Knowledge Base

Gray areas appearing in Cloud Agent Timeline Graphs


I'm seeing gray lines in Timeline Graphs on a Cloud Agent. What's going on?


Gray periods appear when an Agent is not expecting a response from the machine.

Here is a list of common things that might cause gray periods:

  • Resource bottlenecks on the Agent machine (often more than one of these at once):
    • Too many targets or traces running (100-250+) on a single machine
    • Too aggressive of a trace interval (less than 1 second)
    • Other apps on the machine occupying resources (CPU, Memory, HDD)
    • Using an Agent machine with a single-core CPU
    • Using an Agent machine with too little memory
    • Low packet send delay (sending packets faster than PingPlotter can update)
  • Machine going into sleep mode
  • A reboot
  • Pausing a trace
  • A route change that PingPlotter was unable to follow for some reason
  • An issue with the TCP/IP stack
  • An issue with the Network Interface Card (NIC) on the machine

For resource bottlenecks, you'll need to look in Task Manager (for Windows) or Activity Monitor (for macOS) to assess your CPU, Memory, and HDD usage.

If resource usage does not appear to be an issue, you'll need to troubleshoot the other causes listed above.

You can test your NIC card or TCP/IP stack by tracing to the NIC IP and the localhost loopback address ( on the Agent machine and see if gray periods show up there as well. If they do, conduct a TCP/IP stack reset and check your NIC drivers to make sure they are updated to the latest version.

To reset the TCP/IP stack:

On Windows

  • In the taskbar search field, type CMD, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as Administrator.
  • From within Command Prompt:
    1. Type ipconfig /release and press Enter
    2. Type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter
    3. Type ipconfig /renew and press Enter (this process will take a moment)
    4. Type netsh int ip reset and press Enter (don’t restart yet if prompted)
    5. Type netsh winsock reset and press Enter
  • Restart the machine

On macOS

  • Click the Apple icon in the upper left and select System Preferences
  • Select NetworkAdvancedTCP/IP
  • Select Renew DHCP Lease

If resetting the TCP/IP stack does not resolve the gray periods, you may need to test/troubleshoot other physical components from within the system (such as the Ethernet cord). There may also be an issue with the network card itself.

To test the Agent NIC, open the Command Prompt on the Agent device (as Administrator) and enter ipconfig. Look for the IPv4 address (likely 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x). Trace to this IP from the Agent via your Controller. If gray periods appear, it is most likely an issue with your NIC.

If you suspect the NIC may be at fault, you may try using an alternate network card (such as a USB NIC) as the default to see if the issue resolves.

If you've tried everything on this list and are still having issues please get in touch with our Service Team and we'll work with you to find a solution.

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Article Info

Article Number: 150 | Last Updated: December 7, 2020

This article has been viewed 1267 times since August 30, 2020

Filed Under: PingPlotter Pro


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