Instant tests

Instant tests enable you to run a test instantly from any single or multiple node (Backbone tests), Peer Population (Last Mile and Private Last Mile tests), or location (Mobile tests). Testing with a specific Peer Population is valuable when the application performance rather than the specific peer performance is of the most interest.

You cannot run instant tests on benchmarks.

All instant tests expire two hours after they are launched. To preserve the results, you can email them by clicking the Send icon on the Results page.

You can view the current instant test results at any time by clicking View current instant test results at the bottom of the Instant Test tab. See Viewing current instant tests results for details.

Instant test types

Depending on your selection in the Instant Test list, you can run these tests:

  • HTTP (IE Agent or Firefox Agent ) – Displays a waterfall chart that shows objects downloaded over time with the response time of each object broken down by component.
  • Ping  – Measures the time it takes for a host at a given IP address to receive and respond to a request. Ping is often used to see if a specific host is available on a network.
  • NS Lookup  – Performs a local DNS lookup test to resolve the host name into an IP address. The information shown may be an authoritative or non-authoritative answer. An authoritative answer comes from a name server which has been configured to be in charge of the domain. A non-authoritative answer comes from the rest of the name servers.
  • Trace Route  – Records the route that a packet of data travels between hosts. Trace Route is used to help identify which node on the network may be causing slowness along a given route. A trace route test enables you to see the path, or hops, that the test took, including the IP address, host name, and response time in seconds.
  • Dig  – Tests DNS queries sent to the DNS servers and returns the results of the query. This information can help you to troubleshoot DNS problems and to debug name server configuration issues.
  • TcpTrace  – Provides detailed information about TCP connections by analyzing TCP dump files. TcpTrace details information on each connection seen, such as elapsed time, bytes and segments sent and received, and round trip times.

Instant tests have the following limits:

  • Maximum number of instant tests that can be run against the same node – 3
  • Maximum number of instant tests that can be stored per account – 50
  • Maximum number of instant tests that can process at the same time – 24
  • Maximum number of instant tests that can be run in an hour – 60

Running a Backbone instant test for a URL

  1. In the Diagnostics page, click Instant Test.
  2. Select Backbone Utilities from the Instant Test list.
  3. Enter the URL in the Enter a url/hostname field.
  4. Select the type of test to run:
    For TCPTrace, enter a port value; the default is 80.
    For Dig or NSLookup, optionally enter a server name.
  5. Select up to a maximum of five nodes. The nodes that appear here depend on the selected test. For example, if the type of instant test is HTTP IE Agent, then only IE Agent nodes appear here.
  6. Click Submit.

The Current Instant Tests window opens and shows the results of this test and any other previously run tests.

Running a Backbone instant test for a transaction

  1. In the Diagnostics page, click Instant Test.
  2. Select Backbone Transaction from the Instant Test list.
  3. Select the test from the Choose a Backbone Transaction list. All tests are listed here.
  4. Select up to a maximum of five nodes. The nodes that appear here depend on the selected transaction. For example, if the selected test was configured for the IE Agent, then IE Agent nodes are listed here.
  5. Click Submit.

The Current Instant Tests window opens and shows the results of this test and any other previously run tests.

Running a Last Mile or Private Last Mile instant test

For Private Last Mile instant tests, you can begin conducting single URL or transaction tests immediately after you complete the configuration of a Private Last Mile network. Performing transaction tests requires the presence of a previously recorded script, created using the Recorder, uploaded to your account.

Testing with a specific Peer Population is valuable when the application performance rather than the specific peer performance is of the most interest.

In the Diagnostics page, select Instant Test.

Select Last Mile from the list. The current Last Mile and Private Last Mile tests that you have in your account appear in the list below. Private Last Mile tests have (Pvt) appended to the test names.

For HTTP tests only, select the agent from the Choose Agent list.

Select a test from the list; or test a specific URL by typing the URL in the Enter a URL field.

Optionally, select Specify user agent / http headers to open the Peer Instant Test Setup page, which enables you to specify user agent strings or additional HTTP headers. Use this page to:

  • Specify the HTTP version to use when the test runs

  • Select or specify the HTTP user agent to use which defines a specific Web browser for this test. Single URL tests can be dynamically controlled to enable the test agent to mimic a particular Web browser. Note that web servers that do not recognize the user agent may send simplified HTML pages.

  • Specify additional HTTP headers and values. Enter any additional header information such as cookies, cache control, GZIP encoding control, or connection keep alive rules.

This selection only affects ad hoc URL tests. Predefined tests use the agent header as established in the test setup.

To run a test using specific Peer Population(s), select the Peer Population(s) for this test (up to a maximum of five).

This selection only affects ad hoc URL tests. Predefined tests use the agent header as established in the test setup.

If a peer population is newly created, there may be a delay of up to an hour before it can run an instant test.

To run a test using specific machine(s):

Select the radio button next to specific peer and enter a maximum of five machine names or IDs, separated by semi-colons, in the field below.

To find a machine, click search to open the Find a Private Last Mile window, which enables you to search the Private Last Mile Population for a specific Private Last Mile peer by name or ID. Select a category to search by, enter any additional optional criteria, select whether to limit the search results, and click . A list appears of the Private Last Mile machines that match your search criteria. Select a machine (up to a maximum of five machines) from the list and click Submit. The machine(s) you selected appear in the field.

To see which Private Last Mile peers have recently “checked in”, from the Find a Private Last Mile window, select View Private Last Mile Network Machine Profiles and review the information in the Last Check in column.

For a Private Last Mile HTTP test, select the IP preference: IPv4 Only, IPv4/IPv6 Mixed, or IPv6 Only.

IPv6 is supported only for Private Last Mile tests using the IE Agent, Firefox Agent, or Chrome Agent. For Last Mile (public peer) tests, keep the default selection of IPv4.

Select the IP Preference for Utilities, for the diagnostic tests.

Select the type of diagnostic test to run. Note the following:

  • When you select a transaction for a Trace Route test, the first defined URL in the transaction is used for the target host.
  • If you select Dig or NS Lookup, you can enter a server name (optional). With Dig, you can also select Trace.

Optionally, select to view the DNS servers used by the machine that ran the test; for HTTP, you can view the request/response header information.

Click Submit. The results of the test appear in the Instant Test Results window. Note that when you select a transaction for a Trace Route test, the first defined URL in the transaction is used for the target host.

Running a Mobile instant test

  1. In the Diagnostics page, click Instant Test.

  2. Select Mobile from the Instant Test list. Your Mobile tests appear.

  3. Select the agent for this test.

  4. Select the test(s) from this list.

  5. Select a mobile location or a specific location:

    • To test using a mobile location, select mobile location to view the locations list.
      To view additional information about a specific mobile location, select the location and select View definition. The Peer Population Definition window opens and displays the included and excluded criteria for this location.
      Select up to a maximum of five locations for this test.
    • To test using a specific location, select specific location and enter a machine name or ID or click search to open the Find a Mobile Node window. Use this window to search the Private Last Mile populations for a specific Private Last Mile peer.
      Enter up to a maximum of five locations, separated by semicolons.
  6. Click Submit.
    An HTTP test is run for the selected test(s) and locations. The results of the test appear in the Instant Test Results window, which automatically refreshes every minute.