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How to Interpret the Traceroute?

Knowledge Article Number 000182139

How to Interpret the Traceroute?
As part of the Application Performance troubleshooting, we ask the customer to do the “tracert” and share the logs with us.
The big question is “How do you interpret the Tracert log?”
First and foremost, since the Windows tracert command is only a single snapshot of the network at a point in time, run the command multiple times to ensure that a fair sampling of data is collected.



Terminology the Support Engineers should be familiar with.

Hop number: The specific hop number in the path from the sender to the destination.

Round Trip Time (RTT): The time it takes for a packet to get to a hop and back, displayed in milliseconds (ms). By default, tracert sends three packets to each hop, so the output lists three roundtrip times per hop. RTT is sometimes also referred to as latency. An important factor that may impact RTT is the physical distance between hops.

Name: The fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the system. Many times the FQDN may provide an indication of where the hop is physically located. If the Name doesn’t appear in the output, the FQDN wasn’t found. It isn’t necessarily indicative of a problem, if an FQDN isn’t found.

IP Address: The Internet Protocol (IP) address of that specific router or host associated with the Name.

Interpretation of the Tracert
The first line of the tracert output describes what the command is doing.  It lists the destination system (, destination IP address, and the maximum number of hops that will be used in the traceroute (30).
If an asterisk (*) appears for RTT, then a packet was not returned within the expected timeframe.
One or two asterisks for a hop do not necessarily indicate packet loss at the final destination.

Three asterisks followed by the “Request timed out” message may appear for several reasons :

•The destination’s firewall or other security device is blocking the request.
•There could be a problem on the return path from the target system. Remember the round trip time measures the time it takes for a packet to travel from your system to a destination system and back. The forward route and the return route often follow different paths. If there is a problem on the return route, it may not be evident in the command output.
•There may be a connection problem at that particular system or the next system.

Traceroute results that show increased latency on a middle hop, which remains similar all the way through to the destination, do not indicate a network problem.
A traceroute that shows dramatically increased latency on a middle hop, which then increases steadily through to the destination, can indicate a potential network issue. Packet loss or asterisks (*) on many of the middle hops may also indicate a possible network level issue.

This is the type of trend that you will want to report.

A steady trend of increasing latency is typically an indication of congestion or a problem between two points in the network and it requires one or more parties to correct the problem.

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