Real-time Performance Monitoring Using Round-trip Time

    Network performance monitoring is a fundamental function of a NetOps team. Poor network performance can impact critical business applications, user experience and revenue. Network performance can be measured using round-trip time.

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    What is Round-Trip Time?  

    Round-trip time (RTT) is an essential in networking that can indicate the quality of communications between two endpoints and is used for real-time performance monitoring.

    RTT, also known as round-trip delay time (RTD), is a metric that measures in milliseconds the amount of time it takes for a data packet to be sent, plus the amount of time it takes for an acknowledgment of that signal to be received. This time delay includes propagation times for the paths between the two communication endpoints.  

    RTT can be directly impacted by a range of architecture design decisions, especially network topology.  

    Along with RTT, other metrics can be used to monitor real-time network performance, for example jitter on the connection. This can affect VoIP and video quality for your critical business services. 

    Why is RTT a key indicator of network performance and user experience?  

    As RTT only measures the data packet transport time, it is a reliable indicator – or KPI – of pure network performance, independent of the application, application server performance or the end-user hardware.  

    Ping RTT Comparison
    Ping RTT Comparison

    How can RTT be measured?  

    RTT is measured in different ways by different network equipment manufacturers. For example, a manufacturer may send ten data packets every minute to measure both packet loss and RTT.   

    A useful measurement is the variation in the RTT (this causes jitter) and the RTT duration (this causes additional latency). The results of these tests are made available in the device Management Information Base (MIB) which differs for every manufacturer and device.  

    How do NetOps teams use RTT data to ensure good user experience?   

    RTT data provides an indication of latency across the network. NetOps teams typically use maximum RTT (or one way) or average RTT metrics taken from a particular time period to monitor network latency.   

    A network monitoring tool can use the RTT value for alerting and reporting.

    How does Statseeker help NetOps teams use RTT data?

    Statseeker supports one-minute polling and stores the data in a proprietary time-series database. Unlike other NPMs, Statseeker does not average or roll up the data. It preserves the as-polled data to enable accurate long-term historical reporting and predictive analytics.  

    Once the polled data is in the system, NetOps teams can track real-time observability, KPIs and SLAs using Statseeker dashboards, reporting, and alerting. Network administrators can automate reports and alerts for real-time performance monitoring or configure threshold alerts to be notified when a network is operating with poor performance and affecting latency-sensitive applications and services. 

    In addition, Statseeker has a unique analytics engine that can enable predictive monitoring to allow the NetOps team to see network performance degrading over time or at peak load hours. This capability enables them to act before their customers notice a performance loss in their voice and video applications. 

    Managed Service Providers are required to produce regular reports to illustrate that the networks they manage on behalf of a customer have operated without latency issues, and also that SLAs were met. An MSP noted that it took on average ten working days for one person to prepare these reports for customer viewing. With Statseeker’s large-scale automation capabilities, reports are auto-generated and auto-distributed.  

    Report detailing Cisco IPSLA RTT Completion Time Graph
    Cisco IPSLA RTT Completion Time Graph

    Your next step  

    Whether you are an MSP, government, or enterprise customer, Statseeker can help you meet your real-time performance requirements.  

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