Triage in Real-time

Posted On February 9, 2012 By Kevin O'Brien

This past week the Advance Network Services team was challenged with an interesting troubleshooting case that was outside the norm. A long-standing customer had placed several service calls throughout last year indicating that their multifunctional printer (MFP) would intermittently stop printing. To make matters more difficult it was also noted that the time of occurrence may be once every two months.

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Regardless of the failure interval, Advance takes every step necessary to ensure proper device functionality and is committed to doing so. We started our assessment with our standard troubleshooting protocols to ensure the device was not suffering from a simple hardware or technical issue. This included checking the device and system logs for any error codes.  Steps were then taken to ensure the device was operating with the most recent software updates. The physical layer of the network was also tested for any disconnects and latency which returned no negative results. At this point it became apparent that Advance would need “eyes” on the device 24×7 in order to monitor for errors due to the interval at which they occurred.

Previously blogs have suggested our remote meter collection and monitoring tool, DocuLife Line was fit for the job, and it was. Alerts were setup to notify Advance of any errors whether during or off business hours and ranged from simple “out of paper” notifications to critical system errors. A few days went by with no errors reported but then it happened, a phone call from our client indicating the machine was down. The Network Services group leaped into action and checked the monitoring software which oddly reported no errors whatsoever. A remote session was immediately established to the client’s site and some simple diagnostics commands were issued to confirm our suspicion. It was a duplicate IP address!

As it turns out the client was operating over a VPN (Virtual Private Network) and remotely connecting only on rare occasions. The client computer was statically set to the same IP as the MFP so when it was turned on, both devices fought for master control and printing/scanning screeched to a halt. The remedy was simple and only involved having their third party IT provider set the PC to a different address than that of the MFP.

This is a great example of how Advance employs various technologies and support techniques to correct issues within a clients network. Whether Advance is remotely monitoring your devices, performing remote support, or triaging issues on site, rest assured that we have the technology and resources to get the job done.