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Traceroute does not explain everything

Trusted Forum Contributor

Traceroute does not explain everything

Traceroute results are always interesting.  Traceroute uses tailored pings (ICMP echo requests) with increasing hop count for each query. Intermidiate responses come from routers along the path where the hop count expires. The last response comes from the target system. Specificly:

  

  • A large packet loss on one router most likely indicates that the router queried was too busy forwarding data packets to handle ICMP Echo requests.
  • A stable and consistent ICMP ping end-to-end implies that there is no reason to consider ping packet loss on an intermediate node as unacceptable or even significant of anything.
  • For any particular application, Round Trip Time (RTT) as measured end-to-end using the application protocol over TCP or UDP provides the only meaningful measurement. 
  • For more about ping, see https://iwl.com/idocs/limitations-of-icmp-echo-for-network-measurement.