Hacking Nmap: Using Nmap to Calculate Network Response Time

“The network is slow!”

Almost everyone in Information Technology has heard the cries of the end user community when their important application begins crawling. Because of the complexities associated with modern application infrastructures, technology professionals are often challenged to determine the source of the slowdown. Is the application sluggishness related to the network, security configuration, the end-user workstations, the server, or the application?

These troubleshooting fire-drills often become a game of “mean time to innocence” as the different technology groups struggle to prove that their part of the system is working properly. For network professionals, the focus is often on understanding how the network response time is related to the overall application response time. Although Nmap was designed as a security tool, Nmap also has built-in timing functions that can provide detailed quantitative results of network response times for any application port across the network.