10 Reasons Your Network Might Be Slow

Posted on February 3rd, 2014 by Dave Whipple


In today’s fast-paced wireless age, every second counts. Review these ten reasons for potential solutions for speeding up a slow network.

 

Network Fixes1.) A DNS server that is part of the FTP server can drastically slow down your network. If your DNS and FTP hit critical mass simultaneously and share the same server, your network performance falters. By separating the DNS into it’s own server, you allow for one server to control all traffic accessing the Domain Name System.

 

2.) An incorrectly segmented network that doesn’t use VLAN to segregate voice, video, and other data can incorrectly prioritize wireless traffic. Without the correct VLAN infrastructure, packets might be routed through applications that aren’t as important for the corresponding allocated bandwidth. For example, you might want packets for a voice phone call to be given priority over those of a Facebook message. Troubleshooting your VLAN to identify incorrect segmentation can be more complicated than fixing a physical network: Pyramid offers consultation for restructuring your VLAN to correctly prioritize bandwidth.

 

3.) Lack of bandwidth can greatly slow down your network. Beyond 100 Mbs connectivity, you begin to outrun available performance of the bus in many PCs and server NICs. Bandwidth issues traditionally occur where a high number of servers or users come together to share connection points, such as social networking sites or a network design with too much distance between the server and user. To increase bandwidth, consider SNMP tools that utilize hardware (such as switches or routers) to count packets for you; using that data, you can identify which points are using the most bandwidth and reallocate as necessary. Pyramid offers SNMP technology to identify bandwidth issues.

 

4.) Too many unnoticed errors on the network can greatly slow it down. Troubleshooting your network can help detect these errors. A few common error messages and solutions are:

  • “A Network Cable is Unplugged” – check all Ethernet ports. Replace Ethernet cable.
  • “IP Address Conflict (or Address Already in Use)” – two computers are trying to use the same IP address. Assign a new IP address to one of the computers.

“The Network Path Cannot Be Found” – Update your TCP/IP configuration.

Click here for more information about common errors and how to troubleshoot them. Reducing the number of errors will increase speed.

 

5.) A high degree of multicast traffic or frequent disruptions of multicast streaming can dramatically slow down your network. The easiest way to control multicasting is to use a Group Management Protocol that runs between the multicast router and the switch. Pyramid can help you find the Group Management Protocol that’s right for your enterprise.

 

6.) Recently installed technology or applications, such as VoIP,without proper setup can dramatically slow down your network.  Check the settings of your computers to make sure all software is properly installed and your hardware meets the software requirements. Sometimes new hardware must be installed to accommodate new applications on an existing network.

 

7.) An improperly installed Layer 3,which oversees the correct packaging and delivery of your data over a network, can affect the routing of your packets. In the worst cases, poor management from Layer 3 can lead to a complete shutdown of a network. Most often errors come from faulty interface connectivity. If your connectivity appears to be correct, then the error likely lies in the routing. Pyramid can help you identify the source of error, and solution, in your Layer 3.

 

8.) Cabling not certified for the speed being used.  For instance using older cabling rated for 100Base-t and using it for gigabit can prevent your network from achieving optimum speeds. Old cabling has been a major factor of a slow network for many of our customers — many customers install new technology without first upgrading the cables in Layer 1 to accommodate the new speed. With improper cables, packets on phone calls can be dropped or networks run poorly. Make sure your cables meet the needs of your network, and if they don’t, new cables must be installed.

 

9.) Latency is becoming more common for enterprises as more systems and servers move to the cloud, resulting in end users being further and further away from their data. Increase speeds by minimizing the number of round trips between your system and the cloud. Consider installing a dedicated network connection exclusively for your data and the cloud to increase connectivity. If you use a third-party data center, contact them to ensure you are using the most up-to-date cloud applications that handle latency’s challenges.

 

10.) Slow wireless access can result from many different issues depending on your unique location. Objects made of metal or unplanned construction can affect your speed. A proper survey of your location will ensure your wireless design is optimized. For instance, in schools, rows of metal lockers, fish tanks, or new constructions can affect a wireless signal. Consult the professionals at Pyramid to ensure your wireless design is optimized for your location.

 

When your network experiences a slowdown, make sure the problem is constant and not just a result of peaking or other intermittent issues. If the problem is ongoing, check for the basic causes covered in this article to try and detect the problem.  Pyramid offers a variety of automated tools, technical personnel, and expert advice to help you meet your network needs. We regularly work with customers to design, troubleshoot, and improve networks to deliver superior performance and solve your most difficult wireless problems. Please contact us today for support! Every second counts!

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Dave WhippleWritten by Dave Whipple, Account Manager at Pyramid Technology Services. Dave can be reached at sales@pyramidcomputer.com

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