I’ve previously written about what it means to have a healthy network and the need for organizations to rethink their network monitoring strategy. There are two main reasons to monitor the network: to identify route health and to catch connectivity issues from a geographical perspective.
Route health can be monitored and measured through ping and traceroute tests. Measuring the latency, or how long it takes a packet to get from the sender to the server, can help organizations judge the health of a given route to make necessary business decisions. Knowing the average latency from a geographical area to the server can provide insight into whether a content delivery network (CDN) should be deployed to better serve the users, or if issues being reported by users are due to a regional network issue, or if the user is being routed through an unpreferred, unoptimized network path. If an alert is received from either synthetic tests or customer complaints, running a ping or traceroute test from various locations can help identify or rule out issues on the network.
If the route is healthy, the next area to investigate is the connectivity between the sender and the server. Connectivity includes whether DNS is resolving appropriately and within a reasonable time frame, for both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. DNS is a multi-layered service that can include the end user’s ISP, third-party DNS resolves, root servers, top level DNS servers, and authoritative servers. Issues along any of these can render an application inaccessible. Knowing which layer is causing the problems leads to a faster resolution and return to service.
After DNS has been resolved, the next potential problem area is in the TCP connection. TCP is the transport protocol used to relay information between two end points. Before information can be sent or received, there needs to be an agreement between the client and the server. This is established during the TCP connection or three-way handshake.
When application performance issues arise, the more time spent identifying the source of the problem, the greater the risk to the company. Being able to quickly identify or rule out network issues can save time and money. To learn more about troubleshooting network issues with Catchpoint, download our eBook: Troubleshooting Network Protocols in a Complex Digital Environment.