The Home Networking Library Pack uses a number of remote actions. This page outlines how to configure these for optimal use. - Get Download Speed - Get Network Speed - Get Local Speed to Gateway - Get Wifi Signal Strength
Further Remote Action (not included in the library pack) can be used for add value: - Get Geolocation
Overview of Client Configuration and Split Tunneling
Affecting all the Remote Actions in this pack is a need for a clear understanding of device configuration.
Consider a typical setup that might be found in a larger customer environment:
This kind of configuration, with different routes possible to different services, must be understood for the Home Networking pack to be effective.
Note that you might instead have a simple configuration – if all traffic goes down a VPN with no other alternative possible, then at least it must be clear that this will affect the behavior of the Remote Actions.
However it is common in larger environments to separate the traffic, with some going direct out to the open internet, some going to SaaS services through an IP Tunnel, some going down a VPN to the datacenter.
When configuring the Remote Actions in the pack, always understand what route will be taken by the traffic going to a particular destination as it affects the results you are getting back: - If you wish to measure the download speed of the pure internet connection, for example, then ensure download speed file you will place in your cloud service is accessed via the local internet facing interface and not via a VPN interface if one exists – because if it goes down the VPN, you’ll end up with the download speed of the company internet connection as the packet will be going through the VPN, through the company network and out their internet connection. - The same principle for all items – for the Internet ISP if that is wished, make sure this goes out the internet connection and not through the VPN. - There may well be cases, such as the download speed to the UNC location where you do want it to go correctly through the VPN to the company and back. In this case make sure that the configuration on the device is such that this traffic goes out through the VPN interface.
Get Download Speed RA – Business Service URL Example – Creating the Test File
The "Get Download speed" Remote Action downloads a file placed on a cloud service. It will use whichever interface is configured for this destination.
VERY IMPORTANT: This Remote Action downloads a file. There is a randomized delay as per normal that can be set up to 600 seconds however if run across a wide range of devices be absolutely sure to understand what is happening. It is the intended behavior but particularly for files placed on UNC locations, consider that many machines may download this at the same time. It is why we recommends a 50-100 MB file as the optimal size if network capacity allows is.
NOTE: This example uses Azure, however any cloud storage is possible, for example AWS.
The Get Download Speed Remote Action includes the parameter of a URL and the ability to download from an HTTP / HTTPS location. To configure this component a file must be placed on a cloud service which can then be downloaded. The following steps outline how to achieve this using Azure, though any cloud provider can be used.
- Log into the Azure Portal (this example uses Azure but any cloud provider can be used).
- In any Resource group you wish, create (by clicking on the “+” sign) a new object of type “Storage Account”:
- Set the properties of the storage:
- Note the importance of the location field for where it will be based and how it will be accessed (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/common/storage-redundancy).
- Continue the wizard to describe the properties of the storage account in terms of networking, data protection, advanced settings and tags. This is entirely dependent on your choice as an organization, please consult your Azure, AWS or other cloud service team if in doubt.
- Finally click on Create in the Review and Create to create the storage.
- Go to the storage and go to Storage Explorer (Preview) and select Create File Share. Note that you can also create a Blob Storage to do this also (in this case make sure you enable anonymous access in the wizard).
- Create a file share with a suitable name for your Remote Action test.
- Refresh the page and now you are able to upload a file into the share:
- Upload the file you wish to test from bearing in mind that too small may give inaccurate results, too large will potentially congest your network. This can be as you wish, here at Nexthink we recommend a 50-100 MB for the most optimal results. Due to the way the file is streamed to the client (though not actually downloaded) it should be a .bin extension. This does not have to be a real binary file, it can be something harmless like a text file renamed. If you use other file types you may receive an error in terms of MIME type when the remote action executes.
- Once uploaded refresh the page, the file is now there in the file share. Now right click on it and choose Get Shared Access Signature and set the length of access to where you desire:
- Once created now copy this URI
- Now paste this into the parameter field in the Remote Action for the BusinessServiceURL:
Get Network Speed
This Remote Action will determine the speed, in terms of the Round Trip Time, to a given URL and report this back. It also gives Boolean outputs for whether this is greater than the threshold that is requested enabling dashboarding of this property.
The configuration required is simply to ensure that the URL’s are configured and once again think closely about what you are testing – if it goes down the VPN to the URL then its not a test of your internet latency, it’s a test of the latency to that URL which (if this is the intended configuration) may well be a web service in a datacenter. If it goes to a public URL such as google its more a test of the response time of the device to the internet. When public Round Trip time is higher than average set in the threshold it is a sign of bad connection. But also, when public is good, but business is bad it is a sign that employees cannot work but problem is not at their home connection.
We recommend executing the remote action frequently because connection quality can change during the day.
Note that you do not have to give both parameters, you can configure one only if wished.
Get Local Speed to Gateway
This needs no configuration apart from the delay.
Get Wifi Signal Strength
This needs little configuration, however it is important: There is a campaign attached to this that informs the employee of how to get a better WiFi signal. This campaign is very basic and can be customized. If you wishes to use it, it is a good idea to upgrade it to a relevant set of campaign statements for your environment.
Note that there is also a threshold over which a connection is considered "bad", i.e. not strong enough.