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Surviving Online Meeting – Network Troubleshooting

Have you ever suffered a dropped call during an online meeting? Last week the sales team had to reschedule an online meeting because the call dropped, and the internet was too slow. All the users at an office in different departments – marketing, finance, logistics and administration felt redundant due to slow or no internet connection. And this happened in a tech company! The internet connection can become a performance bottleneck in an organization if you do not know exactly what issue is causing the problem.

Nowadays organizations are more reliant on network connectivity and any network outage impacts revenue (negatively), brand reputation and productivity. Usually, a lot of time is wasted in diagnosing such issues. A bad network connection can be caused due to a DNS problem, Network LAN overload, Firewall, WAN overload, or any other issue. How can organizations reduce network downtime in the era of digital business?

The first packaged hardware and software solution for the EXA8 aims to address the needs of enterprise customers and network engineers for a fail-safe network tapping, traffic capture, and troubleshooting platform. This iteration of the EXA8 is able to either TAP up to four 10/100/1000 copper links or accept up to eight feeds from other sources such as SPAN and mirror ports (or a combination thereof). The built-in bypass functionality of the 10/100/1000 copper ports ensures that the live link is always protected and the two SFP/SFP+ interfaces allow the user to copy and/or aggregate traffic over the 8Gbps from the copper links to tools ranging from laptops to high-end security and monitoring appliances.


On top of this, the EXA8 incorporates the ability to capture network traffic directly to the built-in SSD. A simple click in the Web UI of the EXA8 initiates a capture session with a performance of up to 2.5 Gbps, far more than a network engineer could achieve with only a laptop. Standard tcpdump filters can be applied to the capture session to selectively isolate traffic of interest. The EXA8’s Web UI also integrates the Webshark web-based protocol analyzer so that capture files can be immediately inspected directly on the device. If the user prefers, or requires, another tool for analysis the capture files can be downloaded directly from the Web UI or copied to removable storage media via the Micro SD card slot or USB 3.0 ports. The Ubuntu Linux host OS allows for further functionality through the use of common command line tools such as Tshark and tcpdump, as well as scripting possibilities with BaSH, Python, and any number of other supported languages.

Optional feature upgrades will enable more advanced functionality for customers who require them. These include continuous capture, where the oldest data will be overwritten once the disk is full, and a Regex filtering engine to apply regular expression capture filters to network traffic.

Finally, it is possible to manage the EXA8 not only remotely but wirelessly with the addition of 4G or Satellite modems. Given the small, portable form factor, low power consumption, and economical cost of the EXA8, it becomes a very compelling option for remote and distributed deployments.

Gartner has reported that studies have shown the cost of unplanned downtime averages several hundred thousand dollars per hour, the cost to your organization can vary dramatically and could easily go into multiple millions of dollars per minute, based on a business model, time of day and several other factors. EXA8 is an affordable and high-performance hardware platform designed with network visibility and monitoring applications foremost in mind which can help you mitigate such issues and make troubleshooting much easier.


Watch this video to learn more about EXA8

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