Pinging 101 – An Introduction

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Monitoring is an essential part of the job for any system or network administrator. A network usually comprises plenty of things, making it super crucial to keep your tabs on everything all the time. While there are plenty of network ping monitor tools to help you out there, without a solid understanding of what it is, you’ll have a hard time figuring things out.

And over the course of this piece, we’ll go over all the basics you need to know about monitoring pings.

Ping Monitoring Nowadays

Monitoring has become more complicated than ever thanks to the cloud-based data centers. And these data centers are the reason why the market is completely saturated with an apparent unlimited series of monitoring systems – all geared towards helping admins have the control.

That being said, not all monitoring is created equal though.

There are many types of such software. From the simplest to the most complicated. In here, we’re feasting our eyes on ping monitoring, one of the simplest types of monitoring out there.

It involves using ping to ensure that all the components are active, and responding within a good time period.

Apart from being the simplest form of monitoring, Ping monitoring is also the oldest up until now. So it’s widely used even today.

How Ping Works

Ping is smart and simple at the same time. The system transfers an ICMP echo request packet to the target and then waits to receive the pingback. It repeats this process a specific number of times – usually 5 times under windows and tills it’s motionless under most Unix/Linux implementations.

Which allows it to amass statistics. Ping measures the time between the sent request and received a response. On some Unix versions, it also shows the value of the reply’s TTL field, which indicates the number of hops between the source and destination.

Pings work on the principle that the pinged host follows RFC 1122, which suggest that all hosts must process ICMP echo requests and give echo replies in exchange.

While most hosts do, some disable that function for better security. Some firewalls also block ICMP traffic once and for all, which prevents ping from getting its job done. Pinging a host that doesn’t offer a response to ICMP echo requests offers no feedback, just like pinging a non-existing IP.

Last Words

IT professionals have to know when their vital servers and network utilities are working perfect, and when they are down. So a ping tool does an excellent job in this respect because it sends a continuous series of ping requests to your vital network devices.

Using a ping monitoring app to track how things are going also turns out really effective on your entire network capacity. Meaning that you can keep the services running for an unspecified time without influencing your network or Internet connection’s performance. The way you choose to apply your ping monitoring utility depends on your demands. And with some research and testing in place, you’re bound to find the best way for your personal needs.

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