Ring Buffers and Bookmarks

In this video, I show you a technique to troubleshoot problems by using ring buffers and bookmarks to test network performance.

Tony Fortunato

March 2, 2020

Here is a common scenario: A client has a random or intermittent issue with an application. One option is to set up a ring buffer so you can capture packets for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, one of the challenges to deal with is which files have the problem.

One approach is to ask the client to record the time and pick the file that was saved after that time. Unfortunately, you are hoping that the client records the time during the issue and not a later time and that the capture tool and clock are synchronized to the same time server.

The other approach that I like use involves using a ‘bookmark.’A bookmark is simply creating some specific traffic during or after the pattern, so you have a reference point when the issue occurred. One of the more popular bookmarks that I use is a simple ping to a unique IP address like (it doesn’t exist, so applications should not be using it).

The challenge is how do you find the packets when you have 20, 200, or 2000 files?

In this video, I show you how to do this using one line from the windows command prompt without installing additional software, just using the built in Microsoft commands.


About the Author(s)

Tony Fortunato

Sr Network Performance Specialist

Tony Fortunato is a network performance expert who has been designing, implementing and troubleshooting networks since 1989. His company, The Technology Firm, provides clients of all sizes with services ranging from project management, network design, consulting, troubleshooting, designing custom-designed training courses, and assisting with equipment installation. Tony's experience in networking started with financial trading floor networks and ISPs, where he learned to integrate and support equipment from various vendors. Tony has taught and presented at numerous colleges and universities, public forums and private classes. He blogs frequently at NetworkDataPediaand has a popular YouTube channel.

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