As any technician knows, being prepared for the unexpected is key to successfully getting through the day and solving customer issues. EXpert IP Test Tools is an EXFO platform-based software application that brings together six commonly used test tools—ping, traceroute, VLAN scan, LAN discovery, FTP performance and HTTP availability—into one application to help field technicians deal with the complex testing environments of today’s networks.
LAN discovery actively interrogates network devices to learn about attached hosts, servers, switches and routers. Discovered devices connected to the network are listed and additional details about each device are provided such as IP address, domain name, services provided, administrator and location.
VLAN scan detects and lists all the VLANs present on the IP network connected to the EXFO test platform and can detect nested VLANs on up to three layers. Results include the VLAN number, priority and frame count. This tool is useful for discovering configured VLANs on a port, bandwidth utilization per VLAN and detecting VLAN configuration errors.
The ping tool validates if there is IP connectivity to another IP-enabled device (host) by sending control message protocol (ICMP) echo request packets to the destination device and waiting for an ICMP response to validate the end-to-end connection. It also provides a round-trip time (latency) for packets sent by the local device to the destination far-end device.
The traceroute test is a troubleshooting tool that discovers the path taken by IP packets across an IP network. It identifies the nodes or “hops” that the packet traversed on its way to the destination. The information provided by the tool includes the IP address of the node, the number of hops to that node and the total hops to reach the destination node. The traceroute tool can be used to identify the routers along a data path to help discover routing problems or to highlight firewall issues that may be blocking ICMP packets.
The FTP performance test is used to measure an FTP server’s availability and response time. This test can be configured to upload a file to the server, download a file from the server or perform both tasks. The file is generated by the test and transferred to the specified location.
The HTTP availability test measures the availability and response time of a hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) server by downloading a web page. Results include the TCP connection time, the total page download time, the number of redirects and the redirect time.
Telecom service providers are focusing more than ever on bundling multiple services such as voice, video and data. In addition to saving time and money for customers, the bundling of these services provides significant cost-associated benefits. This has also led to increased demand for complete test solutions provided by one vendor, and better yet, on one tester.