When you have problems with a dedicated server, the natural instinct is to check for software failures, hacker attacks, and even hardware issues. But one possible cause for server trouble that should not be overlooked is bad network connectivity.
On a Linux or Unix server, there are many ways to evaluate network latency, connection strength, and proper domain configuration. The following are some useful tools you should know.
ping – The most basic of tools is one of the most useful as well. Just type ping, followed by a hostname or ip address to find out how quickly and consistently your server can connect to other machines. You can also use ping locally on most operating systems to test your server.
traceroute – This handy tool will give you point-by-point connection information from your server to another machine or a host to your server. This is a good tool if you are not sure if the connection issue is local or not. Try a traceroute from a third-party service to see if anyone else can connect to your server.
nslookup – Worried your server may not be resolving to the right domain? The nslookup tool is quick and easy, telling you what nameserver your domain is currently using.
Other tools – You can find a plethora of tools on the Internet that can give you remote network information about your server. Some will even monitor the server and give you regular updates whenever there are connection issues. Some web hosts, such as 34SP.com, may even offer monitoring tools as part of their server management packages. Although guessing has its valid place, it is not always the best way to diagnose your server’s problems. Using the right tools and a lot of patience, you can find a workable solution.