Computer networks can be fun, fascinating and totally frustrating. Things usually roll along just fine until you really need a project to complete or are trying to impress a new client. I specialize in untangling complex issues that make absolutely no sense until you get to the root of the evil causing the issue. They get especially interesting when your IT department or an IT person is not involved in the change.
Once upon a time I worked for a retailer that wanted to move the ordinary piano into the digital age. They started taking saws to the bottom of VERY expensive pianos and attaching player systems that communicated via hard-wired and wireless routers downloading onto hard drives mounted to the bottoms of the beast. This was supposed to be experimental and was SUPPOSED to involve the IT department prior to deploying.
The WAN’s we had were based on a 10.1.xx.xx scheme where the third octet would denote the remote store location, (i.e. 10.1.190.xx meant San Antonio), and the remote router would handle DHCP and dole out the IP address’s to the remote PC’s.
One afternoon I received a call stating that the lines must be down since none of the PC’s were able to communicate to the network in Maryland. I was able to ping the remote router at 10.1.190.1, and could also ping devices with a static IP such as printers. When I had a user do an ipconfig on his PC he returned an address of 192.168.1.22. Hmmmmm, something else was handing out IP address’s. I asked the user if the delivery department had delivered the piano with the player system and he confirmed that they had.
At that point I had a really good idea of the issue and contacted the technician who installed the system on the piano. I asked him if he had disabled DHCP and he said no. Go figure that he leases had expired on all of the PC’s in the store at roughly the same time and the piano had started handing out IP address’. After turning off DHCP on the piano’s wireless router the store PC’s were able to pick up a 10.1.190.xx address after doing an ipconfig /release and renew.
You better believe that the IT department was included in future installations. Do you have bizarre things happening on your network? Post here, we may have an answer for you!
Harry McConchie – Systems Engineer – Carter Information Solutions
firstname.lastname@example.org – 301-576-6456