Imagine yourself as a network administrator, responsible for a 2000 user network.
This network reaches from California to New York, and some branches over seas. In
this situation, anything can, and usually does go wrong, but it would be your job as a
system administrator to resolve the problem with it arises as quickly as possible. The
last thing you would want is for your boss to call you up, asking why you haven't done
anything to fix the 2 major systems that have been down for several hours. How do
you explain to him that you didn't even know about it? Would you even want to tell
him that? So now, picture yourself in the same situation, only this time, you were
using a network monitoring program. Sitting in front of a large screen displaying a
map of the world, leaning back gently in your chair. A gentle warning tone sounds,
and looking at your display, you see that California is now glowing a soft red in color,
in place of the green glow just moments before. You select the state of California, and
it zooms in for a closer look. You see a network diagram overview of all the
computers your company has within California. Two systems are flashing, with an X
on top of them indicating that they are experiencing problems. Tagging the two
systems, you press enter, and with a flash, the screen displays all the statitics of the two
systems, including anything they might have in common causing the problem. Seeing
that both systems are linked to the same card of a network switch, you pick up the
phone and give that branch office a call, notifying them not only that they have a
problem, but how to fix it as well.
Early in the days of computers, a central computer (called a mainframe) was
connected to a bunch of dumb terminals using a standard copper wire. Not much
thought was put into how this was done because there was only one way to...