Last Mile ISP Quality Measurements

What are other last mile ISPs doing to measure the quality of their connections? We all know pinging various destinations. We also all know that pinging a destination doesn’t necessarily tell you the whole quality story.

I currently have Smokeping pulling the HTTPS for about 20 - 25 of the “top” websites, per the old Alexa rankings. I feel as though I could be doing more. I am more closely wanting to emulate the end-user experience in a repeatable, quantifiable fashion. I’d like to do A/B comparisons as well. When I make X change, how does it change?

If I’m already doing the low-hanging fruit path, then so be it.

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We are doing something similar with netpath in Solarwinds, but mainly using the stream URLs of some popular streaming services that we see commonly used (FuboTV, etc). Came in handy recently in tracking down customer complaints that ended up being a peering capacity issue further upstream.


I would personally have end IT friendly mimick and test their existing systems on the nee ISP. Especially cloud tech having read a book on cloud by some PHD administrators they redefined cloud as being cloudy in a sense to do with not knowing what route your clients packets will take to reach the server.

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Have you considered hosting a Ripe Anchor?

Minimal cost, good of the Internet project, good insights, answers the use case you describe.

Steve P

I am reluctant to respond because it might end up sounding like an ad

Leaving aside the tcp rtt tracking, the cake shaping, the mark and
drop statistics in that product, the (mostly wireless) ISPs we work
with typically have a dashboard of long term SNMP statistics of key
parameters like signal strength (RSSI), a heatmap of rtts to those
routers, and the upstreams, (smokeping cannot handle this kind of
density), a bandwidth tracker (usually on a 5 minute interval), a few
raspberry pi or equivalents at the towers doing active measurements on
demand, and a set of actionable items derived from that that the
support techs work off of.
Then there is a per customer screen that captures as much as possible
useful about the customer and every hop along the way.

There are a lot of pics of dashboards like this on the web, see
preseem, paraqum, and of course libreqos for examples. People use a
variety of backend products for it (grafina, redis, influx are

hope this helps.

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measure the quality of their connections

Really depends on what you are trying to measure. Some metrics are going to be great at telling you the quality and performance of the network at L3, but thanks to the Stupid Content Provider Tricks that we use, won’t tell you anything about the L4/L7 experience that your customers may have.

Tons of different things you could measure, it’s just putting them together in such a way that all parties in the conversation have the same context and understanding that can be exceptionally tricky.

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I have a probe, but not an anchor.

That would just help with simple reachability issues to probes that test against it, wouldn't it? It wouldn't necessarily be able to monitor popular Internet destinations or across different peers?

Would a QoE product be able to show me that my connectivity to Slack sucks right now?

I've followed precinct for a long time, with Libre qos a bit less than that. I took it as ISP subscriber focused, not greater internet focused.