This post will be the first of a few showcasing several of the great new features that NETSCOUT has given to us via their brand new LinkRunner G2.
Building on an already solid foundation, NETSCOUT has recently released the next variation of the LinkRunner rich with new features, all running on Android. Many of the rock solid testing features we have come to expect from NETSCOUT have been expanded in the LRG2.
The LinkRunner G2 is very close, if not exactly the same form factor as it’s brother the AirCheck G2. On the right hand side of the device you will find two volume buttons, a mini SD card slot, and a micro USB connection. Flipping the LRG2 over, you will see that there is an LED flash(light) and also a camera.
The top of the device has one SFP slot which will accommodate most any SFP module, a copper 10/100/1000 Mbps ethernet port and another USB port which can be outfitted with a wireless USB device. At the time of this post, the only wireless device that works with the unit is a single band Edimax adapter. There is no integrated wireless adapter. The power button is located in the same position as the AirCheck G2’s power button. Charging the unit is done from the same spot as the AirCheck G2 AND via POE over the wired ethernet port on the top of the unit.
When you first fire up the device the user interface is very familiar to anyone who uses an Android device. The screen and menus are laid out very similar to an Android phone. The bottom of the screen has the familiar NETSCOUT logo which is a button that opens the LinkRunner’s native testing features. You will also notice that there is an App Store which is populated with a handful of familiar apps. I’ve been told that if there is an App that is not in the store, you can request it be added as long as it is free. Some of the familiar apps you will find are Microsoft Office, Wifi Analyzer, Meraki, UniFi, Aruba Utilities, and AirDroid to name a few.
The device is targeted to field support staff who can use the unit to receive trouble tickets via email, web, etc and a then perform several different troubleshooting steps, gather data, and ultimately upload the results of the tests to LinkLive for further analysis.
When tapping the NETSCOUT icon in the center of the bottom of the screen, you open the LinkRunner menu.
You are presented with three options near the top of the screen when the LinkRunner menu opens; Switch, AutoTest, and Cable. Selecting “Switch” will give you information such as the port the device is connected to, the VLAN tag, port speed and duplex, and POE information if it is available. “AutoTest” takes all of the information from the “Switch” menu and expands on it. The information in “AutoTest” is similar to what you would expect from a LinkSprinter except much more detail. I will dive a bit deeper into these tests in future posts. The “Cable” menu performs a continuity wire map test on each pin as well as a TDR on each pair. The wire map is accomplished using the included WireView Wiremapper. The TDR function is a great addition which will help determine distance to faults.
This is a very high level overview of a select few features and tests that the LinkRunner G2 can perform. As noted earlier, there will be future posts that go into greater detail of some of those features. The LinkRunner G2 will be a welcome addition to any network engineer’s toolbag with it’s Android OS which is highly versatile as we already know. Being able to collect trouble call information via a web browser, running tests, taking pictures of locations or faults, and possibly doing configs of network equipment via an SSH/Telnet client make this device a true one stop solution for any engineer. I look forward to further enhancements and developments to the LinkRunner G2 which will make it an even more versatile tool.
More to come soon…