I have an admission to make. Before Mobility Field Day 2 of 2017, I was openly hostile towards the biggest player in the handheld network tools market. Through a series of lousy blue and gold experiences, I decided I no longer had room for those tools in my budget. Even after receiving a blue and gold LinkSprinter at a WLPC, I was apathetic at best.
But, I like reexamining my strongly held opinions. I believe that admitting I am wrong is much better than holding firmly to an incorrect conclusion.
So, in 2017 when Netscout presented at MFD2, I got my opportunity to reconsider. They were working to expand the capabilities of the toolset, and they were open to feedback and requests for new features. I even considered purchasing an AirCheck G2, but ultimately found that I hadn’t budgeted for it. (Shocking!)
So, let’s fast forward to 2018 and MFD3. Over the two hour window Julio Petrovitch, from the handheld network tools group previously owned by Netscout, covered many topics, but the topics of most interest were the AirCheck G2 v3.0 and the LinkRunner G2 v2.0 software updates. So again, I got to reevaluate my opinion.
The very first revelation to me was this team now truly believes in updates! The LinkRunner was released last October, so approximately a year later they are adding features with v2.0. The announcement included significant new improvements and features, not just small dot revision updates and bug fixes.
The LinkRunner G2 v2.0 update adds:
- 802.3bt support – provides both loaded and unloaded voltage and wattage reporting of class 5-8 PoE PSE equipment
- Injector support – measures from 12-60 volts
- More VLAN information – the LinkRunner G2 can provide lots of information regarding the VLAN’s that are accessible from a switchport; useful if you have ports configured with a voice and data VLAN.
- Enhanced DHCP Test – Now supports providing information from DHCP Options 43, 60, and 150.
- Auto Test Improvements – allows a user to refine how they would like a test to run.
- VLAN Monitor Tool – plug the LinkRunner G2 into a trunk port and monitor all of the VLAN’s that are available and the amount of traffic broadcast on each
- Packet Captures – or as Julio Petrovitch correctly called it frame captures. Plug the device into a mirror or span port and capture traffic directly to the LinkRunner G2.
One more note; the LinkRunner G2 can charge from PoE! That isn’t a new feature, but it was one that I missed. I am mentioning it here for those others who might also be unaware.
So, the real question, have I changed my mind about Netscout? Maybe, but first, I think we should discuss the AirCheck G2.
Watch the whole presentation and then tell me what you’re most excited about in the comments.