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Network Crashing

For the past couple of weeks my network has crashed about a dozen times. Network consists of 45 Windows XP Pro PCs, a couple Windows servers, and a ScoUNIX server. These are connected by a 4-port Linksys VPN router, a Linksys Wireless G Access Point, and a few NETGEAR switches. What can I do to troubleshoot this issue? Can I set anything to monitor network traffic to indicate the point of failure? I have no idea what to do. :(
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Kjohnsting
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Kjohnsting
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1 Solution
 
ChireruCommented:
Define "Crashing".. do you mean that the network just stops working? -- this may be one bad device.  ..do you mean that the network just goes really slow? -- this sounds like a design problem.

How exactly do you have your network setup?  Is it a star or extended star, or was there no real logical topology in mind?

It sounds like you are using small consumer products, like 4-port switches, if all of your equipment is 8 ports or less, then you will have a lot of traffic congestion issues on the uplinks, especially if all the switches are daisychained.
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KjohnstingAuthor Commented:
Everything completely loses network connectivity except the Windows 2003 server. Most switches are daisy-chained.
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ChireruCommented:
So you are saying that almost all the switches are giving out simultaneously?
How often does this happen, and what do you do to fix it?

Are there any loops in your network?  -- by that I mean have you connected two uplink cables between the same two switches, or have any arranged where the first switch in a chain connects to the last switch, making a circle?

It could also be the result of massive buffer overflows.  With a network setup like that, any traffic going from one side of the daisy chain to the other will have to pass through every switch, slowing it down.

If you can, I highly recommend that you reconfigure your network in an extended star topology.
The first switch, your core switch is at the top.  This is where you put your servers, internet connection, and anything else that a lot of traffic would flow to.  It would also connect to all of the 2nd level switches.  The second level switches would connect as many computers as possible, and where not possible, will link to a 3rd level of switches.  The idea is that traffic will have to go through a maximum of 3 switches to get to the destination, instead of the worst case of "all of them".  This also alleviates certain uplinks in the center of the daisy-chain network by distributing the load amongst all of the uplinks.
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iwontleaveyouCommented:
Do you have more than one router this could also be due to ROUTE POISIONING I suppose.
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KjohnstingAuthor Commented:
I solved the issue. I had the network daisy-chaining. That seems to have solved the issue. Thanks!
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