Over the last few years some really cool technology has been introduced to the networking industry. Some of my favorites would include things like:

  • cFlow (NetFlow, JFlow, sFlow, ipFix)
  • WAN acceleration
  • Cisco's IP SLA

I've written a lot about NetFlow and WAN acceleration over the last few months but today I wanted to highlight Cisco's IP SLA or IP Service Level Agreements. IP SLA is a great technology for many reasons. First, it's cool because it's free (assuming that you're running the full IOS feature set of course). Second, it's cool because it's embedded in technology that you've already deployed throughout your network. Third - there's now a cool free tool from SolarWinds to both enable and monitor IP SLA metrics.

Now, about this time you may be wondering "What the heck is IP SLA?". In a nutshell, IP SLA is a technology built into Cisco IOS that allows you to turn your routers and switches into agents of a sort. As agents, these devices can generate tests on the network and store the results. This is super important as these devices offer a unique perspective on network performance both because of their natural function and because of their physical location within your topology. Many network management applications, such as Orion NPM and the new IP SLA Monitor, can pull these metrics/statistics from the devices and present them in an easy to understand format along with other relevant network performance information.

You can watch a video on IP SLA as a technology and the new SolarWinds IP SLA Monitor free tool here.

Ping me back if you'd like to learn more about this technology or if I can answer any specific questions.

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