Managing Distributed Applications : Troubleshooting in a Heterogeneous Environment

Overview

Beyond element management: True end-to-end application management!

  • Making it all work together! Enterprise application management that works
  • Track down problems anywhere: hardware, operating system, network, or application
  • Expert troubleshooting templates for common ...
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Overview

Beyond element management: True end-to-end application management!

  • Making it all work together! Enterprise application management that works
  • Track down problems anywhere: hardware, operating system, network, or application
  • Expert troubleshooting templates for common network application failures
  • CD-ROM: Advanced network troubleshooting trialware

It's no longer enough to manage the elements of a network in isolation: you need to manage your network applications holistically, ensuring that all infrastructure and software works together to maximize performance and availability. In Managing Distributed Applications, Mike Hicks shows you exactly how to do so—step by step. You'll master fast and practical techniques for troubleshooting everything that can go wrong with today's distributed and client/server applications, including:

  • Network communications and mainframe connectivity
  • File, print, and directory services
  • Security and authentication
  • Web and e-commerce systems
  • Messaging and groupware systems, and more

Managing Distributed Applications presents detailed graphical flowchart templates and case studies for tracking down connectivity issues, application slowdowns, intermittent performance degradation, and more. If you're responsible for network reliability, availability, or performance, this is the first network troubleshooting book focused on your applications-and your realities.

CD-ROM INCLUDED

The accompanying CD-ROM contains network troubleshooting trialware that allows simulation of network faults allowing youto build up your own knowledge, as well as tools that assist in troubleshooting scenarios.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A book/CD-ROM package offering practical techniques for troubleshooting everything that can go wrong in distributed and client/server applications, covering areas such as network communications and mainframe connectivity, print and directory services, security and authentication, Web and e-commerce systems, and messaging and groupware systems. The accompanying CD-ROM contains network troubleshooting trialware. Hicks is a networking consultant. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130177643
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 11/2/2000
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 7.05 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Read an Excerpt

PREFACE:

Preface

Coming from an entirely network-centric background, I would like to believe that it is the network (on its own) that is totally responsible for the business bottom line, but over the years, I have come to accept that the real power lies in the application.

I started to come to this conclusion as the faults I was asked to track down moved away from simple link failures and configuration issues to more subtle "poor performance" issues. I began to see that these problems were seldom caused entirely by overloaded WAN or LAN links. As a result, I began to see a need to actually profile the application (from a network point of view), that is, to understand the client/server traffic needed to actually complete the transaction. I quickly observed that this system was dependent on many outside influences and that any one discrepancy in the process could cause the whole system to crumble.

This understanding of the process helped to close the gap between the application developers and support staff. If we could show them the interaction between their application and the infrastructure components and protocols, then together we could expedite resolution, eliminate the majority of finger-pointing associated with cross-group issues, and (probably most importantly) provide baseline information. Armed with this information, the developers could then scale their application for deployment and provide the network architects with realistic figures to design and upgrade the underlying infrastructure.

This had obvious implications to the enterprise world, and with the advancements in policy-based networking and application-aware networking, we began tosee these profiles as an integral part of a network architectÕs skill set. Consider this: If we can manage the application, we are no longer restricted to delivering (or selling) bandwidth between sitesÑwe can just deliver applications. Because, letÕs face it, the end-user ultimately doesnÕt care if their data traverses a 2MB or 622MB circuit as long as the response meets their expectations (and business needs). So in theory, our underlying infrastructure can become more cost-effective, and in a sense, dynamic.

This book is divided into two parts. The first describes a methodology and set of rules that can be used when both baselining and troubleshooting an application. The second concentrates on what I consider to be the main application sets, and details their physical and logical make-ups, the interaction between the various components, and their associated dependencies. All this is then combined to demonstrate application management from a network point of view in the delivery of the case studies.

The information in this book should provide you with a good starting point. It would be impossible to explore and detail every possible configuration and scenario, so hopefully, this book gives you a basic understanding of application operation.

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Table of Contents

Preface xiii
Acknowledgments xv
Chapter 1 Introduction: an Overview 1
1.1 Why Distributed Applications? 1
1.2 Current Business Considerations 3
1.3 Managing the Application 3
1.4 Tools of the Trade 6
Tool Selection 10
1.5 Methodology 13
Step 1 Define the Problem 14
Step 2 Gather the Facts 15
Step 3 Assess the Data 16
Step 4 Make a Plan 16
Step 5 Implement the Plan 17
Step 6 Observe the Results 17
1.6 Summary 18
Chapter 2 Basic Communications 19
2.1 Terminology 19
Local Area Network (LAN) 20
Hub 20
Bridges and LAN Switches 20
Router 21
Wide Area Network (WAN) 21
The Server 22
Three-tier Architecture 22
2.2 Network Classifications 23
LAN 25
WAN 26
Circuit-switched 26
Packet-switched 26
2.3 Architectural Configurations 27
2.4 Protocol Types 30
Layer 1 Physical Layer 31
Layer 2 Data Link 31
Layer 3 Network 32
Layer 4 Transport 32
Layer 5 Session 33
Layer 6 Presentation 33
2.5 Protocol Functions 36
Communications Protocols 36
Routing Protocols 37
Routed Protocols 37
Auxiliary Protocols 37
2.6 Dependencies 37
Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) 38
Windows Internet Service (WINS) 43
Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) 43
2.7 Client Configuration 46
2.8 Server Configuration 49
2.9 Security and Authentication 50
2.10 Summary 50
Distance Vector Protocols 52
Link State Protocols 52
Chapter 3 File and Print 53
3.1 Overview 53
3.2 Application Basics 54
3.3 Application Operation 55
3.4 Dependencies 57
3.5 Summary 57
Chapter 4 Directory Services 59
4.1 Overview 59
4.2 Protocol Types 60
4.3 Protocol Functions 62
SNMP 64
4.4 Authentication Services 65
4.5 Policy Management 67
4.6 Policy Framework and Architecture 68
4.7 Infrastructure Interaction 69
4.8 Summary 70
Chapter 5 Security and Authentication 71
5.1 Overview 71
5.2 Policy 73
What Is to be Protected? 74
Technical Considerations 74
Trusted Networks 74
Untrusted Networks 74
Unknown Networks 75
5.3 Gateway Functions 75
5.4 User Authentication 76
5.5 Host-to-Host Authentication 78
5.6 Performance 80
5.7 Ports and Sockets 81
5.8 Summary 82
Chapter 6 Web Systems 83
6.1 Overview 83
6.2 Application Basics 84
6.3 Protocols 85
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 85
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) 86
Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP4) 86
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) 87
T.120 87
H.323 87
6.4 Push and Pull Services 88
6.5 Browsers 89
6.6 Architecture 90
6.7 Middleware 92
6.8 Summary 93
Chapter 7 Messaging Systems 95
7.1 Overview 95
7.2 Protocol Types 97
Server-side Protocols 97
Client-side Protocols 98
7.3 Protocol Functions 99
Message Delivery 100
7.4 Architecture 101
7.5 Client-to-Client Communications 102
7.6 Client-to-Server Communications 105
7.7 Server-to-Server Communication 108
7.8 Fax Servers 110
7.9 Summary 112
Chapter 8 Electronic Commerce Systems 115
8.1 Overview 115
8.2 Architecture 116
8.3 Protocol Types 118
8.4 Protocol Functions 118
8.5 Security and Authentication 121
8.6 Client Communications 123
8.7 Server Communications 125
8.8 Dependencies 126
8.9 Summary 126
Chapter 9 Mainframe Connectivity 129
9.1 Overview 129
9.2 Legacy Connections 130
9.3 Terminal Emulation 131
9.4 Gateway Functions 132
9.5 System Architecture 133
9.6 Protocol Types 135
9.7 Protocol Functions 136
Transaction Service Layer 138
9.8 Dependencies 138
9.9 Summary 138
Chapter 10 Case Studies 141
10.1 Overview 141
10.2 Case Study One--Connectivity issues 142
Summary 144
10.3 Case Study Two--Failure to Connect to Application 145
Make Observations 147
Summary 151
10.4 Case Study Three--Application Slowdown (partial elements) 151
Gather the Facts 152
Fact Gathering, Part Two 156
Summary 160
10.5 Case Study Four--Application Slowdown (Whole Application) 161
Define the Problem 161
Gather the Information 163
Assess the Data 163
Make the Plan 168
Implement the Plan 169
Is the Problem Solved? 169
Summary 170
10.6 Case Study Five--Intermittent Application Performance Degradation 171
Gather the Facts 171
Making Changes 176
Digging Deeper 176
Summary 179
Appendix A Glossary 181
Appendix B Guide to RFCs 275
Appendix C Guide to Standards 279
Standards Organizations 281
Appendix D Guide to Sockets and Ports (RFC 1700) 283
Microsoft Environment 285
Ports Used by WLBS and Convoy for Cluster Control 285
Ports Used by Microsoft Exchange Server Version 5.0 286
Appendix E Guide to Organizationally Unique Identifiers (OUIs) 287
What standards are involved with OUI? 287
Index 295
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Preface

PREFACE:

Preface

Coming from an entirely network-centric background, I would like to believe that it is the network (on its own) that is totally responsible for the business bottom line, but over the years, I have come to accept that the real power lies in the application.

I started to come to this conclusion as the faults I was asked to track down moved away from simple link failures and configuration issues to more subtle "poor performance" issues. I began to see that these problems were seldom caused entirely by overloaded WAN or LAN links. As a result, I began to see a need to actually profile the application (from a network point of view), that is, to understand the client/server traffic needed to actually complete the transaction. I quickly observed that this system was dependent on many outside influences and that any one discrepancy in the process could cause the whole system to crumble.

This understanding of the process helped to close the gap between the application developers and support staff. If we could show them the interaction between their application and the infrastructure components and protocols, then together we could expedite resolution, eliminate the majority of finger-pointing associated with cross-group issues, and (probably most importantly) provide baseline information. Armed with this information, the developers could then scale their application for deployment and provide the network architects with realistic figures to design and upgrade the underlying infrastructure.

This had obvious implications to the enterprise world, and with the advancements in policy-based networking and application-aware networking, we begantosee these profiles as an integral part of a network architectÕs skill set. Consider this: If we can manage the application, we are no longer restricted to delivering (or selling) bandwidth between sitesÑwe can just deliver applications. Because, letÕs face it, the end-user ultimately doesnÕt care if their data traverses a 2MB or 622MB circuit as long as the response meets their expectations (and business needs). So in theory, our underlying infrastructure can become more cost-effective, and in a sense, dynamic.

This book is divided into two parts. The first describes a methodology and set of rules that can be used when both baselining and troubleshooting an application. The second concentrates on what I consider to be the main application sets, and details their physical and logical make-ups, the interaction between the various components, and their associated dependencies. All this is then combined to demonstrate application management from a network point of view in the delivery of the case studies.

The information in this book should provide you with a good starting point. It would be impossible to explore and detail every possible configuration and scenario, so hopefully, this book gives you a basic understanding of application operation.

Read More Show Less

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