[This article follows up last month’s “Pitfalls of PKTTRACE,” a description of what can go wrong with IBM’s packet tracing tool.]
In this edition, I will discuss SDS’ solution to the pitfalls of the
PKTTRACE command. That solution is VitalSigns for IP™ (VIP). With VIP, users perform packet traces without the worries of the
The process to start and view a VIP packet trace is simple to perform.
The context-sensitive user interface makes the task of setting filter parameters much easier to complete.
VIP’s MultiTrace feature allows traces to be started on multiple stacks with the results shown in a single display.
Users have confidence in knowing their packet traces will not be impacted by other traces.
With VIP, you set the filter(s), start the trace, and view the packets as they are traced. It’s that simple. There’s no need to stop a trace, format the data then see if you are gathering the correct packets.
The VIP browser is context sensitive, which eases the task of setting the appropriate trace filters. For example, while looking at details for a connection, you determine you need to start a trace for that connection. Simply link to the IP Packet Trace tool. The necessary filters will be pre-set so you can immediately start the trace and see the packets flowing through the connection.
When traffic can traverse multiple stacks, the MultiTrace feature is available. MultiTrace removes the hassles of starting and coordinating multiple traces. The trace filters will be started on the selected stacks with the traced packets shown on a single display. MultiTrace is an indispensable tool in environments where applications can be distributed over many LPARs.
Packet trace requests are triggered by various VIP features: the online packet trace, the batch trace, the Traffic Analysis monitors (Fragmentation, TN3270 Response Time, and TCP Application Performance monitors). Behind the scenes, VIP coordinates the various trace requests to make sure the correct packets are traced and the desired information retrieved for each trace.
VIP is the solution that:
- Reduces the steps to start and view a trace
- Simplifies starting traces
- Allows tracing on multiple stacks
- Coordinates multiple active traces
In the next newsletter, I will discuss the often- overlooked and forgotten Batch Trace.
Dennis Mruz, tech support engineer, SDS, Feb. 2012