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I have 2 sites connected via an MPLS network and I'd like to do the following:

  • setup a host on each end that can "talk" back and forth between each other and somehow report/log what kind of throughput, jitter, latency, etc. they are experiencing between each other in 5 minute intervals.

Something similar to Qcheck but that can be automated.

Bottom line is I'm trying to determine if the WAN network is "stable" throughout the day or if something is wrong. We have video conferences between these sites and even at 1024kbps calls we are experiencing delays and jitter. I'm hoping to exonerate the network with some testing.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

iperf is the tool you are looking for. It allows you to run some pretty nice tests: using TCP and UDP traffic. You can generate different bandwidth usage and test in bidirectional mode (simulating a video conference) and if you use UDP you will get jitter numbers also.

http://www.noc.ucf.edu/Tools/Iperf/

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You should look into Smokeping. It's a great tool and really easy to use and install.

It will give you graphs such as these :

smokepinggraph

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Or one could get a few of these ;) corvil.com/products –  Oskar Duveborn May 6 '10 at 17:00
    
not quite the same price range :P –  Antoine Benkemoun May 6 '10 at 17:04

I've used Ping Plotter before because I had an ISP who claimed it wasn't their router going down that was the problem. I also like it because it shows the latency between two locations.

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My answer would depend on what you mean when you say WAN. If you mean

RTR --- DS1/DS3/OC3.. --- RTR

and you control both RTR, then use something like iperf. This assumes that the test you conduct is ran under the same conditions as the real traffic, and that the test traffic packets have the same priority as the real traffic. This would also be the ONLY condition I would consider ping results to be in the ballpark.

If WAN means

RTR --- SomeOtherRoutedNetwork --- RTR

then the tool must mimic the actual packets that would be sent / received. In these situations ping is pretty much meaningless, other than to find out if the other guy is responding to ICMP. That is all it means.

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