Taking the Trouble Out of TCP/IP

Don't let Windows 2000 TCP/IP control you. Control it, using this book as a reference.

Troubleshooting Windows 2000 TCP/IP is a solid guide to tracking down those Windows 2000 TCP/IP problems that drive you nuts and can even cost you your job. The focus is on connectivity: Making things talk to each other reliably and consistently. This book provides the starting point for resolving TCP/IP issues.

Before you fix anything, though, you need to understand what you're dealing with. Chapter 1 is a review of TCP/IP from a conceptual point of view. It looks at the history of TCP/IP, plus standards, models and hardware components, providing a reference for readers who are new to TCP/IP troubleshooting and may need this information for later chapters. Experienced network professionals can skip this chapter if they like; although, everyone can use a refresher course once in a while.

A good thing about this book is that it doesn't forget that everyone isn't coming from Windows NT. For example, we have DOS applications, Novell and UNIX - with the problems inherent in each. In recognition of this, Chapter 2 covers planning and migration. Those working with a Win2K network may be tempted to skip this chapter, but a lot of benefit can be obtained from comparing the recommended planning and migration steps for each operating environment.

Segueing into Chapter 3, we learn how to successfully lay the groundwork for resolving a TCP/IP problem. We examine various models that can be used to form the basis of different phases in the resolution process. Upon finishing this chapter, readers should be able to review their own environments and develop customized resolution models.

How does TCP/IP really work? Chapter 4 offers an in-depth explanation, and it's also the first chapter where actual troubleshooting is covered. IPSEC, multicasting and Registry settings are among the topics discussed.

A physician uses tools such as X-rays and lab tests to develop a diagnosis. A network tech is no different, with an array of diagnostic tools available. But one must know how each tool works. For an in-depth review of these network diagnostic tools, turn to Chapter 5. Here you'll find IPConfig, Network Monitor, ARP and even all the command-line switches for PING. If you take the time now to learn how these tools function, you won't be stumbling later when the clock is ticking and the boss is waiting.

The volume's next seven chapters cover different aspects of TCP/IP and connectivity - for instance, NetBIOS, remote access, DNS and various services. Troubleshooting steps are presented, but not always in the manner you expect. For example, Chapter 12 discusses the issue of hosting multiple Web sites on IIS, with a focus on Host Header Names. The point is made that older browsers will have problems with this and a referral is made to the IIS documentation. But this information is available to anyone working with IIS, so why waste space rehashing the solution? Then the book covers the obvious in this situation - upgrade the browser. Still, the one thing you can expect in this volume is that the answers presented will be accurate and on-topic.

One of the best things about this book is that it never quits teaching. The authors realize that fixing the symptoms of a TCP/IP problem isn't a cure and instead focus on how to avoid a problem. Chapters are grouped logically so that you can "one-stop shop" rather than flip back and forth through several chapters. The FAQs at the end of each chapter are another nice feature. These are specific and representative of the questions every tech will be asking when they have a problem.

Who should buy this book? Anyone who is responsible for the connectivity side of a network. Novices will gain basic TCP/IP knowledge coupled with troubleshooting skills, while experienced network specialists will find this volume a great resource for those tough-to-resolve issues. In addition, this book can serve as an excellent reference when preparing for the TCP/IP portions of Microsoft certification and other exams.

About the Author

Paul G. Brown, MCSD, a developer, speaker, and a frequent contributor to MCPmag.com, lives in New Berlin, Illinois. When not in front of the computer, he can be found chasing Jerry, Wesley, Jordan and Dillon for Mom.

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