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Network setup error diagnosis

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000200583D
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a process to verify that a given network configuration is correct. There are many options for network configurations, from pure physical networks to pure virtual networks and hybrids, validation of a given network is a complicated task.

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Network configuration and validation on Virtual Input/Output

Server (VIOS) to use Virtual

Local Area Network (VLAN), Shared Ethernet Adapter (SEA), with or without redundancy, is a daunting procedure. There are several physical steps in connecting the system to the appropriate network hardware and many steps in the configuration of the operating systems and management appliance. If the configuration is not completed correctly, there can be side effects, some of them simple, some of them detrimental to the network environment such as Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) storms that kill the network. Sometimes, the administrator setting up the network configuration does not have the required permissions or passwords to access and change the configuration of all the required components. One setup error can require access to yet more systems to remedy the problem. This problem is compounded if the administrator is connected remotely to the system as errors in configuration can impair the user's access to the system.

    Verifying that the setup is correct is difficult: the current procedure of trial and error with packet sniffing give little to no indication of where a problem lies. They can only be used to determine that there is a problem and potentially between what links, but there is no indication of what the actual problem is. At this point, it is a matter of narrowing down the error via queries to the system to manually discover the configuration error.

Procedure:


An administrator sets up the desired configuration and then uses a tool developed for this technique to verify that the setup is correct. Additionally, any errors in the configuration that are detected are reported to the administrator with information about how to correct the configuration.

    If the configuration is not correct there is little to no indication of what, exactly, the problem is. If redundancy configuration is not correct, the administrator may not find out until it is too late and an outage occurs. Only experience and trial and error fixes the configuration error. Even once network traffic is flowing to where the user wants it to go, there is no verification that it is not also flowing somewhere the administrator does not want it to go. Only extensive checking can validate the configuration is correct. Below is an outline of a process that can be followed and automated to parse operating system queries to verify the network configuration is correct. This process does require some prior planning on the part of the network administrator(s).
1) Have the user input the...