ICMP support - old forum post


#1

Fernando

Joined on 10-10-2008
Posts 14
ICMP Support

Most commonly known as PING is a very usefull tool in determining the health of an Ethernet connection.

It would be a great feature to have in PacControl, some of the uses it could have are:

Check connectivity to a PEER without having to write a script to exchange data, check connectivity to PC or server, check status of network devices such as managed switches or routers.

In redundant networks it is also often used to change the status of the Master & BackUp controllers, servers as well al controllers check the status of their peers, if ther is no PING responce they give an alarm.

It would realy be nice to have Ping as a Communications command.

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05-12-2009, 8:28 AM

ben orchard

Joined on 12-08-2004
Posts 33
Re: ICMP Support

Hi Fernando,

I see where you are coming from and have asked myself the same question over the years…
One thing that I have come to appreciate about Opto 22 is that it is very flexible, while we cant do a ping from a single command, we can do other things.
For example, I have been caught out in the past many many times being able to ping a computer, but in fact, the process is locked up.
Ping is very low level. It does not test the operating system or the actual function of the device you are testing.
While I agree with what you mention, its a bit of a hassle writing the script to exchange some data, once the script is written, it can be used many times.
I have found it far more effective and meaningful to ‘connect’ or ‘touch’ the service that is running on the peer. If the connection does not give the expected data, then the alarm is raised. (And while on the topic of raising the alarm, depending on your staffing levels, if the service goes down at 3am, think about what method you are going to use to raise the alarm. For example, one of the computers I had to ‘ping’ on a regular basis was the MicroSoft Exchange server (email). It would often ping ok, but the email application was locked up. I was using email to report plant alarms, hence my desire to ping it. If it was down, I could not call for help. We ended up fitting all the Opto 22 controllers with serial SMS modems. This way, if the network went down, or the email server locked up, we were still able to call for help… just something to think about).
FTP, email and web servers are very simple to connect with. Those three protocols cover a huge range of devices and require very little code to check their response.

Having said all that, I will still pass on your request to the developers for future consideration.

Ben.


#2

Hi Fernando,

Check out this PING example. Many of the usual “this is not officially supported” disclaimers apply: use at your own risk, Product Support might not be able to help… However, I’m hoping if enough people download this example and express interest, it’ll be easier to convince the “powers that be” to make this into an official command that’s built-in and 100% supported.

In the meantime, I encourage you to download the sample chart, import it into a strategy, and let me know what you think!

-OptoMary


#3

Thanks I will try it and see.