Explorer Suite Version 17.2: What Is New?

At Packet Design, we constantly strive to deliver new and enhanced features in our Explorer products, keeping in mind the requirements of our customers. It is also important and a focus for us to deliver new features and enhancements to our users as frequently as possible. For this reason, we now release new versions of the Explorer Suite every four months. Today, we are happy to announce the latest release – version 17.2.

Explorer Suite version 17.2 includes features that help network operators and service providers gain a better understanding of BGP routing behavior to troubleshoot issues more easily and quickly. Here is a summary of three major enhancements in the latest version of the Packet Design Explorer Suite.

Routing Paths with AS Information

When monitoring routing across the Internet, it is important to know not only the IGP hops taken by the traffic but also the Autonomous Systems (AS) that the traffic traverses and how the IGP and the BGP paths change.

With Explorer Suite version 17.2, when traffic is routed from the internal network to an external site, such as a remote location or a hosted cloud service, you can now see both the IGP and BGP hops, as well as the IGP and BGP AS path changes.

Routing Path with AS Hop Information

Routing Path with AS Hop Information

So, when a trouble ticket is raised about connectivity issues to a service, such as Amazon Web Services, Salesforce.com or Outlook.com, you can view the complete path, including IGP and AS hops, to see how the routes have shifted. The views include before and after path information, which helps to isolate the cause to the internal network or somewhere else, and thus avoid finger pointing. The path information also helps network operators ensure that routed traffic is traversing expected Autonomous Systems and not undesired networks.

BGP RIB Visualization

Another exciting addition in v17.2 is the BGP RIB Visualization feature that shows BGP routing across the entire network. It includes the BGP prefixes, prefix sources, next hop information, and the AS hops along the path out to the Internet. You can also drill into a remote AS and view its path and prefix information. The information available in the BGP visualization helps you troubleshoot BGP routing issues more quickly.

BGP RIB Visualization

BGP RIB Visualization

If you would like to see the BGP enhancements in Explorer Suite version 17.2 in action, we have a demo video for you:

This demo video looks at how to use Packet Design Explorer Suite to visualize the BGP RIB as well as end-to-end routing paths including IGP and BGP hops, to help take informed peering decisions and troubleshoot routing issues quickly.

Dashboards Enhancements

In addition to the BGP features, we have enhanced the Dashboards feature. With version 17.2, product admins can now create global dashboards accessible by any user of the Explorer Suite. This means an admin can create dashboards for specific teams, such as the Operations team responsible for a specific region or customer, and add custom widgets that provide information relevant to that team. This speeds up detection of potential issues, helping to reduce downtime. Another dashboard enhancement is the ability to drill down from a performance test alert to the actual performance report. For example, when an SLA test triggers an alert for a baseline threshold violation, rather than searching for the SLA test, you can click on the alert to go to the SLA performance page to see the test, the traffic path, how the path has changed and other metrics associated with the alert.

Finally, a big thank you goes to all our users for your great ideas and feedback that help us to continue designing new features to enhance the Explorer Suite.

Interested to know more about how the Explorer Suite can help your network?

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