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When systems are down, there are a few things you should do first to ensure that you’ve covered all bases before having to pay someone else to take a look, or worse – waste an hour on hold to your telecommunications company. So, to jump start your internet again these are the best things to check what is going on, or rule out what’s not. If this is a common issue in your workplace, it may also be time for an IT performance review.

First things first, you need to perform a network hardware audit. The point of this is to determine misconfigurations or under-resourced devices. Things you’re looking for include:

  1. Overworked, fried or faulty hardware
  2. Incorrect configuration settings and routing errors
  3. Networking characteristics like bandwidth and latency

If you don’t already have a means of measuring your IT performance metrics, this could aid you in forecasting errors and save you time dealing with network downtime as opposed to reacting to it as it happens. Begin by taking note of what you change on your computer and what the outcome is, if any, in an IT performance review as you attempt to fix your slow network speed.

Within this review you will be addressing hardware failures, configuration errors and network problems.

Hardware Problems:

Hardware failures can occur on any level, sometimes it can be localised to a specific tech unit, and sometimes it’s more diverse. Test your network cables, network points and network port for errors. Types of hardware issues include:

  • Environmental – overheating, faulty wiring, and other areas where damage may occur.
  • CPU – inadequate processing power- usually only occurs with older networking equipment
  • RAM – insufficient memory
  • Network Card – replacement cards needed.

Once you know what the issues is, the best fix is a new unit, as opposed to attempting to fix it – which could end up costing you more time and money that you would like.

Configuration Problems:

Software is man made and can therefore have errors of their own in them. Your best plan is to check all installed software for any unapproved or malicious applications. Bugs can appear when software updates take place, so track any recent updates that coincide with network issues and either uninstall or revert back to the previous update.

Errors can also form as a result of incorrect use of software, which are evident when you find the parameters entered in a configuration screen don’t match the real situation. This can be a conflict in configuration between two pieces of equipment resulting in degraded performance.

Configuration issues also exist within the router, which can either be caused by older tech with manually set up routes that have never been updated, or automatic routes that were created on a day when there was a service outage. By resetting your router you are allowing it to recalculate all network routes again, which could be the answer to your issues.

To avoid future issues with your network speeds, an IT performance review is suggested to take place each year to account for older technology and new technology within your company.

Network Problems:

  1. Analyse network traffic to identify excessive utilization or communication errors
  2. Monitor Internet services for drop-outs, over usage or congestion

If you’re unable to see any configuration or hardware issues, it could be the network itself. Keeping in mind that if one network application is failing, an IT performance review would find that it could be localised to that application. A true network problem typically affects all applications, not just the one.

Two areas to look closely at are:

  • Bandwidth: range or capacity of of a link to send bits per second.
  • Latency: time it takes to get a response from a remote application

Symptoms with bandwidth are files taking a long time to upload or download, while latency concerns occur when you submit a web form and it takes several seconds before a response appears.

Bandwidth is often fixed by analysing network traffic to identify excessive utilisation or communication errors while latency errors should be monitored with an IT performance review to track internet service drop-outs, over-usage and congestion.

By monitoring traffic you will be able to identify patterns to adjust your network capacity plans or network configuration.

Contact us today to see how mature your business processes are and how well your IT support resources are performing.


Post by Zaun Bhana
Sep 9, 2016 9:08:48 AM