Troubleshooting IP-centric technologies can be a new challenge for engineers. Often it becomes a case of “You don’t know—what you don’t know,” until it is too late. In addition, once the engineer knows there is a problem, it is important to know what tools are needed to solve it.
Step one in the maintenance of an IP-centric facility is knowledge of T&M and the proper gear. The old oscilloscope and voltmeter are probably not the best tools for the job. Today’s test gear is as sophisticated as the media equipment.
Step two in calming the often “Hair on fire,” panic scenario is documentation. Without a map, the engineer is hopelessly lost.
But, IP facilities require a new type of documentation. With the familiar SDI infrastructure, a traditional system block diagram is often sufficient for troubleshooting. With a modern IP-centric facility, block diagrams are of little use because of the software involved.
These two articles will help you both document and effectively troubleshoot your IP-centric facility and gear.
Troubleshooting IP systems requires both system knowledge and the proper tools. If either is missing, the odds for a winning game plan are small.
As production and playout centers and broadcasters adopt computer-based technology, the technical staffs needs to expand their knowledge of IP and the tools needed to troubleshoot these systems. Part of the process can be training supplied by the equipment vendors.
However, the bottom line responsibility is on the technical staff to understand their facility’s intricacies and have the documentation and tools required to keep it running smoothly.
In the article, “Maintenance and Troubleshooting in the World of IP,” the author suggests some steps to take through real-world scenarios. What he discovers on the job, proves to often be an eye-opening exercise.
The transition to IP is having an impact on all aspects of broadcast from business to technical operations, workflow engineering and maintenance. One key component of this change is how a production or broadcast system needs to be documented. Gone are the good old days when an engineering drawing and wire run list and some service manuals were all the engineer needed to maintain, diagnose and troubleshoot issues.
In this article, readers learn about documenting IP addresses, port configuration, VLANs and subnets. They will review the importance of documenting applications running, Firewall rules and services being used.
The article concludes with a real-life story of what happened when something failed and a facility’s IP documentation was insufficient. All this and more in the article, “How IP is Redefining System Engineering Documentation.”
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