Switches are so often the unsung heroes in our networks – chugging away in a dark, cold closet obediently relaying each and every message they receive as quickly as possible and never letting us down.

Switches can also be the first stop in our troubleshooting repertoire when something isn’t quite behaving as it should – perhaps beginning with a remote cable test, and then working up to the packet, transport and application layers. Meraki switches offer a suite of built-in tools and logging capabilities that are designed to make troubleshooting much easier for users, and today we’re excited to introduce a subtle yet powerful enhancement to the port-level information available in real-time for Meraki switches.

Packet counters with live data

Starting today, the packet counters for a selected switch port can be viewed in several different ways, including historical options such as for the “last 5 minutes”, and a streaming option for real-time troubleshooting. The live data option clears the counters, allowing a user to take a snapshot of the sent and received packet count and type in real time—a great way to determine if a link or logical problem is present on a particular link.

In the above example, live packet counters were observed on the SFP+ fiber interface of a switch that was having performance issues. The test quickly brought to light that the link was experiencing CRC align errors, often caused by a physical layer problem with the transceiver or fiber-optic cable.

This enhancement was made entirely based on the feedback you, our customers, provided. We hope you find it useful, and as always, please do share your wishes, feedback, and comments via the handy “Make a Wish” option at the bottom of the Meraki dashboard. Happy switching!