The ghost in the network

30.10.2006

TIP: Document what comes in and what goes out

Some of our very old servers had been in operation for many years. They plodded along doing the mundane maintenance tasks for which they were originally assigned. New hardware came and went. Many of the older devices could no longer be traced except by anecdotal memory.

TIP: Scan your entire IP range periodically

Most modern operating systems monitor a wide range of activity. But beware! They cannot detect what they cannot see. Very old hardware can lie below the radar. Our phantom server with no name was undetectable by normal means.

Program consoles can display their clients, but not every machine runs every service. We suddenly realized that we did not have a single, simple comprehensive method to detect everything that was out there on our network, no matter what it was.