All Posts By

Panagiotis Vouzis

End-User Monitoring from the Floor of Cisco Live 2017

By | End user monitoring, Network Monitoring, Wireless monitoring | No Comments

NetBeez at Cisco LiveOur first time exhibiting at Cisco Live was a blast! The most rewarding part was talking to hundreds of network professionals and learning about their experiences and problems, and also how we can make their lives a little bit easier with NetBeez.

NetBeez is an end-user monitoring tool that uses WAN and WLAN sensors to capture network and application performance from multiple locations of your network.  While we were at CLUS, we thought it would be an excellent opportunity to demonstrate to attendees how NetBeez works and what data it collects by deploying sensors on the tradeshow floor. Here’s what we discovered:

Setup

We deployed a wired and a wireless agent on the trade show floor. A pair of agents helps in quickly identifying  if the issue is the wireless or wired network causing user experience issues. The wired agent was connected to a drop in the  Cisco Investments Pavilion area, and the wireless one was deployed at our booth in the World of Solutions. Read More

How to Run a NetBeez Agent on Windows 10

By | Network Engineering, Network Monitoring | No Comments

Around a year ago Microsoft released a Windows Insider Preview that included the ability to run a native Bash on Ubuntu. I was really excited about it, since I wouldn’t have to use things like Cygwin on my PC anymore and, more importantly, I could run any Debian package on my Windows machine. I immediately installed the Bash console, but I was disappointed within the first minute: basic commands like “ifconfig” didn’t work. I didn’t pay attention to Microsoft’s warning that the Bash console was in Beta.

A year and several releases later, the Bash console that I just tested on Windows version 10.0.15063 is much more complete to the point that a NetBeez agent can be installed on it.

Why is this important? It gives the ability to install a NetBeez agent on an actual user’s PC, so if you need to offer support or investigate any performance issues you can do it by getting data from the actual user’s machine. Below are the steps to install a NetBeez agent on Windows.

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iPerf Performance Testing on Single Board Computers

By | Network Engineering, Network Monitoring, Troubleshooting | No Comments

I have done iPerf performance comparisons in the past between several well known single board computers (SBCs), which you can see here, and more recently, here. The most popular SBC is the Raspberry Pi, but its limitation is that it has a 10/100 interface, and the maximum traffic it can push is about 95 Mbps. The SBCs with gigabit interfaces I tested in the past, Odroid C1+, Banana Pi, Utilite Standard, couldn’t achieve 1 Gbps as receivers or transmitters of iPerf traffic. Recently, I came across the Odroid C2 and Up Board, which can achieve 1 Gbps iPerf bandwidth in both directions. Read More

How to Fix Bugs on a Permanent iPerf Server

By | Network Monitoring | 3 Comments

iPerf Segmentation FaultRecently I discovered a bug in iPerf. iPerf is a very useful tool to test and measure bandwidth performance between an iPerf server and a client. In most cases, you run the bandwidth test only once between the two. The other option is to set up an iPerf server to run permanently on a host and then target that host to get iPerf measurements from several locations or hosts, which is more convenient because you don’t have to manage two hosts each time you want to run a test. But here is where the problems start…

This works as follows: On one machine, we run the command iperf -s -D This starts the iPerf server (option -s) and puts it in daemon mode (option -D), which means the server will keep running even if we logout of the machine. Then, we run iperf -c [IP of iperf server] from another machine. Read More

How do you support employees working from home?

By | Network Monitoring, Product, Troubleshooting | No Comments

Working from home has its pros and cons. One of the negatives is that technical support is much more difficult. Employees working from home use their own local ISPs and each one of them uses a different modem. Chances are that they use a wireless router, which could be provided by the ISP or installed independently. Most likely, the employees need to use tools like Salesforce and Office 365, or custom applications that run either in the cloud or in a private datacenter.

When home-based employees can’t access the tools they need or experience “slowness”, they are quick to open a ticket with technical support. The environmental variables mentioned above make troubleshooting difficult. The main problem is the lack of visibility in the employee’s home environment. You will either guide the employee to run some tests for them (e.g. ping, traceroute) and email them the results back (if possible), or do a remote desktop session to begin troubleshooting.
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Is it the wireless, the wired network… or something else causing this latency increase?

By | Distributed network monitoring, Network Engineering, Network Monitoring, Troubleshooting | No Comments

NetBeez captures network and application performance from the user perspective on wired and wireless networks. Sensors at each network location run tests and simulate the user experience. We have dozens of demo NetBeez agents deployed around the country and the world and we collect some interesting data. Here is what I discovered recently while troubleshooting a NetBeez alert.

A typical NetBeez setup has a pair of agents, one wired and one wireless, at each office in order to capture the performance of both networks. Read More

Remote WiFi Packet Capturing with HORST on Raspberry Pi and Odroid

By | Network Monitoring, Troubleshooting, Wireless monitoring | No Comments

The Highly Optimized Radio Scanning Tool (HORST) is a lightweight IEEE802.11 WLAN analyzer. It was build for troubleshooting WLAN networks, and although it’s not as advanced as other tools (Kismet, Wireshark, tcpdump) it’s very easy to use, free, and can run very efficiently even on a Raspberry Pi.

For the installation and usage details, please see HORST on GitHub.

If you attended WLPC 2017, you have an Odroid that has HORST preinstalled and a USB WiFi Module. (Thanks to WLPC and Jerry Olla for the excellent Maker Session!) You are ready to run HORST! Just log in and type horst. In general, you should be able to install HORST on any Linux Single Board Computer (SBC). Read More

WLPC TEN Talk: Turn your Odroids or Raspberry Pis into Remote WiFi Monitoring Sensors

By | Network Engineering, Network Monitoring, Raspberry Pi, Wireless monitoring | No Comments

On Thursday, February 23rd, I will present at the WirelessLAN Professional Conference on how to Turn your Odroids or Raspberry Pis into Remote WiFi Monitoring Sensors. This is part of the WLPC TEN talk series, in which presenters have ten minutes for their talks. It takes less than ten minutes for me to set up and connect an Odroid or a Raspberry Pi to the NetBeez dashboard, and this post will help all you WLPC attendees follow along more easily. Read More

WirelessLAN Professionals Conference

By | Company, End user monitoring, Wireless monitoring | No Comments

The WirelessLAN Professional Conference is taking place from February 21st to 23rd in Phoenix, AZ. This event brings together WiFi professionals so that they can get to know each other, and, more importantly, to learn from each other. This is reflected by the format of the conference. There are no vendor booths and all speakers take time from their busy schedules to put together presentations on a wide variety of topics. Read More

Network Performance Baselining with SpeedTest and Iperf

By | Network Engineering, Network Monitoring, Troubleshooting | No Comments

Ookla SpeedTest and Iperf are two very useful utilities for testing your pipes in terms of how much bandwidth they can pass. Their feature lists overlap, but there are also some differences. You are can read this post for a complete rundown on them, but in a nutshell:

SpeedTest: pushes traffic to an Internet server and measures latency, and upload and download speed.

Iperf: pushes TCP or UDP traffic between two hosts under your management and can measure bandwidth, jitter, and packet loss. Mostly used in WAN testing.

Through my discussions with fellow network engineers, I have learned that SpeedTest and Iperf are used in two main cases: Read More