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Exploring Network Communications

Updated on December 3, 2014

Network Communications

In this lab, you should have noted the following:

  1. There are multiple options in the Windows 7 operating systems to open the command prompt.
  2. You can successfully ping the Office1 from ITAdmin.
  3. You cannot ping Support from ITAdmin. Notice that the IP address for Support is on a different network (network 199.92.0.0 instead of network 192.168.0.0). Devices on the same local network must have IP addresses in the same network range. If you want to communicate with Support, you will need to change the IP address assigned to Support.
  4. You can successfully ping the Router's internal interface from ITAdmin. Because ITAdmin and the router's address 192.168.0.5 are on the same network, the ping tests succeed.
  5. ITAdmin and the ISP are on a different network (network 192.168.0.0 and 198.28.56.0 respectively). Because ITAdmin does not have a default gateway set, it cannot communicate with devices on other networks.
  6. When you communicate with devices on other networks, the packets go first to the default gateway (the router between the two networks). The packets are sent to the router interface on the same network as the sending host, and then sent to the next hop in the path as necessary. In this case, there are two IP addresses listed in the tracert output, but only one router (hop) between Support and the ISP. The last address in the tracert output is the ISP, not a router in the path to the ISP.
  7. When you trace the path between Exec and the ISP's DNS server, the path has an additional hop. The first lines in the tracert output are the two routers (hops) between Exec and the DNS server. The last address in the tracert output is the DNS server.

Exploring Physical Connectivity

In this lab, you should have noted the following:

  1. The power lights on the components in the rack indicate that they are plugged in and turned on. The network activity lights tell you which ports are connected to an active device. Blinking lights indicate that network traffic is being passed through the port. The activity lights pointing up are for the top row of ports and the lights pointing down are for the bottom row of ports. Notice that there is activity for port 5, but no network activity for ports 1 and 3, all of which have cables connected. This should help you identify the scope of the connectivity problem.
  2. When you ping from ITAdmin, you are able to ping all devices except for Exec and Office1, which indicates connectivity throughout the network, except to those workstations.
  3. The network icon in the System Tray indicates a normal network connection. When you click on the network icon, it shows the networks you are connected to.
  4. The diagram in the Network and Sharing Center on ITAdmin indicates a connection to the Internet. The Local Area Connection shows in View your active networks. Click on Local Area Connection to view the connection status and connection details.
  5. The link light is illuminated on the workstation in the IT Administration office indicating a physical connection (link) between this workstation and the next device (the network switch). The network activity lights are blinking, indicating that network traffic is being transmitted on this connection?
  6. The network icon on Exec indicates that it is not connected. When you click on the icon it does not list any current network connections.
  7. For the Executive Office workstation, the link and network activity lights are not illuminated, indicating that there is no connection to the switch. Possible causes for no connectivity include:
  • Faulty or disconnected cable
  • Bad NIC
  • Faulty or disabled switch port
Since the workstation in the Executive Office has two NICs, we can easily try a different NIC by moving the cable to the other network port. The link and network activity lights on the other NIC indicate an active connection. The first NIC is probably bad or installed incorrectly. You are now able to ping all devices on the network from Exec, except Office1, indicating that connectivity has been restored. The diagram in the Network and Sharing Center on Exec indicates a connection to the Internet. In the Networking Closet, the network activity lights on the switch are blinking for all ports except port 3. For the Office 1 workstation, the link and network activity lights are not illuminated, indicating that there is no connection to the switch. Possible causes for no connectivity include:
  • Faulty or disconnected cable
  • Bad NIC
  • Faulty or disabled switch port
For the Office 1 workstation, the simplest thing to try is to replace the network cables. After replacing the network cable in the office, the link and network activity lights on the NIC still don't show an active connection. The cable in the office wasn't the problem. After replacing the Office 1 network patch cable from port 3 on the switch to port 3 on the patch panel, the network activity light for port 3 indicates an active connection. The patch cable in the Network Closet was the problem. On Office1, you are now able to ping all devices on the network and the diagram in the Network and Sharing Center indicates a connection to the Internet. When you disconnect the cable from the IT Administration workstation, the link and the network activity lights are no longer illuminated. On ITAdmin, you are unable to ping any device on the network, since there is no valid network connection. The Network and Sharing Center diagram on ITAdmin indicates that you have no connection. There are no adapters listed in View your active networks. In the Networking Closet, the network activity lights on the switch are still blinking, except for port 5 which is no longer illuminated. If you click on the cable in port 5, you see that the other end of that cable is connected to the IT Adm port on the patch panel. There is no physical connectivity between the switch and the workstation in the IT Administration office. On Office1, you are able to ping everything on the network except for ITAdmin. This confirms that the problem is only in the connection to the IT Administration office. The Network and Sharing Center diagram on Office1 indicates a connection to the Internet, confirming that the problem is isolated to ITAdmin. When you re-connect the cable to workstation in the IT Administration office, the link light and the network activity light are illuminated again. When you unplug the UPS, the power lights on the switch, router, and the wireless access point go out because the are plugged into the non-critical load bank section of the UPS. The server and the monitor are still on because they are plugged into the critical load bank section of the UPS. There are no network activity lights, indicating no network communications. On Server, you are unable to ping any device on the network. The Network and Sharing Center diagram on Server indicates that you have no connection to the network. When you move the switch power plug to the critical load bank, the switch receives power from the UPS battery. The power light is illuminated on the switch and there are network activity lights on the switch, except for ports 22 and 24. The router and the wireless access point remain off because they are plugged into the non-critical load bank on the UPS? On Server, you are able to ping the office workstations, but not the router or the ISP. The local network is functional, but you cannot route to the Internet. The Network and Sharing Center diagram on Server indicates a connection to the local network, but not to the Internet. The Local Area Connection shows in View your active networks. When you plug the UPS back in, the power indicators on the Router, the Wireless Access Point, and the UPS are illuminated. The Network and Sharing Center diagram on Server indicates a connection to the Internet. Now that the router has power, full network connectivity has been restored.

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