Network Throughput

Robot Cloud now has the ability to test the network throughput between Macs on a local area network (LAN). When run through Self Service you have two options:

  1. Enter a Single IP address; or 
  2. Scan for other listening Macs on the same LAN (Range of IPs) and run tests against all devices to develop a picture of the overall health and speed of the network. 

The Range of IPs option is a great solution to run directly on a Mac server if you want to see what kind of performance each Mac user will receive, and does a great job illustrating the speed and benefits of Gigabit and 802.11ac. You can easily identify if a user is connecting at b/g/n/ac wireless speeds and either recommend modern 802.11ac wireless access points, or help them get connected if they are defaulting to an older protocol.

Why did we create this?

In the past we've relied on Robot Cloud (or access to each Mac) to tell us the connection speed for wired connections. However, as more users move beyond to wireless our toolset for measuring performance has waned.

Geek Speak

We're using a free command-line utility called iPerf. Once installed, Robot Cloud places iPerf in a listening daemon state so it can receive incoming requests. This state is maintained across logins and restarts. The Network Throughput Action in Self Service, when run, checks the IP and listening port of the target Mac (or range of IPs) and if a connection can be established it will perform the test, save everything to a log file for display at the end, and if possible submit the results to Zendesk.

Troubleshooting

In the event that the scan gets stuck, which it can if there is a dead entry in the APR table during a range scan, simply turn the wireless off and on again to flush the APR table and re-run the Action. If the uptime on the Mac is more than a few days or you've made many VPN connections the table can become full of dead results.