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I was doing some work on a physical server and I get asked, "is the server on the network?". Does this mean it's connected to a switch or something else?


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closed as not a real question by Chris Thorpe, Mark Henderson, EEAA, Zypher, theotherreceive Jul 7 '10 at 9:31

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What type of person asked the question? A non-IT person would probably mean something totally different than an IT person. – David Jul 6 '10 at 22:53

It means it's connected to the local area network, either via a swich, or a WAP, or something.

Usually people want to know this to figure out if they can remote into it, or to figure out if a problem is network related.

Easiest way to figure it out is to ping it (if you know the ip) or ping something else FROM it, if you don't.

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As a general rule it means is the server connected to whichever network is applicable in the particular instance. When people ask such a question they don't just mean is the cable plugged in but rather is the server reachable from other machines on the same network. "Reachable" is itself context sensitive.

In most cases what you're really being asked is "why can't I connect to [network shares|web site|something else] on that server?"

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It is an imprecise question, and so any answer is a guess. What it really means is "Something is broken, fix it." You need more information.

My response would generally be something like "What problem are you having?" or "What are you seeing?" or "How can I help you?" or "Why do you ask?".

My next action (assuming I am on the server) would be to make sure that it is talking on the network by pinging something or trying to browse the internet.

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