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I'm not a big network expert, but I'm having trouble accessing vmware.com and I'd like to try to further understand the issue. This is the traceroute I'm getting: http://pastebin.com/MDaw5MRG

On the 17th hop it seems like the packet "almost" reached it's destination but then it gets lost. I know the site is up since I checked with a different ISP, now I'm just wondering if this is a good enough reason to ditch them (especially since they keep insisting they have no issues).

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

All the trace tells you is that those hosts don't respond to traceroute packets (ICMP). In some cases, depending on the problem, you could look at this and say "there's something wrong in the path from me to vmware", but in most cases it doesn't give you any solid evidence one way or the other. Many routers won't respond to ICMP traffic, due to the fact that responding to ICMP traffic diverts a router from it's intended job, which is to route "real" traffic as quickly and efficiently as possible. In addition, many web servers are configured to not respond to traceroute or ping traffic as well. I don't allow ping or traceroute traffic to any of my servers. I only allow ping and traceroute to one host on the perimeter of my network, as a basic diagnostic tool.

I ran a tracert to vmware.com and got the same results as you... because vmware.com and www.vmware.com resolve to different ip addresses in different net blocks... so your traceroute is not testing the right end point anyway. I can traceroute successfully to www.vmware.com.

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If @Danny is using "traceroute" (e.g. on Linux or UNIX) it's more than likely using UDP packets by default, which will be dropped at VMWare's border. "tracert" on Windows uses ICMP by default, which appears to be allowed at VMWare's border. On Linux and OS X "traceroute www.vmware.com" fails but "traceroute -I www.vmware.com" works. –  Gerald Combs Dec 14 '10 at 21:04
    
…which is why I usually a tracing tool that supports TCP probes such as "tcptraceroute" or "nmap --traceroute -p <port>". Also, nmap tends to provide faster results. –  Gerald Combs Dec 14 '10 at 21:07
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If traceroute (or tracert on Windows) doesn't show enough intersting results use the command mtr (or winmtr on Windows).

MTR stands for My TraceRoute, it will show you interesting results after running it for a good minute.

http://www.bitwizard.nl/mtr/ (packaged by most Linux distributions / FreeBSD / etc) http://winmtr.sourceforge.net/

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You might also want to try tcptraceroute. It uses TCP packets instead of ICMP packets.

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