What Is NutPile Networks?

Internet monitoring for anyone

NutPile was born from our own often frustrating experiences with Internet connectivity. Due to the nature of IP communications, network providers can often dismiss complaints about problems which are affecting customers. Too often, we spent countless hours putting together evidence in order to get help from a provider that would simply never admit to problems.

Knowing how much effort it took, we understood that consumers, most without technical backgrounds needed ways to accumulate the information needed to get their provider to help them.

NutPile allows anyone to monitor their Internet services in order to know where problems are. No more mystery outages for consumers, no more having to guess or contact support after the fact without any information in hand. NutPile gives consumers the information they need in order to get help.

Before launching NutPile as a public service, we spent two years developing the monitoring software because no tools existed that could do the job we needed. The tool, called the agent, is incredibly accurate, able to log outages as little as one second in length along with many details.

Users can monitor one or any number of Internet/IP network connections at one or more locations with all reports being consolidated into one browser based control panel. Monitoring connections eliminates the mystery of IP services, finger pointing and most important, the lack of details when needing to get something repaired.

Internet performance reports

Reports show frequency, length, average times of outages, optional email notifications, even know if nearby locations and/or neighbors are down. The ability to share reports on social networks lets anyone compare with others in the same areas or anywhere that the same provider is offering its services.

NutPile is unique because it monitors from the connection’s point of view and not from a central location such as web site availability services do. Users install a monitoring agent at each location they would like to monitor. The agent comes in the form of PC software or an inexpensive miniature device connected to the local router/firewall. The agent is configurable by the user to choose the detail of logging.

Who Can Use NutPile Internet Monitoring?

Consumer uses include soho, professional remote workers, developers, small to mid sized businesses, anyone who requires reliable Internet services. Commercial applications include companies which pay for large numbers of remote Internet/IP connections. Companies which remotely monitor any type of resource using either the Internet or a mix of Internet and private circuits by any number of providers.

Internet providers over any medium can use NutPile to get a view from the customers perspective and those around them in order to pinpoint and plan repairs, upgrades and maintenance.

The service can be used by anyone who is interested in gathering another level of data from the users point of view in order to ensure high levels of services to each consumer.

Why was NutPile Networks created?

The short answer is that most everything is being put onto the Internet and we are becoming increasingly dependent on Internet providers to keep us online for both work and play. Everyone needs reliable services.

Consider the following scenarios

You rely on VoIP phones

You’ve converted your phone lines to VoIP. You’re on a call and the line goes dead. You immediately re-dial and say ‘uh, line went dead’ then continue on with your conversation. Bad connections are frustrating but we’ve learned to take them in stride. We simply call back and say “oops, the call dropped.”

Professional working from home

You work from home and have to access remote resources, sharing and communicating information with others. Like everyone else, you have deadlines and when your connection acts up, gets sluggish or completely broken, you suffer frustration and stress levels that no one needs.

You try to find other things to work on as the clock keeps ticking and your deadlines loom, hoping the connection will heal itself and get faster. Calling support leads to even more frustration if you do not have details and information to give in order to get help.

Time with the family

You get home from work and you look forward to getting together with your significant other or the whole family to watch a movie streamed over the Internet. You settle in, the movie starts, you’re just getting into it and it starts to buffer, the quality degrades and the whole experience becomes frustrating.

Providers would prefer that services work well but some problems take time to find and repair. Everyone can help our situation along by monitoring their services, pooling the data and affecting positive changes.

Combined efforts

Everyone pays dearly for their high speed Internet connections. Some pay premiums for higher speeds and/or no data limits. No matter your plan, you still suffer outages, sluggish speeds, dropped packets and frustrating support now and then.

Providers don’t always know where the problems are but overall do a great job of getting everyone back online but the fixes are sometimes temporary because the problems are intermittent.

By taking part, you will receive not only details about your own services you will be helping us to give everyone who is using the same provider in your area a fighting chance of getting more reliable services. Next time someone contacts support, they will have details to give which will help get the problems resolved.

How NutPile helps

It starts with hard data!

Most consumers have no way of knowing how their connection is performing and contacting support probably gets you a biased reply. Asking neighbors might help but it doesn’t give you anything concrete.

Think of the NutPile as a way to gather and collect bits of data that help you to see something you’ve probably never seen before, the reliability of your services.

By getting Internet performance details from as many people as possible, NutPile can turn those details into information that you, your neighbors and even your provider can use to give you better services. It’s hard to complain when you have nothing to show and services are back to normal.

NutPile provides you performance details in easy to understand ways from email notifications of outages or full graphical views and historical statistics. You can keep an eye on the most basic details or dig in a little deeper to get more information.

Best of all, by simply taking part you can help yourself and everyone else in your area shed some light on something not been able to see before, the actual performance of the services you all share. The more people who take part in your neighborhood, the bigger the picture becomes.

Legal stuff

All data generated, aggregated and correlated is based on the basic functions of TCP/IP and Internet communications. NutPile does not gather data in any illegal manner, nor use intrusive methods and gathers no personal data. NutPile achieves its goals through the custom tools and many algorithms we have developed and how we pull all of that data together, extracting meaningful details which can be turned into usable reports and information for everyone using the site.

The agents send source/destination test results conducted from their location to the nearest data center which is then aggregated.

NutPile does not have a goal to show negative information about network providers but to allow consumers to be able to visualize this otherwise invisible service. The information gathered can equally be used in positive ways by network providers who are interested in ensuring high levels of services and to be more transparent to consumers.

Our mission is simply to help bring highly reliable Internet services to everyone. As more of our lives become completely dependent on Internet access, it is important that these services be there when we need them.

NutPile Networks - What's it mean?

So why did we call it NutPile? Really, it’s an easy to remember name but with a serious mission.

The early version of what eventually became NutPile was a method that we developed to gather performance data for various LAN, private WAN and Internet circuits. In the early days, always on connections meant dedicated services which came with a service level agreement (SLA). SLA based services are pretty easy to get support for and it is in the provider’s best interest to make sure that customers experience zero problems in order to keep that revenue stream coming.

By monitoring these services, we could more efficiently determine if problems were related to Internet connectivity or other issues either locally or at the customer premises. For example, our VoIP customers would immediately contact us if they could not make calls. Within minutes we could determine if there had been an Internet problem or if we needed to dig deeper. This saved us having to send someone to the customers location only to find that everything was working again and that there was nothing wrong with our services.

The NutPile was our server, where we stored, collected and aggregated all of the performance details for the services we were monitoring. The NutPile was a collection of bits and bytes turned into useful information that helped us to help our customers or get our own circuits repaired.

As we keep putting more of our traditional infrastructures onto the Internet, doing away with old technologies, it becomes most important for many of us to have highly reliable services.

We wanted an easy to remember name for our service and NutPile seems to fit the bill. Our mandate however is a serious one and that is helping us all to receive reliable Internet connectivity while making network owners accountable for their services.

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