Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tools of a Network Engineer

Becoming a Network Engineer
Tools of a Network Engineer 


be a boyscout!

Assuming you already have a knowledge of the basic concepts of networking, since a Network Engineers complete responsibility ranges from doing a simple installation, repair and maintenance of a small network up to the designing, implementing and analyzing of broad multiple networks, different kinds of tools are needed. Some are used quite often and others are just used whenever something is wrong and that, the tools are used for that certain problem. Here are the lists of tools in random order and with definition and purpose. It is mainly categorized by two groups, the hardware tools and the software tools.


Hardware tools:


RJ-45 and RJ-11 Crimper – The crimper tool is a tool designed to connect/crimp and cut a network and a phone cable. In the field of Network Engineering, It is a must, to have a crimper tool in their kit because physical problems often occur without warning. There are different types of crimper for networking, some has a built in stripper, some has only RJ-45 or RJ-11 and has the complete package. In this sample picture below, it has a built-in 8-pin and 6-pin RJ.
By Mixabest (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons




Stripper or Scissors – It is mainly used to cut cable insulators so that the RJ-45 or RJ-11 can be attached to the pins of the cable.
By Baran Ivo (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Network Tester – It is used in order for an engineer to determine if the connection is functioning well or not by determining the pattern of each of the pins conductivity.


By Smial (Own work) [FAL or GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)], via Wikimedia Commons


Flash drive – it is always a good habit to always bring a flash drive for a network engineer in case if you need to save configurations, designs and important software tools. take it as if it your medicine kit.


By AlMare (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Software Tools:

Command Prompt Skills- It is a very important as a Network Engineer to know how to use the command line in troubleshooting and monitoring a network. 


These are the useful cmd commands used and it definition:

·      1. ping – is used in order for a user to determine if a certain host/client or a router is connected with the host device you are using in a network.


·         2. netstat – the netstat command has many functions, one of it is that it monitor the activity of a host. It gives the details of what is inside the packet and what was going on during the sending and receiving of datas. In command prompt, when typing “netstat ?”, it would lead you to further details with its extensions. Just follow the instructions and make further research of it.


·        3. tracert – in trouble shooting a connection problem on a multiple network ,  tracert(traceroute) lets you determine the dead router or to what router address a connection is not responding. In command prompt, just type tracert plus ”the ip address of the target host or interface” and it will show you the number of hop counts.



·         4. ipconfig – typing ipconfig lets you identify your host ip address as well other details with your computer. For further details, in the command prompt, just type “ipconfig ?”.  below, are ipconfig extension that I always applied in my work:
ipconfig /release” and “ipconfig /renew” – It releases your current DHCP address and generate another one.


ipconfig /displaydns” and “ipconfig /flushdns” – used to display your DNS cache and flushdns is used to delete all items in the DNS cache so that your computer can now update new items or domain names.


ipconfig /all” – displays a much detailed host configuration than just typing “ipconfig


·         5. arp – is a useful command in determining layer 2 addresses or mac addresses in a network in your history. Just type “arp ?”in your command prompt to know further details with arp. I always use:
             “arp –a” – to display the arp cache and “arp -d” to delete the cache.



·         6. Nslookup – it is used to identify a public address of a website.














Remote Software – For me, it is a useful tool in times of distance related problems where you can simply remote a host instead of going to that place. It saves time and effort. There are many kinds of remote software. In windows, you can just use windows remote desktop. I prefer using “real VNC” software because it is easy to install and reliable. You can download it from http://www.realvnc.com/ 


Putty – As of my preference, Putty is a reliable program used to connect  and configure a device through SSH, Telnet or serial port.  




Speedtest – to know your internet connection speed, as a network engineer, monitoring your internet speed is easy. Just go to www.speedtest.net and work your way up there.




Software for your network plan – most of the time, I use Microsoft Power Point in making my network design because it simple. 




Summary 

Having a complete tool is not just a discipline for a Network Engineer, but the most effective way of troubleshooting a problem fast. It doesn’t just apply to this kind of work, but applies to every field of work. 




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