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What to do when your server goes down

When a server goes down at a particular time every night without the prompt of a virus, our expert, Puneet Mehta, can tell you what the problem is and what you can do to avoid it.

I have a problem with my network going down after 6:30 PM. After that time, we are not able to get the mapped drives on local machines and we cannot save anything on the server. We have a Dell Poweredge 2800 server with Microsoft 2003 as O/S. We have recently put Firewall Pix 515 on the switch (D-link DES 3550). In the daytime it works very smoothly, but by evening it chokes. We have scanned the entire machine with Trend Micro for viruses and found there are none. Please suggest something I can do.

Since, the problem seems to occur in the evening, my guess is that there might be certain processes or tasks that run during that hour and take up all the server CPU time and network bandwidth causing the above problem (rejecting an incoming connection to the server or connection timeouts). This happens if you are backing up data spread over the network or the server is running broadcast application (during that hour). I suggest the following to make sure this is no longer an issue:

  • Check for all the services and applications installed on server and also validate the scheduled tasks.
  • Check for the login profiles of the users and server availability parameters. You can use network monitoring tools to get the details on server performance counters.
  • If you have manageable switches you can easily look for the segment generating the high network traffic.
  • There are too many things involved in a Network; so you will have to isolate them one by one.
  • Also, since you have just introduced the firewall, I would ask if the problem persisted before the firewall or it started after it was deployed. If it has started after the firewall, then there might be some configuration issues.

Again, as I mentioned above, you will have to isolate each and every component one by one. Hope this helps.

This was last published in October 2006

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