[smokeping-users] Using Smokeping to monitor large layer 1/2 networks (e.g. large WiFi mesh networks)

Russell Dwarshuis rjd at merit.edu
Wed Dec 30 01:19:01 CET 2009

In addition to master/slave, smokeping can use some types of network nodes 
to graph results.  See IOSPing, TelnetIOSPing, CiscoRTTMonEchoICMP, 
TelnetJunOSPing at http://oss.oetiker.ch/smokeping/probe/index.en.html

Smokeping has no knowledge of how packets are switched or routed so you 
would need to carefully craft your config file to show meaningful tests. 
If you have a giant layer 2 network you may not be able to devise tests 
across individual links since they're layer 3 tests but perhaps 
collections of links may still be useful if the layer 2 path(s) the 
packets are switched across is understood by the people looking at the 

Modern wireless backhaul links have vendor MIBs with RSSI, signal quality, 
link rates, etc.  If they are available to you then you should monitor 
them directly instead of looking for symptoms (which could be caused by 
many different things) higher up the OSI stack.

                                           -Russell Dwarshuis

On Fri, 25 Dec 2009, Rogelio wrote:

> I'm looking for tools that help me determine the latency across large
> wireless mesh networks, and I'm wondering if Smokeping is the answer.
> I will have hundreds (and in some cases, possibly 1000+) wireless cell
> sites, some of which are linked only with unlicensed backhaul (e.g.
> 802.11a on 5.8 GHz).  In network terms, this is pretty much one giant
> layer 2 network.
> I'd like to measure latency across all of these mesh links in the
> hopes of finding when a link is "bad" (low RSSI [receive signal],
> which lowers the data rate, means congestion, or a possibility a
> combination between the two). Because of the way that this network is
> setup (few ethernet egress points), having slave nodes out in the
> field is not that easy.
> Can Smokeping tell me the "hop" between each link (i.e. layer 1/2
> link)?  When I see the demos, I see either (a) hops between layer
> three networks (e.g. SmokeTrace), or (b) Smokeping results between
> master / slave nodes.
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