Smokeping and Checking Comcast

This week I have been putting together a monitoring station in vmware for work. One of the things I liked playing with was smokeping. Below you can see the graph of the latency to Following it is the graph for the first hop IP address outside my home for Comcast.

SmokePing Latency Page for Worldwide Connectivity
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So how can you do this nice and easy at home? Keep in mind this is not a secured or optimized install. Just a quick way to make a smokeping vm to monitor ISP performance for a while.

  1. start with vmware (vmware fusion on a mac is what I used).
  2. Grab the ISO of Ubuntu.
  3. Make a new vm make sure the network settings are set to Bridged.
  4. VMware Fusion
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  5. Pick the ISO as the source image.
  6. New Virtual Machine Assistant
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  7. Once you have Ubuntu booting up just pick the option to install and let it rip.
  8. Log back into Ubuntu.
  9. Once you have a desktop click Applications, Accessories and Choose Terminal.
  10. Enter the command : sudo apt-get install apache2
  11. Answer ‘Y’ and let it install.
  12. Enter the command: sudo apt-get install php5
  13. Answer ‘Y’ and let it install.
  14. Enter the command: sudo apt-get install smokeping
  15. Answer ‘y’ and let it install.
  16. Enter the command: sudo vi /etc/smokeping/config
  17. Edit the config file using vi. You can google the commands. But mainly ‘dd’ deletes the line you are on, ‘i’ lets you start typing changes, ‘the esc key’ takes you out of changes and ‘:w’ will write the changes
  18. Basically I deleted all the stuff below ‘+ World’ and replaced it with this: Note my first hop IP is the default gateway my router obtains from Comcast via DHCP. Your’s will be different.
  19. Ubuntu-Base
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  20. Enter the command: sudo /etc/init.d/smokeping restart
  21. Enter the command: ifconfig
  22. Look for the IP address your vm-ubuntu got, like “inet addr:”
  23. From your host machine open up your web browser and go to that address with a format like:

That is it in a nutshell and should be enough that windows or Mac centric folks can still get this working in a rush if they just google the command to edit in VI.


Cisco – Fast etherchannel for redundant fiber links

I love Cisco fast etherchannel. Over the Christmas break we turned up a second fiber link between our two buildings here in town. When we built the second building I made sure that there were two six strand fiber pulls each in their own interduct and that inside one large interduct under the ground between the buildings. So bond one pair from each pull and you have a pretty good chance of the link staying up even if they snag the main interduct with a backhoe. Not to mention with dual supervisor cards in the main 4506R we bonded the first gig port from each sup card to make this channel. So basically if a card goes, we stay up. If a gbic burns out we stay up. And if they partially break the fiber in the ground the odds are we stay up. And in the mean time we get the benefit of both fiber links being active. By default it is load balancing by source IP.  Sort of a round robin deal.

Early in 2008 we are going to mount up a wireless bridge and set it up with spanning tree values to stay down unless the entire fiber bonded link is lost. Pretty cool.

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