It's 8:30 Monday morning and you are getting calls from the other
support teams at your company telling you that they are having troubles
connecting to a server in one of your remote data centers. They inform
you that when they connect, things are extremely slow. You ping the
server, and for the most part, everything seems okay - though it does
seem a little sluggish. Is it the server or the network? If it is the
network, where is the problem? It would be nice to have a utility to
help in this situation. Luckily for you, Windows XP and Microsoft have
come to the rescue with a new utility called PathPing.
PathPing is a simple utility that allows you to do a combination ping
and tracert, and which builds a group of useful statistics for
troubleshooting where a network problem may occur. By typing the
command, "pathping -n serverName", PathPing will return a useful set of
information to help you troubleshoot.
For starters, PathPing gives you a quick list of the IP addresses of all
of the routers between the machine running PathPing and the server in
question. Next, it performs a series of pings to each router in the list
and builds a set of statistics telling you the performance of the link
(see Figure 1).
Figure 1 - PathPing statistics output
As you can see from this sample output, 33 percent of the packets are
being lost between 188.8.131.52 and 192.168.207.1. This is probably the
source of the problem. The next step would be to contact your network
team to look at the two routers in question.
PathPing is definitely a utility you want to add to your troubleshooting
See you next week!