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MPLS Network and Circuit Speed

Posted on 2013-05-13
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Last Modified: 2013-06-18
I work for a small credit union which has three branches in Pennsylvania
The software provider which hosts our banking software is in Michigan.

We use this provider for our banking software and document imaging.

We created an MPLS network (ping speed is >10 MS) between the three branches. Our banking software provider is a node off our MPLS network.  Two of our branches have a 3-MG circuit (between them) and the third is 1.5 mg circuit. The connection (from the MPLS network) in Pennsylvania to Michigan (our banking software provider) is 3 MG. The 3MG circuits are all 2- bonded t-1 lines

The first circuit we were provided to Michigan went through 2 providers.  The  ping time between all three Pennsylvania branches to the Michigan router was between 68-80 Ms. We noticed especially when using the document imaging software the computers showed that they we not responding.  Examples of latency are when scanning a driver’s license or loan document the PC would be “Not Responding”. These are new computers with 4 GB of memory. Also, when pulling up copies of the scanned imagines it’s was much slower (up to one and a half minutes) until the document loaded.  Paging between the document pages could take up to 55 seconds


Because the circuit went through another Telco-provider troubleshooting did not seem to happen- all I was told that if you’re less than 80 MS that is an acceptable speed


I complained until I was blue in the face and told them that we wanted a new circuit through one provider. I knew this was possible since a local credit union in the area has the exact setup to the same software provider. I went to this credit union and was able to ping the same data center at the speed of 38-48 Ms.

I did run TRACERT on my original circuit and noticed it was slower where it was handed off to the second provider in North Carolina and Dallas Texas before it went to Michigan

In March they did come through with the new circuit. In the beginning it was actually slower than the old one-(speed was 72-88 MS)

I complained and they have gotten the speed reduced to 47-53 Ms. I have noticed a reduction in the amount of time the computers say they cannot respond- the slowness is more prevalent when  opening a scanned  document vs. when scanning a document


Can someone tell me is 47-53 MS on this circuit slow?

What tests should I be running?
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Question by:syarmush
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by:harbor235
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If you are having poor performance there are several things that can impact overall performance. Latency is one as well as MTU, are your end systems and network devices properly configured? Is there an over utilization condition on your circuits? over utilization can cause packets to be dropped which can effect latency. High cpu on a router can impact latency if it is a device that uses the CPU to forward packets. Many possibilities ...

So there are many potential reasons this could be happening, however, you should first verify that you have your systems (server/Desktops as well as network devices) configured and operating properly. 47-53 ms from Pennsylvania to Michigan doe snot sound bad, I am in Maryland and I am getting 64ms to Michigan.

Perhaps the problem is application based? perhaps you need more bandwidth? do you know your utilization on all WAN interfaces? Do you manage your routers?




harbor235 ;}
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by:syarmush
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I manage my own routers, utilzation of the pipe has never reached 40%

We seem to only have issues retriving documents that were imaged


Everything else seems to be fine
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by:harbor235
harbor235 earned 250 total points
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Images are typically large files, with that efficient IP transport is essential. So, I would look at the mtu settings end to end to make sure you have efficient IP transport. Can you get a packet capture from an end system using wireshark or similar to verify what is going on?


harbor235 ;}
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Reid Palmeira earned 250 total points
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Most of the stuff has already been mentioned, but I might also suggest some other tests for you to be running. Latency, delay, jitter, all good to check and <50 ms times may be completely reasonable on a long-distance T1 ckt. MTU is another good thing to check though you're probably okay with that unless the MPLS network is configured incorrectly. pathmtu would be able to figure that out pretty quick.

You might want to try some IP layer throughput tests. iperf for example. Setup the .exe in server mode in the data center and run your client from your branches, that'll give you an idea of the IP layer throughput.

You may also want to try to take a look at the file sizes. Depending on the file size and file type there might be better options for you. Scans of very long documents might be better split into multiple PDFs for example to minimize the transfer times rather than trying to load a 20 Mb file across a T1.

Lastly, I'd suggest checking with the Telco providers to see if they have any higher bandwidth Ethernet options. Unless you and the cloud provider are in fairly rural areas Ethernet over Copper should be pretty common and at least it would let you scale bandwidth more easily than adding T1 circuits
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