problem: who has time to track them all down, sort through them for the best ones for a particular purpose, or figure out how to use them? This text describes the range of freely available tools for debugging and troubleshooting. You can start with a lesser-kwn version of ping that diagses connectivity problems, or take on a much more comprehensive program like MRTG for graphing traffic through network interfaces. There's tkined for mapping and automatically monitoring networks, and Ethereal for capturing packets and debugging low-level problems. This book is t just about the tools available for troubleshooting common network problems. It also outlines a systematic approach to network troubleshooting: how to document your network so you kw how it behaves under rmal conditions, and how to think about problems when they arise, so you can solve them more effectively. The topics covered in this book include: understanding your network; connectivity testing; evaluating the path between two network des; tools for capturing packets; tools for network discovery and mapping; tools for working with SNMP; performance monitoring; testing application layer protocols; and software sources.
Joseph D. Sloan has been working with computers since the mid-1970s. He began using Unix as a graduate student in 1981, first as an applications programmer and later as a system programmer and system administrator. Since 1988 he has taught mathematics and computer science at Lander University. He also manages the networking computer laboratory at Lander, where he can usually be found testing and using the software tools described in this book.