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Use NetChecker to troubleshoot your connection

OutSystems

Use NetChecker to troubleshoot your connection

Overview

NetChecker is an application which performs network tests from OutSystems front-end servers, easily troubleshooting connectivity issues on the infrastructure (onsite or Cloud).

You can use NetCheck to efficiently help you with:

  • VPN troubleshooting
  • Naming resolution (DNS resolution) 
  • Other network connectivity troubleshooting

 

Please be aware that NetChecker is not part of OutSystems Platform and also not an officially supported application. It will be maintained on a best effort basis with no support SLA associated with it.

 

Get NetChecker

Platform Stack Database Infrastructure Type Compatible Version
.NET SQL Server Enterprise

9.1+  (What's new?)

9.0.0.3+ 

.NET Oracle Enterprise

9.1+  (What's new?)

9.0.0.3+

Java Oracle Enterprise 9.0.0.3+
.NET  SQL Server Personal and Trials 10.0.200.0+

 

Installation

In order to install this application and avoid existing dependency issues, you should do it through the Service Center of your environment. To perform this operation you just need to go to Factory -> Applications -> Publish an Application and upload the file previously downloaded. Once you select the file to upload click on the 1-Click Publish button to start the installation process. 

 

VPN troubleshooting

  • TCP connection test

The best way to test your VPN connection is by testing the TCP connection. This will ensure a good test for most of the Site-to-Site VPN use cases (example: DB connections test to an onsite database server (port 1433, 1521, etc..), consuming a web service from an onsite server (port 80/443), etc...)

Please note that you should only use private IP addresses/ranges that have been configured in your VPN routes.

  • Ping test

In order for you to test ICMP (ping) requests from your OutSystems Cloud environments to your onsite machines you can use use NetChecker as follows:

Please note that in order to perform ping tests the ICMP requests have to be allowed in your onsite machine and in your gateway/firewall.

  • Trace route test

Trace route tests will allow you to know if network traffic is leaving your Cloud infrastructure and also if it is reaching your gateway/firewall or your onsite machines.

However, please note that the trace route test will use ICMP requests and if you are not allowing ICMP onsite you will not be able to see the network traffic reaching your side.

Furthermore, our IaaS provider (Amazon Web Services) will deprioritize ICMP and change internal routes dynamically in order to ensure the best performance of your connection. As such, it is possible to see no relevant result when performing this test and the result can even change between tests.

By the other hand, if you see in the first hops IP addresses starting with 169.xxx.xxx.xxx in this test that will mean that Cloud traffic is successfully leaving your Cloud infrastructure via the international routes used by Amazon Web Services (AWS)

 

Naming resolution (DNS)

  • Nslookup test

This test can be very useful in order to resolve, for example, the current private IP of your Cloud database server service by resolving the DNS entry. The private IP address of your Cloud database can be used in order to access it via VPN using, for example, Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (for .NET + SQL stack).

Please note that on our Cloud Offer, the database server service private IP address can change if the Class of the database server service changes, when vertically scaling the instance, or if the instance is failed-over, in the case of a database server service replication. Further reading http://aws.amazon.com/rds/faqs/#43 

However, the database server service DNS entry will remain the same and by using NetChecker's Nslookup option you will be able to resolve the currently assigned private IP address:

The Nslookup test can also be useful in order to test your internal DNS name resolution from your Cloud infrastructure to your onsite private DNS server if your Cloud has been already configured to resolve your internal DNS names.

 

Other network connectivity troubleshooting

NetChecker can also be used on several network communication tests and troubleshooting, please find following some examples:

  • Use the public web service URL you are consuming in your Cloud application in order to test TCP connections to a specific port (typically 80/443);
  • Test the communication between your Cloud environments and your machine via VPN (private IP),  public IP or DNS name (using ping, telnet, tracert or the nslookup option);
  • Test the communication between your Cloud environments and your office (using ping, telnet or tracert option);
  • Can provide further information (for example, private IP addresses list) regarding your environment that can be used for you to access your Cloud environment (via VPN) or for further troubleshooting tests.

 

NetChecker Highlights 

 

What's new in 9.1+ version?

In this new version, we have included the possibility of seeing the environment's database server endpoint and it's current IP as seen in the following image:

Please note that in case of direct access to the database we always recommend using the public endpoint and not the IP (public or private), because the database IP can changes frequently, and we don't have control on this behavior. If you are accessing your Cloud database through VPN connection, you will see the private IP of the database. Otherwise, the public IP will be shown. 

Also, there is a background timer now, that runs every day to check if the IP of the environment's database has changed. If so, an email is sent automatically to the configured email recipients to inform the new IP that should be use to connect to the database.

The email recipients can be defined in the Site Properties of the eSpace NetChecker as follows (separated by comma):

 

This new feature is not available for Java stacks, since it will be discontinued in the future.