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What is an acceptable ping response time from an exchange server?

Posted on 2005-03-25
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
When I ping my exchange server, my response time is averaging 150ms with 2% packet loss.  I have users complaing that Outlook is slow/hangs/crashes.

When I ping yahoo.com, my response time is averaging 16 ms.

Is this normal?  If not, how can I fix this?
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Question by:mikewick
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13632373
It's definitely NOT normal.  Especially on a LAN.  I would start looking at various factors including network traffic to the exchange server, how "busy" the exchange server is, and run the ping FROM the exchange server to yahoo and internal systems.  See if it's the Exchange Server, or if it's a point between one of your client workstations and the server.
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by:mikewick
ID: 13632411
Thanks for the quick response.  

I am in PA and the exchange server is at our corporate office in MD.  This traffic is going out over the Internet.

I'm not sure exactly how to analyze network traffic among and between various network segments.  Any suggestions?
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Expert Comment

by:MVITECH
ID: 13633452
Hi,

I would use the Tracert command in Windows to watch it travel a path to the Exchange server one hop at  a time. You might see one device along the way is taking a long time to respond.

From the cmd prompt in Windows XP, NT or 2000 type tracert <ip address>. If the public IP that relates to your Exchange server is 1.1.1.1 your would type tracert 1.1.1.1. Some devices along the way may not respond to this and show an * instead of the time but it is a good starting point.

MVITECH
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ccomley earned 500 total points
ID: 13633840
OK - if you're connecting to teh ES over an internet link teh 150ms times are not so bad. But the packet loss is not good.

You need to run some more tests:-

A continuous ping rather than just the four quick ones MS gives you by default will help yousee if you get a steady similar response speed (i.e. do they ALL come back in 150ms or are some faster, some slower, etc) and give you some idea how many are missed. Issue the ping command with the -t flag.

A traceroute will help you tell where on the "journey" from your end to the far end the the delays or dropouts are happening.

Pings to anotehr remote destionation a simliar net "disance" away will tell you if the problem is with your internet link, or the head office internet link. Getting someone at head office to try some of these will also help fill in the picture.


Common causes of this sort of problem are

- One or both sites has too much internet traffic for the type of internet connection they hold. This can be legit traffic, or, as we've found on many occasions, it may be that either (a) someone is running peer to peer s/w and using up a significant amount of company bandwidth or (b) someone has a virus which is being used to spam or DOS - again using up a significant percentage of the bandwidth.

- The server is too busy to respond in a timly fashion to all the requests being thrown at it. Does the ES box have enough ram, big enough CPU, enough disk space, and make sure no-one's using it to run CPU sensitive software. We had one customer who crippled their Exchange Server by running a "distributed network" screen saver on it (like SetiAtHome or United Devices) - the "3GL" screensavers built into Windows are also CPU loading - if you must use a screen saver on the Eschange Server, I recommend plain old "blank screen" or simple non-3D scrolling text.

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by:ccomley
ID: 13633847
I mean to add

NOT USUALLY a problem these days but worth checking along the way, is the possibility that the ISP at one end or the other has poor internet connectivity.

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Expert Comment

by:sciwriter
ID: 13634421
<<  150ms with 2% packet loss.  I have users complaing that Outlook is slow/hangs/crashes. >>

Yep, that's what you will get with that response time.  A good web ping is 25ms, and average high one is 38-40 ms, and a medium to slow one is 45-70ms.  When you are at or above 150ms, you get lots of packet loss, and the kinds of errors you see.

Do a TRACERT from you to it, see which router or server is slowing it down.  When you narrow it down by segment, you can start to debug it seriously.
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Expert Comment

by:dlongan
ID: 13637248
Call your ISP and log a trouble ticket indicating your findings.
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