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Network vs. Pc support

By 5C's ·
our network admin. battles with our pc suport admin. over letting the pc techs to access certain aspects of the cisco routers. the tech say that if allowed they could make repairs more efficent and get users up and running faster than the network group.there are 2 network guys and 5 pc techs. the network admin cites security and fewer hands on the network as his rationale for not wanting anyone else on the networks and the pc techs feel control is his main reason.

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Common

by JackOfAllTech In reply to Network vs. Pc support

Years (many) ago, when I was on desktop support, we had similar problems. Our responsibility and authority ended where the wire hit the wall. Even though I knew more than some of the N/W techs, I wasn't allowed to touch anything on the network.Ralph

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Boundaries

by Oldefar In reply to Common

I think it is human nature to create boundaries.

The flip side to managers restricting actions by department is workers responding with "not my job". I had a miserable quarter when help desk personnel would call me at all hours to validate whether the network was up or down because network was "not their job". What really hurt were the calls where they had identified a circuit outage by CSU indicator lights, but were afraid to call the carrier! Training on how to interpret available symptoms, how to call a carrier to report a circuit outage, and a difficult sales job to their manager on why this was not doing network but simply speeding the resolution process finally resolved the issue.

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One way to look at it.

by JIM-H In reply to Common

It is funny topic if you ask me considering that the System Administrators and PC Technicians would scoff at the idea of giving Administrative, or root, access to their systems and then expect the network elements to be different. There are many cases where the lonely Network Administrator could isolated a problem if just one more system was available for them to test from. Of course this is not everyone; just some.

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Share knowledge for benefit of everyone

by mark.tindill In reply to Common

Personally, I've never subscribed to the whole "knowledge is power" mentality. It's a pathetic and insular way to conduct your life, working or otherwise
I welcome any genuine interest from helpdesk people in my organisation who are willing to learn. If they choose to use that knowledge in a negative "backbiting" way then ultimately I believe it will come back on them.

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Think what, not how

by Oldefar In reply to Network vs. Pc support

There are some legitimate reasons for limiting access to routers, particulary when access is for changes. A properly designed network, implemented with correct configurations, should only change in response to changing requirements. If routers arehaving configs changed in response to troubles, the design or its implementation was faulty. If services or ports are being routinely reset, it indicates a problem with the hardware or IOS.

Keep in mind that an "Oops" on a workstation impacts that workstation, or at worse a LAN segment. An "Oops" on a router can bring all communications on an intranet down.

Likewise, a security snafu on a workstation is still backed up by site security and worker integrity. A network security snafu canopen the intranet up to the world.

I would approach the issue from a what, rather than a how, approach. Let the network administrator know what information your PC support is looking for and why. Forget about pushing router access, let the network admin determine a solution that meets your requirements and leaves him comfortable.

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Network Admin Is Right

by TomSal In reply to Network vs. Pc support

I have to side with the Network Admin, I'll go a step further and say -- "Why does the PC support techs need access to the routers/switches anyway"?

I mean I've been a PC support tech for many years before I got interested in networking - I know what you need to support PCs, and I never needed to change router settings or fuss with a switch to provide PC tech support.

If you have network admins to take the networking problems/calls and the PC support techs to field the standard helpdesk calls -- AND the PC support techs are saying they need full access to the routers, it is, IMHO, that the PC support techs are the ones with the control issues not the Network guys.

The network guys are doing what they should do -- fighting to keep as few people as possible from messing with the network configs.

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The N/W techs are very right...

by turnerc In reply to Network Admin Is Right

Just wait until one of the PC tech's decides to take a CCNA course....the routers will be all over the place within days !!
I would never permit PC techs access to routers, or other major network hardware. If they feel the need to control this equipment, they must become network techs.
Each job also needs a hard boundary. It's nice to work into the grey areas, but once you have a ****-up, you're screwed and you would find the network techs, and PC techs would slowly turn on each other.
There's also the knowledge required for network admin. It is very different to PC tech supp, and I would say that no matter how much you claim to know more than a N/W tech (not to say you are lying), there is something that makes them the N/W tech, and you the PC tech. It's probably experience with infrastructure communications.

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One stop shopping

by 5C's In reply to Network Admin Is Right

When the help desk dispatches a call for a end user who can't get onto their machine, they really don't want to hear that you can't fix their problem and someone else has to be sent out to repair something as simple as replacing a port on the switch and reconfiging it. Time is money. As for control the NW guys have set the network up so that everything that the PC group does they have to depend on NW guys the for the fix, this causes dependency

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Approach

by Oldefar In reply to One stop shopping

I am going to assume that key focus of the PC team is customer service with an emphasis on the fastest possible time to restore. I am also going to assume that the key issue for network is risk rather than control, but that the discussion has movedoff the real issues to a focus on control.

My suggestion is a responsibility nuetral flow chart of problem resolution. Try to cover at least the top 80% of the reported problems in this effort. Try to identify the steps taken for problem identification and resolution.

Now focus the emphasis on actions and order to provide the best possible support to the users. Perhaps a first step on a trouble should be a switch port reset prior to tech dispatch, for example. As a side note, if port resets, or port changes and reconfigurations, are fixing many of the problems then your organization really needs to look at getting vendor support or changing switch manufacturer.

Once the focus is on what instead of who, you may find the networkmanager requesting certain routines to be moved to your team's responsibility.

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professional growth

by 5C's In reply to Approach

there is only so much you can do on the PC end, where do the techs go from here professionally. Each tech has the (mental)appitude to make our organization better. The fact that I omitted is that the NW admin is the only person who works on the NW issues. What If something happens then. This makes our organization hostages to his decisions.

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