Dealing with Vendors and/or Service Providers

As someone that works in the information technology field I constantly have to work with vendors to get support on issues and the pattern is usually always the same. Call in, get low level tech support, request higher level support, they “will call you”, they never do, and then you get to play phone tag.

On the phone with AT&T

This pattern is almost the same with every company whether you are dealing with Dell or AT&T or RingCentral. Any large vendor and/or service provider will always have a bunch of hoops that you will have to jump through to get to speak to someone that actually knows what they are doing.

What you need to do is be persistent until you get someone (usually Level 3 or higher) that is not just reading a pre-determined set of sentences and checks, but someone that actually understands the product and/or service that the company provides. Until you do you will run the risk of prolonging and sometimes completely mis-diagnosing the issue. One major thing to do is get a hold of someone in the United States and not somewhere that is overseas. I have yet to find someone that is overseas that actually knows what they are talking about in terms of diagnosing and fixing an issue.

Hopefully this helps someone out. Just recently I had this happen to me and if I had gotten the guy I have now our issues and pains would have been much less than they are now. Until next time!

And Dell if you are listening – Since you bought SonicWall your tech support has become horrible and the people you are employing in the call centers do NOT have the know-how to fix even basic issues. Also fire the firmware team as they seem to break more than they fix.

Basic Sonicwall SonicPoint Ni/Ne/NDR Troubleshooting

At my job I get to work with all sorts of wireless technologies. We have been using Sonicwall SonicPoint access points at a lot of our clients and for the most part they are very solid. However we have had some issues with them dropping traffic and/or locking up. If you are having the same/similar issues try a few things.

  1. Check under SonicPoint > RF Analysis and see what your “RF Score” for the AP that is having issues is. If it is less than 6 look and see what channel is the least crowded and make note of it.
  2. Under SonicPoint > SonicPoints go to the edit properties for the AP you are troubleshooting. Go to the Radio (0 is 5ghz on NDR and 1 is 2.4ghz on NDR, Ne & Ni only have 1 radio that operates on either band).
  3. Change the band to “Standard – 20MHz Channel” and then select the channel that had the least interference in Step 1.
  4. Disable (uncheck) “Enable Short Guard Interval” and “Enable Aggregation”. Apply the settings. NOTE – If you have iPads and iPhones it is ALWAYS recommended to disable Aggregation as they do not adhere properly to the 802.11n standard and this will cause issues.

After you have made these changes you can also try adjusting the power from Full to Half, this has helped in the past with unruly APs probably due to heat. If you are still having issues with dropped traffic or disconnects then change the “Fragmentation Threshold” and “RTS Threshold” from 2346 to 2300 and keep going to a lower number until you find one that helps stabilize the connection. Be sure to set BOTH of them to the SAME number.

I hope this helps someone out. Send me any input and/or suggestions if you have them.

SonicPoint N Series

Fixing Sonicwall SSO Agent/Directory Connector Connection Issue

I have been having repeat issues with the Sonicwall SSO Agent/Directory Connector showing offline (red) in the SSO Agent settings in the Sonicwall. After trying multiple fixes I finally found one that works. The issue is caused by the default configuration that the installer creates having issues and these steps below will re-write that with the correct information and allow the service to work properly.

Start by loading the Directory Connector Configurator application and then change the Shared Key using the auto-generated key. Copy the key and paste it into the Sonicwall SSO Agent configuration and apply the new settings in the Sonicwall and the Directory Connector Configurator. Once this is done follow the steps below in the screenshots. Once these steps are complete it should show as online (green) in the SSO Agent settings. If it does not please let me know and I’ll see if I can find a fix. Also if you have Sonicwall support I would suggest giving them a ring and see what they say.