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Don't forget the guys in the networking trenches...

Portable network analysis tools are still an important part of datacenter operations.
Written by David Chernicoff, Contributor

Every now and then I get a reminder that not all IT personnel get to enjoy the 20,000 foot view of their datacenters. While infrastructure management tools and converged DCIM solutions get a lot of attention, it's important not to forget that many of the problems that network engineers have had to deal with over the years still exist. There are still a huge number of IT folks whose job is to get down in the trenches and try to figure out what is going on with the physical network, and that means they need to have portable tools that can plug into the network where necessary, with both physical connections and wireless access. And these tools need to be able to understand how the latest in network technologies work, which includes dealing with virtualization.

Fortunately the tools to deal with networking cabling and wireless connectivity issues have gotten significantly more sophisticated. Long-time network test and analysis tool maker Fluke Networks, who's products I used back in the dark ages when I was one of those guys who keep the corporate networks running, is still fighting the good fight, designing and delivering the tools that the network engineer needs to be able to troubleshoot, analyze and repair those annoying and aggravating problems that impact network connectivity.

Their latest tool is a new version of their OptiView XG portable networking analysis tablet. Available in multiple configurations that can be tailored to meet your specific networking environment; the OptiView XG v8 has been enhanced to support analysis of both physical and virtual networking infrastructures. Focused on providing automated network application analysis, Fluke claims that the tablet is the fastest way to perform root cause analysis on networking and related application issues,

New features in this version of the OptiView are focused on supporting this claim; with the 1-Click NetTest and Automated Multi-Segment Analysis Fluke claims that that a single click allows the device to find the connection path for the tested connection and display it in a single screen view. The information derived from the process allows the IT person to determine if the problem is network or server related and provide details that can allow IT to track down the exact cause of the issue being analyzed.

It's easy to lose sight of tools like this Fluke device that can be exceedingly useful in determining the root cause of actual network issues and assist the datacenter operations staff in finding and fixing the problems, While not as glamorous as the glass cockpit of a modern datacenter NOC, portable network analysis tools are critical to the smooth operation of your datacenter.

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