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Networking slow down issue

Posted on 2011-10-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a 3com NBX 100 phone system that periodically slows down every few days.  I unplug the network cable from the switch and wait about 30 seconds and plug it back in and everything is back to normal.  I have talked with some tech support and they say it is my network.  I think it is the phone system.  I have changed out the switch it is plugged into, but that has not solved the problem.  I was wondering if there is anything I can do, or software I could install on the network to see if there are any problems that might be causing this?  
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Question by:mkramer777
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by:jfrady
ID: 36944055
When you say the phone system "slows down" could you be more specific?  Is it the network that is slow or mangled audio or phone system slow to respond to key clicks etc.?

If it is a problem with voice quality it is in most cases caused by network latency.  There are tools that you can download and use for that depending on the switches you are using.  More details would help to troubleshoot though.
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by:mkramer777
ID: 36944274
When a call comes in it sounds garbled, and you can only hear every other word.  Even dialing people in the office sometimes sounds odd.  Also, when someone does an overhead page which does run through the phone system, it is garbled.  I'm not sure if we are getting slowdown on the network side of things with internet speeds or things like that.
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by:jfrady
ID: 36944334
That information is helpful.  It does sound like a network issue that is causing too much latency and jitter on the network.  Since it occurs on both internal calls and external calls it probably isn't the line card.  The NBX call processor (NCP) only communicates during call setup and teardown.  The actual audio stream doesnt go through the phone system.  So for internal calls the audio stream is actually direct from one phone to the other.  For an external call the audio stream goes from the phone to the line card (analog or digital).

What does your network look like? (how many users, type of switches, speed, etc.)  If you have manageable switches you can look there for statistics as to the health of the network.  Also depending on the capability of the switches there are monitoring tools you can download.    
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by:mkramer777
ID: 36944653
30 users.  HP Procurve switches.  10/100. I looked at the switch and it says there are "high collision rates" and "excessive jabbering"
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jfrady earned 1200 total points
ID: 36944769
That's almost certainly the problem.

In a switched environment high collisions and excessive jabbering typically indicates either bad cabling, a bad switch port, a bad NIC card, a hub connected to one of you switch ports, or some other physical layer problem.  For the ports where this is occurring try plugging in to a different port or testing/replacing the cabling.

Another issue could be a speed/duplex mismatch.  For the ports where you see this occurring check to see what speed/duplex each side is set to.  If they are auto negotiating try nailing them up.  In a switched environment you should rarely, if ever, see collisions.  

With 30 users you shouldn't have any trouble with excessive traffic but you may also want to check the utilization of all the switch ports.  If it is a flat layer 2 environment you may also see broadcast or multicast storms.

For the port that is connecting to the NBX I would definitely recommend nailing up the speed/duplex of the connection.
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by:mkramer777
ID: 36945026
Not sure if you can help me find the info on the speed/duplex mismatch.  I'm logged into the switch but don't see where that would be.  
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by:mkramer777
ID: 36945105
Sorry forgot to tell this.  On the switch the most frequent problems are on port 1.  Which is the port the phone system is plugged into.  There are 60 warnings.  And 58 of them are for port 1.  I have changed out the cable in the past, and I have plugged into a different port and that didn't help either.  I will plug into a different port and see what happens and let you know if I get the same collisions.  
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by:jfrady
ID: 36946006
The speed/duplex should be under the port configuration.  If you unplug and plug back in you may get just a couple of collisions as the port comes back up.  By the way - which NBX system is it that you have?
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by:mkramer777
ID: 36950076
I have an NBX 100.  First system they came out with.  I plugged into a different port and I get the errors only on the port that the phone system is plugged into.  I have some new errors.  Excessive CRC/Alignment errors.  I had 35 of these messages on the port that has the phones system plugged into it and 2 from other ports.  
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by:jfrady
ID: 36950479
Have you had the slow down issue?  What did the speed and duplex negotiate to?

I would hard code the speed/duplex on the switchport it is now connected to.  The other possible issue could be the NIC card on your call processor is going bad.  This wouldn't affect internal calling though.  

What else is in your chassis?  Reason I ask is that you can either plug into an ethernet card on the chassis or the ethernet on the call processor itself.
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by:mkramer777
ID: 36950867
I plug into the call processor.  I have switched this out as well with no change in the problem.  We have also rebuilt the database with a new hard drive.  This also did not solve the problem.   All I can see on the port is that it says:  "connected and configured to auto"
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by:jfrady
ID: 36951496
Right.  that Auto is what we need to change.  If I remember correctly the earlier NBX100 call processors were 10Mb only.  Some of the newer ones were 10/100.  Depending on which your is you need to make sure they are the same on both sides of the link.  So, if the NBX is set to 10Mb full duplex you would set the switch port to be the same.  This might cut down on the number of errors.  

Again, the ethernet on the NBX100 could be causing issues with some calls but not all.  For instance if voice mail sounds choppy it could be the call processor.  If external calls are having the issue it could be the call processor ethernet or the line card ethernet.  Station to station call issues could not be related to the ethernet on the call processor.  Does that make sense?  Overall what I'm saying is that even if this one link is showing errors it couldn't be causing all the problems you experienced.

What else is in the chassis?  I'm assuming some analog or digital line cards?  Are they connected directly to ethernet or are they utilizing the chassis backplane?
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by:mkramer777
ID: 36951819
We do have 2 extra digital line cards we had installed so we could use the extra ports.  I ran out of ports on my HP Procurve and I had the extra line card so I installed it.  But that was 3 years ago, and my problems have only been the last 2 months. The are installed directly into the chassis of the NBX.

Do I choose auto-10, 10 FDX, or 10 HDX for the port config?
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by:jfrady
ID: 36951864
On the NBX or the switch?  If you can on NBX I would do 10 FDX.
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by:mkramer777
ID: 36951920
On the switch.  I guess I'm confused.  Should I be able to log into the NBX and config the 10MB port? Do you know where on the on the web interface of the NBX that would be located?
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by:jfrady
ID: 36952238
It's been a while since I've been in NetSet.  I don't think you can from any of the default menus.  Trial and error might work since there are only two choices.  I'm pretty certain the NBX100 is only capable of 10Mb Half Duplex but if you try full duplex on the switch first you should be able to tell pretty quickly if it is correct by the number of errors on the switch port.
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Author Comment

by:mkramer777
ID: 36952310
So do I choose auto-10, 10 FDX, or 10 HDX for the port config on the switch side?
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by:jfrady
ID: 36952329
I would try 10 FDX first (may impact system function momentarily though)

If that doesn't work choose 10 HDX
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