Technical Blog Post
ITM Agent Insights: Introduction
In this blog we will cover some basic troubleshooting concepts. In future blogs we will provide solutions to common issues related to IBM Tivoli Monitoring (ITM) Agents for the distributed platform. See the index of all the blogs posted under the ITM Agent Insights series at the bottom of the page.
All people have problems. Some people solve problems. Too many people ask themselves, “What just happened”?
To get by in life and to excel at it requires us to be problem solvers. The people that work in IBM support very often have to address issues that were not anticipated in the first place. Engineers often use a formula to work through these issues and you can too. Troubleshooting is a learned skill. Whether you are trying to resolve a problem with a malfunctioning DVD, a car that won’t start or your ITM environment many of the same principles apply.
Identifying and defining the problem is an initial requirement before you start working through the following steps. Not all points may apply, so attempt to address as many points as best you can. When you are done you will have a different perspective on the problem affecting you.
An often overlooked step that is critical for complex problems is you take notes on the cause and effect relationship of what you did and the consequences it had.
Here is the basic formula for troubleshooting most problems:
- Identify the problem. (For example, my car does not start.)
- Is there another way to define the issue? (My car makes a clicking sound while starting)
- Are there any obvious symptoms?
- Observe the problem (Look (i.e. corrosion on battery terminals), listen, smell)
- Break things down to their most basic level (Does car have fuel and a working battery?)
- Determine what tools are available to you (An identical working object (i.e. another battery), Google, the web, a volt-ohm meter, etc.)
- When did the problem start?
- Did something change?
- Identify what changed. (Keep in mind there may be more than one change or problem. This is why notes help.)
- If possible, substitute the suspected component.
- If the substitution does not correct the problem, put the original component back in place. This step is important because it limits the possibility of introducing a new problem into something that is already broken.
- Take notes
Now you are ready to advance to the next level. In many cases the steps presented above will help you to isolate a failing component or at least be able to answer basic questions. The information you learned will allow you to frame the problem for an expert if you can’t fix it yourself. Now you can go to the local electronic or auto part store or contact IBM L2 support and present the problem in a manner that will help it be resolved more efficiently.
The following is a ITM Agent Insights series index of all posted blogs. Feel free to bookmark this page so you do not miss any new additions.
Subscribe and follow us for all the latest information directly on your social feeds:
Check out all our other posts and updates: