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Donald K. Burleson

Oracle Utilities Tips

Testing Connectivity


Tracking Network Paths and Performance

The Oracle trcroute utility ( UNIX only) enables DBAs to identify the actual route a connection takes from the client to the server through the Oracle network. trcroute will provide very specific error messages in the event of a problem. This makes debugging the connectivity issues much easier. The utility requires an entry from tnsnames.ora file on the command line:

$ trcroute GRACELANV8_GRA901m

Trace Route Utility for Solaris: Version - Production on 03-FEB-2003 1

Copyright (c) 1999 Oracle Corporation. All rights reserved.

Route of TrcRoute:

Node: Client Time and address of entry into node:
03-FEB-2003 14:04:51 ADDRESS= PROTOCOL=TCP HOST=gracelan PORT=1525

Node: Server Time and address of entry into node:
03-FEB-2003 14:04:51 ADDRESS= PROTOCOL=TCP HOST=gracelan PORT=1525

This example shows the client to server communication route between two listener processes.

Unlike tnsping, trcroute stops at each network "hop" and gathers certain information before advancing toward the final destination. The listener handles all of the communication with trcroute, leaving the database out of the picture.

UNIX provides a utility that will show similar connectivity information between two hosts, independent of any Oracle services. The traceroute utility can be found in /usr/sbin and only requires a host name or IP address.

oracle@asgard:/usr/sbin > traceroute gracelan
traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 ( 0.431 ms 0.272 ms 0.257 ms
2 ( 0.430 ms 0.400 ms 0.641 ms

The result of the traceroute command displays the time spent at each stop along the way.

trcroute and traceroute are only available on UNIX platforms. If the DBA needs to track the network paths that begin from Windows client machines trying to access a remote database server, the tracert utility (trace route) can be used. tracert has nothing to do with the listener, but it does indicate the number of hops required to get from point A to point B, which can also be very helpful when debugging network connectivity issues.


Tracing route to []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <10 ms <10 ms <10 ms []
2 * * * Request timed out.
3 10 ms <10 ms <10 ms
4 <10 ms <10 ms 10 ms
5 <10 ms 10 ms 10 ms 244.ATM1-0.GW1.AUS3.ALTER.NET
6 10 ms 10 ms 30 ms
7 40 ms 30 ms 30 ms []
8 120 ms 160 ms 110 ms
9 110 ms 70 ms 80 ms
10 271 ms 200 ms 200 ms
11 321 ms 20 ms 20 ms []
12 190 ms 220 ms 151 ms
13 161 ms 130 ms 160 ms
14 50 ms 80 ms 90 ms []
15 121 ms 60 ms 70 ms
16 200 ms 240 ms 251 ms []

Trace complete.

The route from this workstation to took 16 hops. It is easy to see which hops are the longest and where the bottlenecks occur. The number of hops indicates the number of times data is forwarded in the route between the client and the remote host. The more hops, the more time it takes and the greater the chance an error could occur. Although this example uses a remote address (, a utility such as this can be just as useful when debugging internal network performance.

Third party tools, as pictured in Figure 7.2, display routing information in a graphical format. Tools such as these can make debugging connectivity problems easier and more intuitive.

To learn more about these techniques, see the book "Advanced Oracle Utilities: The Definitive Reference". 

You can buy it directly from the publisher and get instant access to the code depot of utilities scripts.



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