Off is Not an Option: Automating Digital & Wireless Testing

Digital Wireless Testing
Daniel Klimke

The Internet of Things (IoT) is fast encroaching on nearly every aspect of our lives. In fact, Business Insider magazine predicts there will be more than 55 billion IoT devices by 2025, up from approximately nine billion in 2017.

Of course, with all these connected devices, the need to manage and maintain millions of wired and wireless endpoints in a constantly growing and highly complex network environment is creating challenges of epic proportions for field engineers. IT needs to be able to rapidly pinpoint and resolve problems across every inch of their network, so they can assure the delivery of vital services.

Taking all connected devices offline, while searching for the cause of the problem, is simply not an option. This means IT needs a tool that will identify which endpoint is miscommunicating across multiple wireless devices, while the devices continue to function.

Further complicating this challenge, IoT devices are increasingly reliant on network-delivered power. Of the billions of IoT devices in use across the globe already, most are connected via 802.3 Ethernet or 802.11 wireless LANs. For these Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled devices, there is an urgent need for tools to measure PoE under load at the connection point, comparing requested to received power levels.  After all, any loss in functionality due to power fluctuations will result in reduced efficiency or outright device failure.

The manual testing of all devices on a network where a faulty device exists creates a tremendous strain on IT resources. Instead, what is needed is automation of maintenance, testing and security, particularly when the connected devices are wireless. Field engineers require flexible, programmable smart tools to address this vitally important IT mandate.

NETSCOUT offers a range of handheld tools to help field engineers rapidly test and validate network connectivity. The LinkRunner G2 is the world’s first Android-based smart network tester that combines wired Ethernet testing, hardened Android OS and unique PoE ‘under load’ testing capabilities in a single handheld device.

As the IoT continues to grow, and network-connected devices proliferate, next-generation test tools such as LinkRunner G2 will empower field engineers and IT professionals to speed up deployments and dramatically improve troubleshooting and problem identification capabilities. Such automated tools will reduce finger pointing, drive cost savings, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of network operations.

This blog is based on the article, Do more, with less: the challenges of maintenance in a digital & wireless world written by Daniel Klimke, Senior Product Manager for

NETSCOUT’s Handheld Network Tools division, which was published at Electronic Product Design & Test.