Smokeping is a software-based measurement framework that uses various software modules (called probes) to measure round trip times, packet losses and availability at layer 3 (IPv4 and IPv6) and even applications? latencies. Layer 3 measurements are based on the ping tool and for analysis of applications there are such probes as for measuring DNS lookup and RADIUS authentication latencies. The measurements are centrally controlled on a single host from which the software probes are started, which in turn emit active measurement flows. The load impact to the network by these streams is usually negligible.

As with MRTG the results are stored in RRD databases in the original polling time intervals for 24 hours and then aggregated over time, and the peak values and mean values on a 24h interval are stored for more than one year. Like MRTG, the results are usually displayed in a web browser, using html embedded graphs in daily, monthly, weekly and yearly timeframes. A particular strength of smoke ping is the graphical manner in which it displays the statistical distribution of latency values over time.

The tool has also an alarm feature that, based on flexible threshold rules, either sends out emails or runs external scripts.

The following picture shows an example output of a weekly graph. The background colour indicates the link availability, and the foreground lines display the mean round trip times. The shadows around the lines indicate graphically about the statistical distribution of the measured round-trip times.

  • Example SmokePing graph:
    Example SmokePing graph

The 2.4* versions of Smokeping included SmokeTrace, an AJAX-based traceroute tool similar to mtr, but browser/server based. This was removed in 2.5.0 in favor of a separate, more general, tool called remOcular.

In August 2013, Tobi Oetiker announced that he received funding for the development of SmokePing 3.0. This will use Extopus as a front-end. This new version will be developed in public on Github. Another plan is to move to an event-based design that will make Smokeping more efficient and allow it to scale to a large number of probes.

Related Tools

The OpenNMS network management platform includes a tool called StrafePing which is heavily inspired by SmokePing.


-- SimonLeinen - 2006-04-07 - 2013-11-03

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Topic revision: r7 - 2013-11-03 - SimonLeinen
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