Problems affecting network performance test the patience of any IT pro. Whether it’s a malfunctioning router or a network bandwidth hungry end user, an intermittent drain on network bandwidth is maddening to identify if you cannot find the source. Sometimes it even hinders effective diagnostics when trying to fix the problem.
How can IT pros minimize business disruption and solve network performance issues quickly?
Think Horses, Not Zebras
Some IT pros will often try simply resetting a network device before advanced diagnostics take place. Assuming critical processes are not in progress and a specific device or workstation is causing the problem, a simple reboot can actually rectify the issue. Even when expensive equipment is involved.
The first step is isolating the problem and LAN problems are made easier to diagnose by using ping tests to verify connection speed between suspected devices. “Our go-to setup is to run four threads in parallel for 10 seconds. It will come back with a sum total for the transfer rate between the two machines. Run that from a different computer, and on the same computer from different network jacks. This will help narrow down where the problem is and how bad it is.”
Pinpoint the Network Performance Problem
Identifying the root cause of any given network problem is important to identifying the proper fix. If one port is generating more traffic,Find the user to investigate or, well, simply shutting off the port to see who complains.
Communication is Key
Users can provide useful information and are sometimes the first to experience network-performance issues. A two-way communication process between IT and users is always recommended. Although some small companies can do so with a bullhorn, an email update or a meeting will work too.
The Preemptive Strike
Many network performance issues are admittedly solved using reactive methods. But what about a proactive approach that prevents issues before they occur?
In fact, a company client’s problems were solved using a proactive diagnostic approach. In addition to network monitoring, it is essential to plan for growth, ensuring that existing hardware can handle increased loads or that new hardware does not cause configuration issues.
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