Solve Connection Problems before a Web Meeting

Slowdown of webex found: Our network troubleshooter comes to the rescue

Connectivity problems can sometimes cause frustration when applications are launched. A member of staff complains about poor Wi-Fi in the conference room. It is too slow for a trouble-free web meeting. They are using Cisco's Webex which worked fine many times before. With the Allegro Network Multimeter this situation can be investigated within minutes and the cause of the poor connection found. An Allegro appliance is installed between the conference Wi-Fi Access Point and the firewall and displays all Layer 2 -7 protocol statistics via a web interface so the link utilization and the most frequently used protocols can be immediately recognized.

The Allegro troubleshooting appliance has access to the network
The Allegro troubleshooting appliance has access to the network

In our case the link has a throughput between 5 MBit/s and 20 MBit/s. To get to the bottom of this problem, the IP address of the employee's computer is required. If this is not known, there are several ways to find it. If possible, the employee could name it by searching their computer. It is easier to use the Allegro Network Multimeter to search for their device. This can search and identify all the IP addresses that have accessed the Webex server. There are several ways to do this. Searching all IP addresses for the Webex protocol is one option. The alternative is to find out their IP address based on the connection from the Webex server. To do this, open the HTTP statistics page under the menu item 'L7 - Application' in the Allegro Network Multimeter. The free text search allows filtering all HTTP servers for the search word 'Webex'. The HTTP servers are now displayed and a click on an IP address will display detailed information on the Webex IP addresses.

Searching for an HTTP server in the HTTP statistics

This is followed by an examination of all IP pairs ('peers') of the Webex IP address. Only one IP address is found as an IP partner, which has communicated with the Webex server and has a DHCP address that can be assigned to the employee. Examining the employee's IP information shows their protocols within the last hour. In order to have an overview of these connections, it is advisable to set an hourly resolution. The most used protocol in the last hour is immediately visible here: SSL with several hundred megabytes. It currently has a throughput of 8.8 MBit/s and only 65 Kbit/s throughput for Webex. A click on the menu item 'Connections' displays further information on this SSL traffic. Here you can filter for SSL and sort by Bit/s. The cause of the poor Webex connection now becomes clear. There are four active Dropbox SSL connections to block.dropbox.com, each with 1 - 2 MBit/s traffic.

Finding the most used protocols

There are also two Webex connections with less traffic. The employee is very likely synchronizing data with Dropbox. They should interrupt this process during the Webex session. A short message to the employee with the advice to pause the Dropbox sync will solve the connection problem with the Webex server.

On occasions, high demand connections may restrict or block the bandwidth. In order to quickly identify the issue, it is often sufficient to start an examination with the Allegro Network Multimeter and take a look at the live statistics. You can find more information about our analysis modules here: https://allegro-packets.com/de/analyse-module.

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