Network Testing: How to Test Network Performance

Alyssa Lamberti
Alyssa Lamberti Last updated on Feb 1, 2022

Network Testing: How to Test Network Performance

In Summary

Our networks are always changing and evolving. Network Testing for higher speeds, better application and network device performance, and after a new service deployment or migration, helps us understand the impact of changes on our network. In this article, we’re running you through how to test network performance using Network Testing and Monitoring tools.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

What is Network Testing?
What is Network Testing?

Network Testing (or network performance testing), similar to Software Testing, is the process of analyzing and testing your network using a network performance test to identify bugs and performance issues, evaluate large network changes, and measure network performance.

Even the most robust networks experience network problems. That’s why before and after every new service migration or deployment, every new application or network device, and honestly - just as a continuous practice, perform network testing using Network Monitoring to detect and troubleshoot problems as soon as they happen.

Here’s how to set up network testing in just a few minutes!

1. Use a Dedicated Network Testing Software
1. Use a Dedicated Network Testing Software

Network testing can be demanding for a network admin. Knowing how to test a network requires a substantial amount of resources and manual effort. But, network monitoring tools can help.

Most traditional network monitoring solutions are passive, and only really monitor devices to notify you if they're up and running or not. But to actually test your network, you need to do better!

An active network monitoring software, like Obkio, continuously tests network performance (aka network performance testing) by measuring end-to-end performance from the end-user perspective with key network metrics.

With continuous network testing using Obkio, you get more detailed information about network problems affecting your network performance and impacting your end-users.

How to Measure Network Performance: 9 Network Metrics

Learn how to measure network performance with key network metrics like throughput, latency, packet loss, jitter, packet reordering and more!

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2. Deploy Monitoring Agents for Network Testing
2. Deploy Monitoring Agents for Network Testing

Obkio’s Network Monitoring Solution continuously tests and monitors your network performance by sending and monitoring data packets through your network using Network Monitoring Agents.

Network Monitoring Agents exchange synthetic traffic to continuously monitor network speed, core network metrics, identify network problems, collect historical data, and let you know how your network is performing at all times.

For network testing (or network performance testing) with Obkio, it’s important to set up monitoring agents in your key network locations like on your workstation, at your company's head office, branch office, data center, private and public clouds, etc.

Set up your network testing for free with Obkio’s Getting Started Tutorial.

Network Testing Chord Diagram 9 Agents

3. Collect Network Data
3. Collect Network Data

Once you’ve deployed Obkio Monitoring Agents in key network locations, they will test and measure key network metrics like jitter, packet loss, latency, VoIP Quality, throughput and QoE, and display them on Obkio’s Network Response Time Graph.

Network Testing Graph Zoom In

Testing these network metrics allows you to proactively identify any performance degradation in your network, which may be a sign of a network issue arising, or an intermittent network problem in hiding.

Obkio will also automatically alert you of events like packet loss between certain sites, or users experiencing high levels of jitter during VoIP calls, and more.

4. Analyze Historical Network Data
4. Analyze Historical Network Data

One of the main use cases for network testing (network performance testing) is to test your network when substantial changes occur.

Analyzing historical performance data is key to understanding how your network is performing before, after, and during big changes to your network infrastructure.

Obkio measures and collects historical network performance data for you so you can analyze, compare, and troubleshoot performance from the past.

Go back in time to compare network performance before and after a new service migration or deployment, or pin a time range to find and troubleshoot intermittent network problems that pop up sporadically.

How to Detect and Identify Intermittent Network Problems

Learn how to detect intermittent network problems to troubleshoot performance issues that are hard to catch with Obkio Network Monitoring software.

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5. Identify Network Problems
5. Identify Network Problems

As we mentioned earlier, another common use case for network testing is to identify network issues or bugs which are bound to happen, even in the best performing networks.

With this end-to-end testing and monitoring setup, you can collect the data you need to identify and troubleshoot network problems to optimize network performance.

To identify the cause, source, time, and location of network problems, you can use network troubleshooting tools like:

  • Traceroutes: to identify route, latency and packet loss between two sites and detect exactly where and when network problems happened. View traceroute results with Obkio Visual Traceroute tool.

  • Speed Tests: which allow you to validate if the bandwidth you need is readily available.

  • Prioritization and QoS: which increases network efficiency in the event of network congestion and prioritizes applications more critical or sensitive to performance problems such as VoIP (including VoIP PBX or video.

  • Network Device Monitoring: to get detailed information about the health of network devices such as firewalls, routers, switches and wifi access points

How to Troubleshoot Network Issues

Learn how to troubleshoot network issues by identifying where, what, why network problems occur with Network Troubleshooting tools.

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Start Network Testing
Start Network Testing

With our growing reliance on a high performing network to run cloud applications, communicate virtually and manage our businesses, network testing and monitoring is more important than ever.

With a network monitoring solution, you can continuously test your network so you always have visibility over changes, problems, and areas for improvement.

To set up network monitoring to test, diagnose, and troubleshoot your network, get started for free with Obkio’s Getting Started Documentation!

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