Wichita IT Support – Sometimes It’s the Little Things

For information about our Wichita IT Support Services, visit the homepage at Proper Technology Solutions.

Big Network Issue – Little Tiny Problem

RJ-45 Network Plug

RJ-45 Network Plug

See that little clip on the top of the network jack?  It’s a big deal.  Really.  Let me elaborate.

I received notification from our Proper Monitoring System that a server at a client had gone offline.  I logged into our remote system and had serious trouble logging into any of their servers.  That’s when the calls started coming in.

  • Email is down
  • Can’t access network drives
  • Citrix isn’t working
  • VPN is down

These calls came in from across the U.S., as this was a nationwide customer.  Suddenly, my one down server was a major issue.

I went onsite to look at the system in person.  For a little background, this network runs on two giant servers that host five virtual servers apiece, with all the storage located on an external NAS device.  After rebooting the servers, which had fixed similar issues in the past, I was given a message that the storage required was unavailable.  I traced numerous cables from the NAS boxes to the switch at the top of the rack.


Wichita IT Support - Cables in Switch

Wichita IT Support - Cables in Switch

The light corresponding to the top-left cable was off.  Everything else was normal.  A little jiggling of the cable and the light came back on.  Servers started coming up.

Turns out the phone service had been in, and needed to unplug their cable from the switch.  Apparently, during tracing the cables, this one wiggled out just enough to go offline.  Why?  The orange boot on the network cable was depressing the locking clip on the RJ-45 jack and it could be freely removed and reinserted just with a light tug.

When plugging network cables in, make sure the locking mechanism is working!  Just give it a light tug once it snaps in.  If the locking mechanism is broken off (common), throw the cable away.

So the moral of the case study is:  One tiny piece of plastic can take down a nationwide network.  Details count!

If you’re looking for top-notch business or residential IT support in Wichita and surrounding areas, give us a call at (316) 337-5628.  We’ll be happy to discuss your IT needs and how we can help make your systems more efficient and lower your technology costs.




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