Maintaining uptime and optimal performance in a large network is never easy. There are many factors that can kill the network or cause major downtime: hardware failure, software issues, configuration errors, fat fingers, and the most difficult to analyze of all – routing issues.
Routing issues may last for only a few seconds or minutes. If an end-user opens a ticket, your job of analyzing what happened after the fact can be very difficult. If you have no historical routing data, you cannot troubleshoot the issue or even create a root-cause analysis report. You’ll find everything operating normally: The paths will have converged while utilization, speed, jitter, and latency will be under baseline. The network performance will be as good as it can get. The result is that you close the trouble ticket with no solution found.
This is a common scenario in many service provider networks. In fact, one of our customers used to receive 20,000 customer trouble tickets each month. They closed 80 percent of them with no trouble found.
To effectively troubleshoot network routing issues and path performance, the network engineer needs both real time and historic information. When a routing event is reported, the network engineer should be able to go back in time to when the event was reported and analyze the routing path as well as the performance of the devices and links associated with that path.
The troubleshooting does not end with analyzing root cause alone. It is equally important to be able to determine if the new path taken by traffic is the optimal path and if the performance of the new path meets SLA demands.
Packet Design Explorer Suite helps operators resolve transient and intermittent problems much faster. The Explorer products capture real-time network telemetry from the devices in IP/MPLS networks as well as from SDN controllers. All routing events are captured by passively monitoring the IGP and BGP routing protocols to maintain an always-current Layer 3 model. Traffic flow records and performance metrics are collected and mapped to the routing data to provide path-aware visibility into service delivery. The Explorer data can be used to establish historical baselines for alert triggers, to generate traffic matrices for different times and workloads, and for forensic analysis. Engineers can use our “network DVR” feature to “rewind and replay” the network’s behavior at the point in time when the problem occurred.
Check out the video below to see how you can use Packet Design Explorer Suite to analyze the impact of an OSPF event and get to the root cause of the issue: