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How to check connectivity to our servers with Looking Glass

Before buying a virtual and dedicated server, it would be nice to check how it works. However, not all hosting providers offer a free test period.

We don’t offer it either. But we do have a tool that you can use to check connectivity and select the optimal location. It’s called Looking Glass.

In this article, we’ll explain what it is and how to use it.

What is Looking Glass

Looking Glass is a dedicated service that can check routing. It is used to test server connectivity before purchase and to look for faults in the network.

The service provides the following capabilities:

  • Check the connections to different nodes and their response times.
  • Follow the packet route from the router to a web resource.
  • Show the detailed BGP route to any IPv4 or IPv6 destination address.
  • Show the BGP map for any IP address.

How to work with Looking Glass

The service interface is simple.

How to check connectivity to our servers with Looking Glass

You only need to specify the parameters and choose the command:

1. Choose the location you want to check. The list includes all locations where our hosting is available.

How to check connectivity to our servers with Looking Glass

2. Select the protocol: IPv4 or IPv6.

How to check connectivity to our servers with Looking Glass

3. Specify the IP address to connect to.

How to check connectivity to our servers with Looking Glass

4. Select the command.

How to check connectivity to our servers with Looking Glass

Let’s talk about each command in detail.

Ping

This command can show how much time it takes to transfer a packet from your IP address to the node.

The command utilizes the ICMP protocol. It works as follows:

  1. The router sends a packet from the IP address to the node.
  2. The node sends it back.

It does not only show the packet transfer speed but can also be used to check the node’s overall availability.

Let’s see how this command works in practice. For our tests, we’ll be using a free public IP address: 8.8.8.8. Here’s what the ping command returns:

PING 8.8.8.8 (8.8.8.8) 56(84) bytes of data.

64 bytes from 8.8.8.8: icmp_seq=1 ttl=119 time=0.325 ms

64 bytes from 8.8.8.8: icmp_seq=2 ttl=119 time=0.311 ms

64 bytes from 8.8.8.8: icmp_seq=3 ttl=119 time=0.315 ms

64 bytes from 8.8.8.8: icmp_seq=4 ttl=119 time=0.301 ms

64 bytes from 8.8.8.8: icmp_seq=5 ttl=119 time=0.309 ms

--- 8.8.8.8 ping statistics ---

5 packets transmitted, 5 received, 0% packet loss, time 3999ms

rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.301/0.312/0.325/0.013 ms

We can see that 5 packets were transferred. For each packet, the command specifies how much time was used for the transfer. The lower line says that all packets were transmitted and received, none of them were lost, and the overall transfer time was 3,999 ms.

These numbers can help you understand whether you’re happy about the speed and whether the node you selected is suitable for your goals.

Traceroute

This command allows you to see all the intermediary routers on the packet’s way to the target node.

Each packet has a parameter called TTL (time to live), showing how long this packet can stay in the network. TTL can be expressed either as a number of hops (switches from one router to another) or as time, in milliseconds.

Every router the packet goes through lowers the TTL hop number by one. When the value reaches zero, the packet is destroyed, and the sender receives the response “time exceeded.”

Traceroute utilizes this parameter to calculate the number of intermediate nodes:

  1. The command sends a packet with TTL = 1. The router that responds with time exceeded is defined as the first intermediary router on the way.
  2. The next packet is sent with a TTL value of 2. The following ones are sent with TTL = 3, 4, 5, and so on, until the packet reaches its destination.
  3. This allows you to establish the number of intermediary routers and obtain the information about them.

Let’s try to apply this command to the same address. Here’s what we get:

traceroute to 8.8.8.8 (8.8.8.8), 15 hops max, 60 byte packets

1 vrrp.gcore.lu (92.38.169.130) [AS199524] 0.418 ms

2 92.38.168.2 (92.38.168.2) [AS199524] 0.378 ms

3 10.255.21.177 (10.255.21.177) [*] 0.366 ms

4 core1-0-0-8.lga.net.google.com (198.32.118.39) [AS10026] 0.848 ms

5 108.170.248.33 (108.170.248.33) [AS15169] 2.483 ms

6 172.253.70.17 (172.253.70.17) [AS15169] 1.419 ms

7 dns.google (8.8.8.8) [AS15169] 1.347 ms

What do we see here?

  • The maximum number of routers the packet goes through (15).
  • The address of each router and what autonomous system (AS) it belongs to.
  • The response time of each router, in milliseconds.
  • For each intermediary node, the response time is specified, which means they are all available and work well.

Show route for all

This command shows, in detail, the best BGP routes to the destination point.

BGP is a dynamic routing protocol for the Internet. It connects autonomous systems (AS)—systems of routers and IP networks with a shared online routing policy.

With the help of BGP, autonomous systems exchange information about networks and their availability. Based on this data, they build the best route for the packets.

This is what the command show route for all can show. The result might look as follows:

8.8.8.0/24 via 92.38.169.129 on eth0 [ipv4_1 2021-07-27 from 92.38.168.64] * (100/?) [AS15169i]

Type: BGP unicast univ

BGP.origin: IGP

BGP.as_path: 15169

BGP.next_hop: 92.38.168.64

BGP.med: 0

BGP.local_pref: 90

BGP.community: (65000,1162) (65000,1728) (65000,1903) (65000,4212) (65101,2087) (65102,2000) (65103,840) (65104,19)

BGP.large_community: (6695, 1000, 1)

via 92.38.169.129 on eth0 [ipv4_2 2021-07-19 from 92.38.168.65] (100/?) [AS15169i]

Type: BGP unicast univ

BGP.origin: IGP

BGP.as_path: 15169

BGP.next_hop: 92.38.168.65

BGP.med: 0

BGP.local_pref: 90

BGP.community: (24115,15169) (24115,65012) (65000,1105) (65000,1728) (65000,1903) (65000,4212)

BGP.large_community: (24115,1000,1) (24115,1001,1) (24115,1002,1) (24115,1003,1) (24115,=1004,15169)

Show route for (bgpmap)

The last command available in our Looking Glass is show route for (bgpmap). It provides a graphic image of the BGP route and shows what autonomous systems the data has to go through on the way from the node to the IP address.

The result will look like this:

How to check connectivity to our servers with Looking Glass

So, we’ve examined all aspects of the interface of our Looking Glass feature. We hope that it will be easy for you to use it. And if you still have any questions left, you can always ask our managers.

Choose virtual or dedicated servers with the best connectivity and connect them at our hosting.

  • Over 35 locations available at different continents.
  • Servers located at Tier III certified data centers.
  • We support all operating systems.
  • A variety of configurations, easy upgrades.
  • 24/7 technical support.

Choose the server that perfectly matches your needs with our handy configuration tool. And Looking Glass will help you select a location with the best connectivity.

Let’s sum it up

  1. You can use Looking Glass to test the connectivity before purchasing a dedicated or virtual server from us.
  2. It is a dedicated service that allows you to check the connectivity to different nodes and the response times, follow the packets to their destinations, check the BGP routes and the BGP map.
  3. Our Looking Glass has a simple interface. You only need to specify the location, the protocol (IPv4 or IPv6), the IP address and select a command, and the results will appear on the screen.
  4. The service supports four commands: ping, traceroute, show route for all, and show route for (bgpmap).
  5. Ping shows the node availability and the time it takes to deliver a packet.
  6. Traceroute shows all the intermediate routers the packet goes through.
  7. Show route for all shows the best BGP routes, and show route for (bgpmap) visualizes the AS path the query follows to the destination.
  8. Looking Glass can help you select the best location. Rent reliable virtual and dedicated servers with great connectivity at the G-Core Labs hosting.
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