There is no shortage of utilities, applications and full blown network troubleshooting systems out there. Some are free, and some cost a pretty penny. Spoiler alert, they ALL have their place in the analysts’ toolbox.
When I present or work with a client, I explain the tools only accounts to 50% of the equation to successfully fixing a problem. The other 50% is split between knowledge and practice. Think about it for a moment, anyone can buy a pocket knife, but only a few of us can carve something recognizable out of a block of wood.
NetBeez provides a very helpful free version of its product so you can get a feel of what it can do and where it might fit into your specific environment. In the past I would have to figure out how to schedule, report results and then compile them for a report. Any one of those challenges would immediately turn off most analysts since we have plenty on our plates already.
Look at good old ping for a moment. Sure anyone can ping something
I tested the free virtual appliance, which you can find here https://netbeez.net/product/plans/netbeez-free. The free version supports; one agent, three targets, 1 user, Cloud server account, SMTP alerts, 1 and week data storage which is plenty for me and some of my clients who tried it.
Setup is pretty simple, go to NetBeez and create a cloud account and download their ova file. I used VMWARE workstation with no issues.
Some of the measurements that I tested are:
PING, Packet Loss, Round-Trip Time,
TCP-based PING test, Round-Trip Time, Packet Loss, Custom port numbers
DNS Availability, Query time
HTTP Availability, Response time
Traceroute using TCP/UDP/ICMP protocol
iPerf • TCP Download and Upload speed test
I have provided the full list of tests in the video or you can go to the NetBeez site using the following link http://resources.netbeez.net/hubfs/Resources-PDF/NetBeez_Specs.pdf NetBeez can also perform wireless monitoring such as recording signal strength and link quality which requires their Raspberry wireless solution.
The cloud option makes the product very handy since I don’t need to figure out a way to access the test computer or spend time summarizing the results.
Here is a sample iperf results where I documented the impact of microwave on my Wifi network at noon. You can clearly see the performance drop.
Don’t forget, documenting the issue is half the battle since you need something to reference when you make changes.
In the accompanying video, I show you some of the setup screens and results. The help screens and video which should be enough to get you going.