Describing the problem- Helpfully Fix the problem

Keep this in MindDescribing the the problem does not tell you how to fix the problem in technical terms. 

Describing the problem and Helpfully Fix the Problem

This is another big problem a number in the younger generation has fallen into with a passive form of communication. 

A person can creatively (with the genius you possess) describe a problem your phone is having with a technical issue. But if the person you are talking to does not specialize in electronics, then saying “the ground really has a lot of snow” does not tell or show how to clear up the “snow.” A person for some time may have known the ground has word picture wise seen the snow, it still doesn’t mean the person knows how to fix the problem right away or even who to ask for help. 

Now as a true friend or professional collaborator, wouldn’t you expect your PARTNER to voluntarily just provide/give that information (THEY POSSESS) to you that will FIX the problem? Otherwise it is just like the person you have placed confidence in is tearing down their own house/business/website/phone etc. By withholding such information from you. (Proverbs 14:1 – The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.) <— Same goes for men

Am I correct or not?

Then you will eventually start having to accept the fact that their actions are not matching with their beautiful smile, countenance, etc. Men are beautiful, I mean handsome, as well. Again, this is when you have to say, “We have to put the fun and games, or passive communication aside, at least for this issue, we need CLEAR VERBAL talk.” Hope this helps. You All are sharp personalities. I know it does. From my mind to your mind. – James

A Thought From the Past – OSI

Finding and describing the problem

Perceptive Readers, As you are aware, over the years, I’ve written hundreds of articles. Here is a flashback that applicably fits with the subject we talked about above.

Houston: “What is the problem?”
Communication between systems what it’s all about. Things sometimes go wrong with servers and computers that provide services to clients/customers, whether it is a website, e-mail, database, etc… When something goes wrong with the connectivity between systems these are some of the thoughts that will run through your mind:

“What in the world just happened?
Does the software or apps have a wrong configuration? 
Did we lose power somewhere? Are the servers down?
Who tripped over the cables?
*Sigh* Will this turn into a 24-hour shift to fix the problem?”

You have to use a logical thinking process to troubleshoot problems experienced in the Information Technology field. The more skilled you are at troubleshooting the quicker you can come to a conclusion on how to fix the problem. You do not want to spend your wheels, so to speak, longer than necessary. Right?
Then the worker who is worthy of his or her wages can relax with a cold beer. *Scratches head* I mean a tall cold glass of lemonade!

The OSI Model and Troubleshooting

In 1984, the public learned from the International Organization for Standardization that OSI stands for Open Systems Interconnection. It Explains in everyday language the OSI model’s role. It is to help you visualize your servers’ service connections to everything in a 7 layer logical order the communication/connectivity occurs.

Application
Presentation
Session
Transport
Network
Data Link
Physical 

Special Exam Mnemonic Learn it and pass the test!
“All People Seem To Need Data Processing”

The Lower OSI levels consists of the Physical, Data Link, Network and Transport. This deals with what you would most likely troubleshoot first. Why? Because it starts with a physical inspection.

Are all cables (Ethernet, Fiber etc…) and networked cards connected? If they have power, are they transmitting the correct protocol such as TCP/IP? Back in the 80s to the early 2000s companies were using token ring, IPX, and other protocols we rarely use today, if at all.

For the most part, you can quickly verify your connections by visual inspection and by using the Ping, in addition to command line troubleshooting tools. Often the lights on the network card and switch ports will provide feedback according to the colors and their meaning in the device’s manual.

The Upper OSI levels form the Session, Presentation, and Application layers. The upper levels are involved when you have 2 devices like a computer and even smart phones communicating with one another through a session.

When there is a problem on this level most likely there is a glitch in the operating system, program, or app code that can in some cases turn out to be a flaw or bug. The upper levels involve DNS and encryption. Sometimes it may require a simple restart of one or more of the systems to flush out obsolete settings and software.

This is why you will hear from technicians tell you to restart the system(s) first before you contact them.

We could go into extensive details, but for the most part, the systems administrator will work on the first 4 layers in this way:

1) Connections
2) Power
3) Configurations

If you recently added new hardware or changed configurations, you should check your firewall, routers and switch settings for proper port forwarding and routing protocols.

Over time, you will learn your systems like the back of your hand and will know that Port 18 is about to go out or the e-mail server just needs to be restarted for software patch updates.

In time, the main parts of the OSI models that apply to you as a systems administrator or developer will become second nature to you even if you forget at times the OSI Model Proper layer names.

So when someone tells you “Houston, we have a problem.” 
You can reply, “All cables, servers, and switch configurations are a go, restart your client’s system first and then I will look at the program or app you are using at this time.”