In a past IT workshop, I mentioned a free bandwidth analysis tool that I use periodically when assessing/optimizing network performance on the Stockton Campus. Often times I find myself in the situation of troubleshooting a drop in overall network performance (i.e. “the internet gets slow”) and the first step to resolving that issue is to establish or replicate the issue, often using a tool like an Internet speed test (such as this very popular one) are a commonly used tool to measure the upstream and downstream performance of a given computer’s connection to the internet. While this information is invaluable, there are some areas that are very important to a network admin that a “standard” speed test may not provide enough information to determine where any bottlenecks in your network may exist.
Netalyzr is a network debugging tool developed by the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) at UC Berkeley. It provides a great resource for network admins looking to get more information regarding the real world performance of the networks they administer. Netalyzr affords the network admin far more information about the type and availability of connections that are not available freely by the average internet speed test (Click here for and example report)
Netalyzr is also a tremendous learning tool as it provides explanations of each variable it tests which will aid the network admin in making decisions rearguard the allocation of resources to improve performance. It’s the emphasis on the underlying causes of reduced network performance that make using this tool more powerful, and your admin time more productive.
There is also a command line client which offers another great option for network admins to run this application remotely. If there is a need I will go over setting up and accessing the command line client as part of a future workshop.