Path Plus is a collection of basic network investigation tools (including ping, traceroute, and nslookup), and a bandwidth measurement tool called PathTest. PathTest is similar to tools like speedtest.net, where bandwidth is measured by introducing a load on the network. It generates bursts of packets which can saturate the path to the target. The maximum bandwidth is identified at the point where PathTest starts to see packet loss.
Note: While this flooding technique produces accurate results, be aware that it can have a significant impact on the available network capacity for the duration of the test.
PathTest is used in situations where APM delivery monitoring (which has low network impact) is not stressing the network enough to invoke rate limiting or shaping mechanisms. PathTest stresses the network so that rate limiting is invoked and a network bandwidth measurement, while under load, can be attained.
Here are a few examples of how you can use PathTest:
- Verify that a link can achieve the capacity provisioned by your ISP.
- Generate traffic with a DSCP marking to verify or stress a traffic engineering strategy.
- When separate bandwidth is allocated to data and voice, use PathTest with voice delivery monitoring to stress the network with data and voice traffic at the same time.