Using PingPlotter

Streamline Remote Testing with PingPlotter CloudConnect

PingPlotter’s remote agent feature can help you gain perspective from anywhere, but now there’s a better tool for the job.

Collecting useful data is important for solving any problem, but it’s doubly important for monitoring and troubleshooting a network. With so many moving parts, having the right information can be the difference between fixing things in a matter of minutes and fixing things at all.

This is what PingPlotter has always excelled at — collecting accurate, actionable data. It’s also why we originally created the PingPlotter remote agent, so you could conduct full-scale network testing from any machine and have it feed the results straight into your existing PingPlotter sessions.

PingPlotter’s remote agent is a fantastic tool for testing remote machines. While it can have its quirks, the remote agent has proven invaluable for finding and fixing network issues wherever you deploy it. But what if it were better? More reliable? Easier to install and manage? If the remote agent leveled up, what would it look like?

Enter CloudConnect, our new remote network testing suite for PingPlotter. CloudConnect takes the spirit of PingPlotter’s remote agent and improves upon just about every part. Now, getting the best data from anywhere is just a few clicks away, whether it be for one remote machine or a hundred.

Remote whatnow?

As we mentioned, getting accurate, actionable trace data is the heart and soul of PingPlotter. However, the need to test a connection often extends beyond your own machine. If you’re responsible for keeping tabs on machines scattered throughout your building or across the globe, you need to see what they’re seeing.

The most important element of remote tracing is perspective. While we’ve covered why perspective matters in network troubleshooting, it bears repeating: If you want to find the real cause of a problem, you need to see it from that machine’s angle. Both CloudConnect and the remote agent install directly onto the machine you wish to monitor or troubleshoot, which means every trace is showing the problem from the only perspective that matters.

If perspective is the number one benefit of PingPlotter’s remote testing options, integration is a close second. For many, having a third party download and run PingPlotter for a few minutes is a quick and dirty method of seeing things from that all-important perspective. However, this creates an extra layer of annoyance, as your third party now needs to relay all this data back to you. Sure, there are always options like PingPlotter’s share pages or exported .PP2 files, but it’s still an added step that takes you out of the driver’s seat.

With PingPlotter’s remote offerings, data retrieval is a complete non-issue. Both the remote agent and CloudConnect integrate into your local PingPlotter instance, allowing you to start, stop, modify, and monitor everything happening on machines located on another floor, another building, or another continent — all in one place.

Building a better remote

As we mentioned before, PingPlotter’s remote agent is a powerful tool, but there are still a number of ways it can be improved. Fortunately, CloudConnect takes care of them.

Deployment

One of the biggest hurdles with PingPlotter’s remote agent is the difficulty of deploying it to a remote machine. Installing a remote agent on a machine requires manually extracting program files to a specific folder, fiddling with firewalls, and testing the connection through a web browser. It doesn’t help that much of this work is often being done by a person who lacks the technical expertise to get everything right the first try.

Thorough? Absolutely! Beginner-friendly? Not so much...

Here, the difference between CloudConnect and the remote agent is night and day.

Deploying CloudConnect Agents is a total breeze for both you and whoever’s waiting on the other end. All they need to do is click a link you generate, and PingPlotter will automatically download and configure itself for remote traces. A person with almost zero technical skill can get CloudConnect up and running in a matter of minutes.

Now THIS I know how to do!

Setup and usage

Other issues with the remote agent are tied to calibration and actual usage. Each remote agent needs to be configured before starting a single trace. In addition, once set up, the integration into PingPlotter leaves a lot to be desired. Swapping between remote agents and local traces is simple, but keeping track of which machine is doing what is less intuitive.

Compare that to CloudConnect. Once a CloudConnect Agent is configured, it will appear in a completely new dropdown on the host PingPlotter instance. All you need to do is enter a target IP or DNS name and hit go. The trace will start from the Agent machine and feed the results into your target lists.

Once CloudConnect is set up, remote traces are only a click away.

Even better, CloudConnect Agents are also easier to manage post-install. CloudConnect’s web interface shows you the status of each remote install and lets you manage traces from anywhere — not just your desk. By comparison, remote agents are pretty much outside your control the second they’re installed.

When it comes to ease-of-use, CloudConnect definitely has the advantage.

Data collection

Finally, the remote agent leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to trace data management.

If a remote agent loses its connection to the primary PiingPlotter instance, the intermittent data is lost. There’s no catch-up or recovery. No backlog of data. Whatever happens during the blackout is lost to time.

CloudConnect completely resolves this issue. CloudConnect Agents continue to capture data even when your connection is severed. Agents are constantly sending data to a cloud relay, so you never have to worry about disconnects or spotty connections.

If something does go down, CloudConnect will keep your traces running. When the connection between the Agent and your local PingPlotter instance is re-established, CloudConnect will sync up the data seamlessly — you’d never know they were disconnected.

Get your head in the clouds

Even when something’s great, there’s always room for improvement. PingPlotter’s remote agent is fantastic for gaining perspective, but it isn’t everything it could be. CloudConnect, on the other hand, better exemplifies our mission of helping you collect the best trace data from anywhere in a way that’s fast, reliable, and user-friendly.

And the best part about CloudConnect? if you currently have Pingplotter Professional and active maintenance, you already have it ready and waiting! Simply head over to the CloudConnect portal and log in with your Pingman Tools account. We’ll walk you through every step, and you’ll be remote tracing in no time.