Interfaces Test

Network interfaces in the NetScaler appliance are numbered in <slot>/<port> notation. For each such network interface, this test reports the following:

  • The current state of the interface;
  • The duration for which the link to the interface was up;
  • The bandwidth utilized by the interface and the nature of traffic handled by the interface - i.e., multicast packets, NetScaler packets, LACPDUs, etc.
  • Issues experienced by the interface during transmission/reception of packets - eg., packet drops, discards, errors, stalls, hangs, and more!

Target of the test : A NetScaler VPX/MPX

Agent deploying the test : A remote agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for the each network interface configured on the NetScaler appliance being monitored.

Measures are also reported for an additional Summary descriptor.

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameter Description

Test Period

How often should the test be executed.

Host

The IP address of the host for which the test is being configured.

NetScaler Username and NetScaler Password

To monitor a NetScaler device, the eG agent should be configured with the credentials of a user with read-only privileges to the target NetScaler device. Specify the credentials of such a user in the NetScaler Username and NetScaler Password text boxes.

Confirm Password

Confirm the NetScaler Password by retyping it here.

SSL

The eG agent collects performance metrics by invoking NITRO (NetScaler Interface Through Restful interfaces and Objects) APIs on the target NetScaler device. Typically, the NITRO APIs can be invoked through the HTTP or the HTTPS mode. By default, the eG agent invokes the NITRO APIs using the HTTPS mode. This is why, the SSL flag is set to Yes by default. If the target NetScaler device is not SSL-enabled, then the NITRO APIs can be accessed through the HTTP mode only. In this case, set the SSL flag to No.

Show Up Interface Only

If this flag is set to Yes, then only the NetScaler interfaces that are operational - i.e. whose MIB-II operStatus variable has a value "up" - are monitored. If this flag is set to No, all NetScaler interfaces that have an adminStatus of "up" will be monitored. By default, this flag is set to No, indicating that by default the test will monitor the interfaces that are up/down.

Show Default Down Interface

A certain number of network interfaces in the Netscaler infrastructure will by default be in down state and not operational. When this test runs for the first time, it will unnecessarily alert administrators to the down state of these interfaces. To avoid such unwanted alerts, by default the Show Default Down Interface flag is set to No, indicating that the test will not monitor those interfaces that have been shutdown by default. If this flag is set to Yes, then the test will notify administrators of the down state of such interfaces as well.

Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Interface state

Indicates the current status of this network interface.

 

This measure is not reported for the Summary descriptor.

This measure reports a value Up if the Interface is up and a value Down to indicate that the Interface is down. The numeric equivalents of these measure values have been discussed in the table below:

Numeric Value Measure Value
0 Up
1 Down

Note:

By default, this measure reports the above-mentioned Measure Values to indicate whether/not the NetScaler Interface is Up or Down. However, in the graph of this measure, these values will be represented using their corresponding numeric equivalents only.

Link state

Indicates the current status of the logical NetScaler Interface i.e., the link.

 

This measure is not reported for the Summary descriptor.

This measure reports a value Up if the link is up and a value Down to indicate that the link is down. The numeric equivalents of these measure values have been discussed in the table below:

Numeric Value Measure Value
0 Up
1 Down

Note:

By default, this measure reports the Measure Values (listed in the table above) to indicate whether the link is Up or not. However, in the graph of this measure, these values will be represented using their corresponding numeric equivalents only.

Link uptime

Indicates the time duration for which this link was Up.

Mins

This measure is not reported for the Summary descriptor.

A high value is desired for this measure.

 

Link downtime

Indicates the time duration for which the link was Down.

Mins

This measure is not reported for the Summary descriptor.

Ideally, the value of this measure should be 0.

Data received

Indicates the amount of data received by this NetScaler interface over a network link during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total data received by the VPX instance across all its interfaces.

MB

These measures serve as good indicators of the bandwidth utilized by a network interface. Compare the values of these measures across interfaces to isolate that interface which is handling bandwidth-intensive traffic.

Data transmitted

Indicates the amount of data transmitted by this NetScaler interface over a network link during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total data transmitted by the VPX instance across all its interfaces.

MB

Packets received

Indicates the number of packets received by this NetScaler interface during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of packets received by all interfaces of the VPX instance.

Number

 

Packets transmitted:

Indicates the number of packets transmitted by this NetScaler interface during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of packets transmitted by all interfaces of the VPX instance.

Number

Multicast packets

Indicates the number of packets received on this NetScaler interface that were destined for multiple hosts during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of multicast packets received by the VPX instance across all its interfaces.

Number

 

NetScaler packets

Indicates the number of packets received during the last measurement period on this NetScaler interface in which the destination MAC address is either the address of one of the NetScaler interfaces or the VMAC address configured by the user.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of NetScaler packets received by the VPX instance across all its interfaces.

Number

 

LACPDUs received

Indicates the number of the Link Aggregation Control Protocol Data Units (LACPDUs) that were received on the selected port during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of LACPDUs received by the VPX instance via all its interfaces.

Number

LACP (802.3ad) is a control protocol that configures multiple ports into a single high-speed link. An aggregated link is referred to as a channel. On this aggregated link, the LACP-enabled appliances exchange LACP data units (LACPDU).

After LACP is enabled on a port, the port sends LACPDUs to notify the remote system of its system LACP priority, system MAC address, port LACP priority, port number, and operational key. Upon receipt of an LACPDU, the remote system compares the received information with the information received on other ports to determine the ports that can operate as selected ports. This allows the two systems to reach agreement on the states of the related ports.

LACPDUs transmitted

Indicates the number of the Link Aggregation Control Protocol Data Units (LACPDUs) that were transmitted by the selected port during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of LACPDUs transmitted by the VPX instance via all its interfaces.

Number

Dropped packets received

Indicates the number of error-free outbound packets that were dropped when received by this NetScaler interface during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of outbound packets that were dropped during reception by the VPX instance across all its interfaces.

Number

Ideally, the value of this measure should be zero. The packets may be dropped due to a VLAN mismatch, an oversized packet or a disabled network interface card.

Dropped packets transmitted

Indicates the number of error-free outbound packets that were dropped during transmission by this NetScaler interface during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of outbound packets that were dropped during transmission by the VPX instance across all its interfaces.

Number

Inbound packets discarded

Indicates the number of error-free inbound packets that were discarded by this NetScaler interface during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of inbound packets that were discarded by the VPX instance across all its interfaces.

Number

Ideally, the value of these measures should be zero. These measures may report a non-zero value when an interface runs short of resources – e.g., NIC buffers.

Outbound packets discarded

Indicates the number of error-free outbound packets that were discarded by this NetScaler interface during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of outbound packets that were discarded by the VPX instance across all its interfaces.

Number

Error packets received

Indicates the number of packets that were received with errors by this NetScaler interface during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of packets that were received with errors by the VPX instance across all its interfaces.

Number

Ideally, the value of this measure should be zero.

Error packets transmitted

Indicates the number of packets that were transmitted with errors by this NetScaler interface during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of packets that were transmitted with errors by the VPX instance across all its interfaces.

Number

MAC moves registered

Indicates the number of MAC moves that were registered between ports during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of MAC moves registered by the VPX instance across all its interfaces.

Number

 

NIC hangs

Indicates the number of times the Network Interface Card (NIC) hanged.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of times the interfaces of this NetScaler VPX instance hanged.

Number

Ideally, the value of this measure should be zero. A non-zero value is reported when the NetScaler detects an error on the transmission or reception path of the NIC.

Stalls status

Indicates the number of system detected stalls that occurred during transmission or reception of packets on this Network Interface Card during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of the VPX instance acrsystem detected stalls that occurred on the VPX instance across all its interfaces.

Number

When the status is not updated within 0.8 seconds by the NIC hardware, the NIC is said to be in a status stall state.

Stalls received

Indicates the number of system registered stalls that occurred during reception of packets on this NetScaler Interface.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of system registered stalls that occurred on the VPX instance during reception across all its interfaces.

Number

When the link is UP for more than 10 minutes and packets are transmitted, but no packets are received for 16 seconds, the NIC is said to be in a receive stall state. This commonly occurs in lab environments when no packets, including spanning tree, are received on the wire.

Stalls transmitted

Indicates the number of system detected stalls that occurred during transmission of packets on this Network Interface Card.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of system registered stalls that occurred on the VPX instance during packet transmission across all its interfaces.

Number

When a packet posted for transmission is not transmitted in 4 seconds, the NIC is said to be in a transmit stall state.

Error disables

Indicates the number of times this NetScaler Interface has been disabled.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of times the network interfaces of the target VPX instance were disabled.

Number

Ideally, the value of this measure should be zero. The NetScaler interface would be disabled due to errors such as the stall in the transmission or reception of packets.

Duplux mismatches

Indicates the number of duplux mismatches that were detected on this NetScaler Interface.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of duplux mismatches that were detected on the interfaces of the target VPX instance.

Number

Ideally, the value of this measure should be zero.

Link re-initializations

Indicates the number of times the network link has been re-initialized.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of time network links were re-initialized on the target VPX instance across all its interfaces.

Number

Ideally, the value of this measure should be zero.

NIC muted

Indicates the number of times this NetScaler interface was muted i.e., this NetScaler interface stopped transmitting or receiving the packets.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total number of times the interfaces on the VPX instance were muted.

 

Number

Ideally, the value of this measure should be zero. The NetScalrer interface may be muted when there were too many dropped packets or when there were too many MAC moves on this NetScaler interface which would occur due to a suspected configuration issue.

Input throughput

Indicates the input throughput of this interface during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total input throughput of the VPX instance across all its interfaces.

 

Mbps

Compare the value of this measure across interfaces to know which interface has the lowest input throughput.

Output throughput

Indicates the output throughput of this interface during the last measurement period.

For the Summary descriptor, this measure reports the total output throughput of the VPX instance across all its interfaces.

Mbps

Compare the value of this measure across interfaces to know which interface has the lowest output throughput.

License allowed maximum throughput

Indicates the maximum throughput that the NetScaler license allowed.

Mbps

This measure is reported for the Summary descriptor only.

License throughput

Indicates the percentage of maximum throughput that the NetScaler VPX instance is using.

Percent

This measure is reported for the Summary descriptor only.

The value of this measure is computed using the following formula:

(Input throughput / License allowed maximum throughput)*100

A value close to 100% is a cause for concern, as it implies that the VPX instance is rapidly exhausting its licensed throughput limit.