Friday, October 11, 2013

Managed Switch Port Mapping Tool v2.13 released Oct 10, 2013

I debated as to whether this should be 2.13 or 2.2 because normally a .2 release would mean new features. This release has new features, but in the end I settled on 2.13 because most of the changes were fixes to the LLDP and CDP columns.

The new features are showing the Switch Alias that you have created for a switch when you view the Left Panel/Select Config or Switch Lists/Edit Switch Config. This makes it much easier to see which switch you are wanting to deal with as opposed to seeing only the switch IP address.

The LLDP changes were numerous. First of all, LLDP is not indexed by ifIndex, it's indexed by any of a number of ways. Usually by the interface name, description or alias. It now works much better and will provide LLDP info in the right cell for most indexing options. The other big issue for LLDP was the IP address. Previously we were using the MAC address which is almost always sent in LLDP to lookup the IP in the database. But that didn't always work. So now if the switch has extended LLDP info, we get the IP address of the attached device from the switch LLDP data. In fact, we show them both and indicate the source of the IP address. IPv4 and IPv6 are supported from the extended LLDP info. Another problem with the previous way we reported LLDP was that if the field had no information, it was simply left blank. Now, in keeping with the way Cisco does it from CLI (show lldp neighbors), we use the statement 'not advertised'. That way you know that the data was not available to us.

The statement 'not advertised' was also extended to CDP, which by the way is indexed by ifIndex. There was also a correction to the parsing of the device capabilities field from CDP. You should not see 'unknown' very often any longer.

There was one other change to the number of rows displayed. You may see more loopback rows or similar. And as usual, the MAC Address to Manufacturer database was updated.

Please visit to download the latest version 2.13.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

NetScanTools Pro v11.52 Released Sept 24, 2013

NetScanTools Pro 11.52 was released last week and it has several improvements and updates the databases.

Packet Generator will now work better on Windows 8.x in that the operating system will no longer think it is 'not responding' while sending streams of packets. Earlier versions of Windows do not get confused like this, but apparently Windows 8 expects the message queue to be pumped more often. If the message queue is not cleared quickly enough Windows 8 grays out the software and calls it 'non-responding' which clearly was not the case with the Packet Generator.

Several things were done in Ping and Traceroute to give the user better feedback when the Windows Firewall settings are not allowing outgoing packets to be captured by WinPcap. Without knowing when the outgoing packets are sent, it's difficult to establish round-trip-time. A message will now appear explaining the problem and telling you to change the firewall settings or temporarily turn it off. The timing calculation shown in the analysis area below the results grid now shows sub-decimal timing calculations, ie. 123.456 ms instead of just 123 ms.

The Wireless Network Interface tool now has more concise explanations of what was found to better conform to industry standard terminology.

The USB version has a change that only affects the USB version: if the host has WinPcap 4.1.2 or 4.1.3 installed on it, the software uses the host's WinPcap instead of the WinPcap Pro that is on the USB. More about this in another blog post soon.

If you have an active maintenance plan, please start NetScanTools Pro, then click on Help/Check for New Version to access either the new v11.52 full install or USB upgrade patch.