In case you missed it, a couple of weeks ago I wrote about my experience testing Cape Networks solution for wireless monitoring. You can find that post here. I first learned about Cape Networks at WLPC, and was able to have a conversation with them at Mobility Field Day 2 that you can watch here.
One point that continues to impress me about Cape Networks is the ability to test much more than WiFi.
It really comes down to the strength of the dashboard and the various tests that each sensor can run. The ability to test against internal and external systems is one example.
Each sensor can test against web servers, iperf, or custom ports of your choosing.
Users can configure a test to run against predefined external websites like Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox, and others. But, the sensor can also test against custom websites, checking not just “Is it up?” but HTTP status codes and latency as well.
I’ve used this recently to help an outside vendor truly understand that “No, our network is not to blame” for the high latency their users are complaining about.
When all other external websites are seeing ~20ms latency, and your web application is averaging ~90ms over a period of weeks, guess what? YOU have a problem!
Averaging 96ms of latency. Maybe that’s why the application is always slow?
Obviously, due to the nature of these tests being performed over WiFi, latency, jitter, and packet loss are all expected to be a bit higher, especially if they are performed during times of peak WiFi utilization. However, when you have tests to compare across multiple online services, it’s easy to notice standout patterns.
One feature request I would make to Cape Networks is this: Allow test to be ran across both the LAN and WiFi connections. If we can compare across these two mediums, we may also see additional information useful in diagnosing wireless issues.
Have you found a non-WiFi use for the Cape Networks sensors? If so, tell me about them in the comments.
As a MFD2 delegate, I did receive a free sensor from Cape Networks and various stickers and other low value (but tasty) snacks. All other expenses for MFD were covered by Tech Field Day. I was not compelled to write about Cape Networks in any way other than personal user experience. My employers decision to purchase sensors was based solely on the user experience and ease of problem resolution.