Well, going by what actually happened at the National Internet Backbone’s nodal center in Jaipur, a more apt title would have been something like:
“Attempt at Setting up MRTG for BSNL, Jaipur, Swiftly Denied by a Network Problem”
Like I mentioned before, we had some serious network related issues when we were trying to configure the (really old) server they’d given us to setup MRTG on. We were to configure the network interface settings on the Red Hat server according to a hand book they’d given me. After setting the IP and the subnet mask, I went on to add the default gateway route. And heck, the gateway wasn’t visible from the LAN! I thought that perhaps, the hand book had older details and they’d probably reconfigured their routers in the server room we were in. But when Mr S.C Gupta, the head of the nodal office, told me that all other hosts in the same network are using the gateway that was specified in the manual (which was Rajasthan’s gateway to the internet backbone), I was taken aback. Not once in my system administration experience had I encountered a situation where a router was visible to all hosts but one within the same VLAN (assuming no one went through the trouble of setting a port block in the switch)! Furthermore, I was able to ping all these hosts from the server in question and vice versa, but the router still stood defiant (when I get my hands on it…grrr). My suspicion about the router having disabled incoming pings were also put to waste when I saw that it’s working with the other devices on the same LAN. Just to be sure, I checked and double checked the configuration of all other systems on the network, and they all seemed green. How queer. To make matters worse, no one really knew how these devices were networked. After tackling the problem for about 4 hours, me and my junior Nitin, decided to leave and come back some other time because the station was to go on a power maintenance shutdown. Man was I glad I left that place!