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Troubleshooting Network Connectivity with a School Manager physical appliance

This article is intended for IT support. 

This article discusses some troubleshooting steps to follow if you have a School Manager physical appliance installed at your school and are having networking connectivity issues. Please attempt each of the troubleshooting steps before contacting Linewize Support.

Key questions that may help troubleshoot the issue are:

  • Has anything changed in the network?
  • Have there been any updates?
  • When did the issue begin?
  • Who is it affecting?
  • Have you checked with your ISP?
  • Does the School Manager appear online or offline in the web interface?

The diagram below is a basic overview of a typical school networking infrastructure. The goal of these troubleshooting steps is to determine where the point of failure is.

 

Step 1: Physically check the School Manager appliance

  1. On the School Manager appliance, check that it is powered on.
  2. Check that there are at least two network cables plugged in
  3. Check that the status LEDs are flashing similar to the image below.

  • If cables are missing or disconnected, plug them into the required ports. If you are unsure where they should be connected, proceed to Step 7.
  • If the cables are plugged in and the status LEDs are flashing, proceed to Step 2.
  • If the cables are plugged in and the status LEDs are not flashing, there might be an issue with the cables or the Network Interface Card (NIC). Reseat or replace the cables first and if there is still an issue, proceed to Step 7.

 

Step 2: Check if School Manager appears online

Check if School Manager appears online by logging in and going to Configuration > Networking > Interfaces. If the device is offline, you will see the ‘no data to display’ message.

 

Step 3: Restart the School Manager appliance

Warning

DO NOT restart the appliance if some users have an internet connection, even if others do not. Instead, proceed to Step 4.

If School Manager appears offline in the web interface and all users at your school don’t have an internet connection, follow these steps to restart the appliance

  1. Connect a monitor and keyboard into the School Manager appliance, and enter the SphireOS command system reboot to reboot School Manager
  2. Or press the reset button (if your appliance has one), otherwise pull the power cable, wait until the device is fully depowered, and plug it back in.
  3. Wait a few minutes to see if this resolved the issue. If not, proceed to Step 4.

 

Step 4: Check connectivity from a Device on the network

Using a device on the network, use Command Prompt (Windows) or Terminal (macOS) to ping Google and other websites. This will identify if the device has an internet connection.

  1. Open Command Prompt or Terminal.
  2. Enter ping followed by the IP address or web address. To ping Google, enter ping 8.8.8.8 or ping www.google.com
  3. Press Enter/Return.
  • If there is an internet connection, you will see a reply.
  • If there is no internet connection, you will receive a failure message.
  1. Next, ping other appliances on the network. In Command Prompt, enter ping followed by the IP address of that device. This will determine if your device can connect with those appliances. Ping the following devices:
    • Firewall
    • School Manager Appliance
    • Core Switch
    • Access Switch
    • Access Point
  2. Make a note of your results

 

Step 5: Check connectivity from School Manager appliance

Info

This step will only work if your School Manager appears Online in the web interface. If your School Manager appliance appears Offline, proceed to Step 6.

Similar to Step 4, this process will determine if the School Manager device connects to the internet and other appliances of the networking infrastructure.

  1. In School Manager, go the device menu (three vertical dots) > Tools.
  2. Use the Ping Tool to ping the internet and IP addresses of other appliances.
  3. Take a note of your results.

 

Step 6: Bypass School Manager appliance

By bypassing the School Manager appliance, you connect the firewall directly to the core switch, taking the School Manager appliance out of the equation.

Connect your core switch directly to the firewall, but keep the School Manager appliance powered on and connected to the internet

  • If this has resolved your issue, there is a problem with the School Manager appliance. Proceed to Step 7.
  • If this has not resolved the issue, the problem is probably somewhere else in your network or with your ISP. If you haven’t already, confirm there are no known outages with your ISP before proceeding to Step 7.

 

Step 7: Contact Linewize Support

If you have completed all the troubleshooting steps here and are still having connectivity issues, contact Linewize Support with your findings for more help.

 

Troubleshooting Checklist

Troubleshooting StepCompleted Result
1Physically check the School Manager appliance  
1.1Check device is connected to a functioning power supply and turned on  
1.2Check data cabling is seated correctly  
1.3Check status LEDs  
2Check if the School Manager appears online from the Configuration > Networking > Interfaces page:
  • Offline: go to step 3
  • Online: go to step 4
  
3Restart the School Manager appliance  
4Check connectivity from a Device on the network  
5If School Manager is appearing online from Configuration > Networking > Interfaces page  
5.1Ping the internet from the School Manager web interface  
5.2Ping the firewall from the School Manager web interface  
5.3Ping the core switch from the School Manager web interface  
5.4Ping an access switch from the School Manager web interface  
5.5Ping an access point from the School Manager web interface  
5.6Ping a device from the School Manager web interface  
6Bypass the School Manager appliance  
7Contact Linewize Support