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Troubleshooting the Network
Types of Problems
The lines between Evergreen issues, wide-area network (WAN) issues, local area network (LAN) issues, and individual PC workstation issues can be unclear, but it is very important in troubleshooting to attempt to find out which category your problem falls into before you can know how to handle it. Some definitions may be helpful.
- Evergreen – the open source software that runs on a Linux server cluster administered by PINES/GPLS staff and their contractors. The Evergreen Staff Client connects to and interacts with this server cluster over the local area and wide area network connections. Both Staff Client and server-level problems can be considered “Evergreen” issues.
- Wide Area Network (WAN) – your libraries' sole means of getting to the Internet. Your library system contracts individually for Internet service, so that service provider will be your sole contact for wide area network problems.
- Local Area Network (LAN) – the network internal to your library, administered by your local library system’s information technology (IT) staff.
- Individual PC Workstation – the computer on which your staff or patrons are working, administered by your local library system’s IT staff.
An example of where the confusion between these areas of responsibility comes about would be Evergreen “slowness,” a common complaint. The PC workstation could be short on memory or could have too many programs running at once. Internal network bandwidth could be at capacity, causing all kinds of Internet slowness, including the staff client. There could be a network outage in one of the service areas near your library. Or finally, there could be a problem with Evergreen that is causing slowness for everyone. There are diagnostic tools available to the Local System Administrator for troubleshooting each of these trouble areas.
An easy way to check whether the PINES website is actually unavailable or if something else is the problem is to check gapines.org at the site http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/. You will get an instant result that will let you know whether other people on the internet are able to access the site.
Sources for Help
- Local IT Staff – The first contact for all technical problems. In libraries where there are not dedicated IT staff, this responsibility will fall to the “most technical” staff member in a system. Inter-library sharing of IT expertise is greatly encouraged.
- Internet Service Provider (ISP) – Your library system’s network provider - the point of contact for networking issues if local area network problems are ruled out.
- GPLS Technology Site - Contains information about GPLS-provided services, FAQs, and best practices: (http://galibtech.org)
- TechTalk Mailing List – Connect with Local System Administrators around the state (both PINES and non-PINES libraries) and ask your technical questions. There is a great deal of expertise in our collective knowledge! Sign up for the mailing list at: http://list.georgialibraries.org/mailman/listinfo/techtalk