X Ping Plug-in - Technical Reference

Introduction

Geneos X-Ping Plug-in checks the network path to a specified target node and the availability of the node. It sends ICMP or TCP packets to the target host and measures the time it takes to reply. If no reply received after a defined time interval, the target node is assumed to be down or unreachable. The target host does not need to run any special software to provide the replies.

Multiple hosts can be monitored by one X-Ping plug-in.

Views

View

x-ping0

Headline Legend

Name Description
localInterface The name of the local interface used to send the packets.
sourceNode The source IP address to be used in the outbound packets.

Table Legend

Name Description
targetNode Name of the host that the ping requests are sent to.
targetAddress IP address of the target host.
serviceName

If the plug-in is configured to use ICMP then this shows ICMP_ECHO.

If configured to use TCP, this shows the TCP service name that is used to send the echo packets. Defaults to ECHO (port 7), but can be configured to be any port/service.

servicePort If the plug-in is configured to use ICMP then this shows 0. Otherwise shows the service port number used.
turnaroundTime Time in ms that a packet takes to travel to the target host and back.
status REACHABLE if a reply is received within a timeout period (default 5 seconds), otherwise UNREACHABLE.
failurePercent This plug-in computes failure percentage from the initial packet sent up to the last (initial sampling up to the latest sampling).
   

Plug-in Configuration

The following parameters can be configured for this plug-in:

var-recvInterfaces

Specifies a comma-separated list of network interface names to be used.

On UNIX machines, interface names can be found using the command "ifconfig -a". Example names are "eth0" or "ce0".

On Windows machines, interface names can be listed by running Netprobe using the "-ifconfig" command-line option. A Windows interface name will look similar to the following:

\Device\NPF_{BDFE3EAC-0275-440A-923C-C9C4CE3B37F2}

Mandatory: Yes

sendInterface

The name of the network interface to be used to send packets (e.g. hme0). Usually the same as recvInterface parameter, but can be set to a different value in certain network configurations.

Mandatory: Yes

targetNodes

The name or the IP address of the target node that is being monitored. This must not be the node that the NetProbe is running on.

Mandatory: Yes

interface

Specifies the network interface to be used (e.g., hme0).

Note: When a Node can be reached via multiple interfaces, the first valid one in the list returned by ifconfig-a must be used.

Mandatory: No
Default: Defaults to the first non-loop back interface.

var-sourceIP

The Source IP address to be used in the outbound test packets.

Mandatory: No
Default: Defaults to the default IP address on the card.

var-timeout

Timeout is the period within which we expect a reply to a packet that was sent out. If a reply is not received within this period, then the packet is considered lost.

Packets are only fired on sample. This means that if a packet is considered lost, then the next packet fire would occur at the next sample (i.e., packets will not be re-fired as soon as the timeout has been reached).

Based on the 'allowablePacketLoss' setting, multiple such packets may be lost before the plug-in reports that the particular target is unreachable.

See Example for timeout and allowablePacketLoss

Mandatory: No
Default: 5 seconds

var-allowablePacketLoss

This is the maximum number of consecutive packets that can be lost without setting the status to 'UNREACHABLE'.

For example, if the allowable packet loss is 3, then the plug-in will ignore up to 3 consecutive packets being lost. If the fourth is lost, then it will report 'UNREACHABLE'.

See Example for timeout and allowablePacketLoss

Mandatory: No
Default: 3

Example for timeout and allowablePacketLoss

Sample period: 4 seconds.
Timeout period: 2 seconds.
allowablePacketLoss: 3 (default)
0 sec [sample] Fire packet.
 1 sec
 2 sec Timeout has occurred. Packet is considered lost. (Total lost: 1)
 3 sec
 4 sec [sample] Re-fire packet.
 5 sec
 6 sec Timeout has occurred. Packet is considered lost. (Total lost: 2)
 7 sec
 8 sec [sample] Re-fire packet.
 9 sec
10 sec Timeout has occurred. Packet is considered lost. (Total lost: 3)
11 sec
12 sec [sample] Re-fire packet.
13 sec
14 sec Timeout has occurred. Packet is considered lost. (Total lost: 4)
15 sec
16 sec [sample] Re-fire packet. (report 'UNREACHABLE')

protocol

The type protocol to use. Can be TCP or ICMP. ICMP is more likely to pass through routers and firewalls.

Mandatory: No
Default: ICMP

protocol > TCP > service

Defines the port number the packets are sent to and, optionally, the name of the service.

If the name of service is provided, it will be displayed in the view. Otherwise only the port number will be shown.

Mandatory: Yes

protocol > TCP > service > var-name

The name of service to ping.

Mandatory: No

protocol > TCP > service > var-port

The port number of the service to ping.

Mandatory: Yes

var-icmpPayloadSize

The size of the payload to send with ICMP (ping) packets. The payload is an optional element in the packet sent to the target host, and is echoed back in the reply.

Mandatory: No
Default: 0 (no payload sent)

var-checkTargetHostHasChangedIp

Forces X-Ping to detect if the underlying IP address of a host name has changed. This will restart the packet capture engine so X-Ping will continue to ping the correct host. In between restarts there is a potential for losing packets.

Note: Restarting the packet capture engine will affect all X-Set plug-ins as they too might miss packets.

Mandatory: No
Default: false

Permissions

The plug-in requires the netprobe to be run with root permissions (on Unix operating systems), as it needs to open network devices.

On Linux kernel versions 2.6.24 and up, an alternative to running the netprobe as root is available: Set the CAP_NET_RAW and CAP_NET_ADMIN Linux capability on the netprobe binary with the command setcap cap_net_raw,cap_net_admin+eip <netprobebinary> replacing <netprobebinary> with the appropriate netprobe binary file such as netprobe.linux_64.

When running the netprobe with set capabilities, the lib64 folder in the netprobe directory should be put in the ld.so trusted paths. Otherwise, the runtime libraries will not be loaded properly. Information on how to do this is found in this section of the Netprobe User Guide.

Third Party Libraries

Windows Vista/Server 2003: Version 4.0.2 of the Winpcap packet capture library (http://www.winpcap.org/install/default.htm) must be installed on the host.

Windows 10 does not require Winpcap library.

Unix: The shared library libpcap.so (version 1.0.0 or later is recommended) needs to be in the netprobe lib64 directory.

Note: As the netprobe needs to be run as root, the LD_LIBRARY_PATH is ignored for security reasons.