April 2, 2007 -- Fluke Networks has introduced its LinkRunner Pro, a network multimeter designed to provide front-line technicians with the ability to troubleshoot Gigabit Ethernet links, resolve 802.1X security conflicts, and perform comprehensive link status test reports.
The tool also handles Power over Ethernet (PoE) verification to the IEEE 802.3af standard, and identifies the nearest switch with Cisco, Extreme, and Link Layer Discovery Protocols (CDP/EDP/LLDP).
"As we roll out Gigabit to the desktop, I expect Gigabit related problems to comprise 15-20% of our connectivity trouble tickets," comments Sean Kliger, network dngineer at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. "LinkRunner Pro will help us detect those issues at the front line."
According to Fluke, with the LinkRunner Pro a technician can negotiate a link with the network up to 1000 MB/s, and ping up to 10 key devices or URLs. Currently, contends the company, Gigabit connectivity problems are often escalated to engineer levels because existing link tools do not support Gigabit speeds. The company says the LinkRunner Pro frees up this time by helping to resolve problems at the front line.
Further, says the company, the tool's ability to help technicians quickly resolve 802.1X conflicts is critical due to the growing use of this protocol for wired networks due to the added security it provides. Desktop support technicians are increasingly responsible for the deployment of this new technology, and need tools to assist in troubleshooting user authentication problems, contends Fluke.
The LinkRunner Pro also aids technicians who need objective documentation of connectivity problems to prevent redundant testing of higher levels.
"Our environment is complex. The network often gets falsely blamed for lack of connectivity," says Craig Bartholomew, network engineer for Fannie Mae. "LinkRunner Pro's reporting capabilities will help us provide proof as to the real cause of basic connectivity problems."
The test tool comes with Fluke's LinkRunner Connect software, which allows technicians to record all test results and upload to a PC for routing with trouble tickets.
The tool also serves as a digital toning device, with signals detected by Fluke's IntelliTone probe. (Digital toning is immune to electrical interference and safe on active networks, making cable identification faster and more accurate in LAN environments, maintains the company.)
The LinkRunner Pro network multimeter is available now.