Network Engineering


Troubleshooting: ICMP Host Unreachable

By | Network Engineering, Troubleshooting, Uncategorized | No Comments

This article has two messages to deliver. The first being the technical piece where I review what the ICMP message means and what we tried to resolve the issue.  The second is to illustrate the methodology used. I wanted to make those statements because in the past, some readers tend to concentrate too much on the technical information and gloss over the methodology part of the article. Read More

Using Ping Options More Effectively

By | Network Engineering, Resources | No Comments

I feel sorry for ping.  Ping has been beaten up, abused, misunderstood, banned and even tossed aside.

Ping was originally used to check if a device was up or down, period.  Back in the day, equipment failure was very common. I chuckle thinking back at those sales people that used Mean Time Between Failure to sell their equipment. As network analysts, we needed a way to see if our hardware or equipment failed and ping did the trick.

Over the years, SNMP was introduced to aid in network visibility, but we still used ping for simple up and down checks. In the 90s, bandwidth limits were becoming an issue, so we used ping response time results to determine if a device or link was slowing us down.
Read More

Detecting Network Problems Before Users Do

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

In a perfect world, telecommunication networks have 100% uptime, low latency, and high bandwidth. In reality, each one of us deals with slow applications, choppy calls, and unreliable connections. In WiFi networks, this is even more frequent.

Yet, providing a good end-user experience is possible. Detecting problems before users do is not a fortune teller’s trick, but something that can be achieved with the right tools and processes in place. So how can Network Engineers achieve Zen for their networks? 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.

Read More

Ethernet Performance Monitoring

By | Network Engineering, Network Monitoring | No Comments

Ethernet Performance MonitoringRecently, I had a brief discussion on performance monitoring with a network engineer that works for an Internet Service Provider. After showing him a product tour of NetBeez, he mentioned that he could do the same with Ethernet performance tools (e.g. ITU-T Y.1731), which are available on most networking platforms, without the need of deploying additional hardware or software probes.

To support his statement, the network engineer mentioned that his requirements were to monitor individual Ethernet links, or portions of the overall network. I agreed with him that, for that specific use case, Ethernet performance monitoring was the right solution.

However, I reminded him that most enterprises and service providers that we work with use NetBeez to measure the end-user experience, and that Ethernet performance monitoring only runs at Layer 2. For this reason, the best way to monitor the network from the end-user perspective is to use Layer 3+ protocols that allow to run true end-to-end connectivity and performance tests against cloud applications, WiFi networks, and other services offered to users. This is not possible with Ethernet performance monitoring tools. If you want to read more about this topic, please check out this blog post that I wrote few weeks ago.

Read More

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

Meetups for Network Engineers

By | Network Engineering, Resources | No Comments

Meetups for network engineersUnless you’ve lived in a cave for the past ten years (and if you have, I totally respect that), you are most likely familiar with meetups. Meetups are planned events where members regularly get together to network and talk about a particular topic that they are interested in. It could be a sport, a language, a discipline, etc. Currently, there are more than 270,000 meetups in 182 countries, for a total number of 30+ million of members. That’s pretty significant.

If you’re interested in meeting with other network engineers, then you should know that there are several meetup groups around the country that are focused on network engineering. All you have to do is go on, search for a topic of interest in your area, and then follow the group guidelines on how to become a member. Some groups are open, while others may require permission or vetting from the organizer. If you don’t know where to start, here is a list of the most prominent meetups that may appeal to network engineers:
Read More