Is there a method or tool(s) to prove network outages?

Matt Palmer mpalmer at
Sun Dec 1 19:50:31 UTC 2013

On Sun, Dec 01, 2013 at 05:56:51PM +0100, Notify Me wrote:
> Please I have a very problematic radio link which goes out and back on
> again every few hours.
> The only way I know this is happening is from my gateway device: a Sophos
> UTM that sends email anytime there's been an outage.
> The ISP refuses to accept this as outage/instability proof, and I'm
> wondering if there's something I can run behind the gateway UTM that can
> provide output information over time.

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the root question to answer before you go
off spending time setting up anything in particular: what *will* the ISP
accept (or be forced to accept) as outage/instability proof?  Contracts are
your first line of defence, but it's nigh-on universal that they don't cover
these sorts of situations well enough.  So you probably need to have a
discussion, as a follow-on from being told that your UTM's e-mails *aren't*
sufficient, to determine what *is* sufficient.

Once you've got that, only then can you evaluate appropriate methods of
gathering the necessary data to support a claim of an outage.  I like the
*idea* of smokeping, but when gathering data on complete service loss (which
was my use case for it as well) I found its methods of collecting and
displaying that data to be very suboptimal and counter-intuitive.

For something small and once-off like this, I'd probably just break out my
text editor and script up something that would collect the relevant data and
process it into the acceptable form.

- Matt

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