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Is re-routing around nodes on a tracert possible?

Posted on 2013-06-27
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
Hello! I am having a heck of a time with performance on a certain websites during evening hours. I have Verizon serviced internet and there is a bandwidth issue between them and Cogent Networks. Now when I run a tracert to a website we use for production, we pass through cogentco.com nodes to get to the site. In the evenings, our connection slows down to the site and I see timeouts on cogentco.com nodes on the traces. Now this is a larger problem apparently than just myself after googling some. I have a Verizon serviced T1 connection. Should they be able to route me around the cogent network nodes so I can get optimal performance back on this production site we use? Or is there another option I am not thinking of to avoid Cogent's nodes? I have tried alternate DNS but they all go through those nodes it seems. Please forgive me if I chose wrong topics, but I am not sure how to classify this. Thanks!
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Question by:mrosier
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39282164
Mircosoft's 'tracert' can be a little misleading, especially during high traffic hours.  It uses 'ping' / ICMP packets and they are about the lowest priority on a network.  They will simply be dropped if there enough higher priority traffic which is just about everything else.

What is the original problem that has caused you to do this testing?
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Author Comment

by:mrosier
ID: 39282178
Well the original problem was a slow down on a website we use. The screen changes would transition much slower than normal while other websites were functioning fine and our speed tests were optimal. So I did a tracert to see if anything turned up. I noticed that tracerts during these latent times with this website reveals timeouts on the Cogent nodes that do not occur during the rest of the day when the site's performance is normal. So I figured the timeouts would be evidence of this latency since they occur at the same time and disappear when the latency is gone.
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39282188
That's a reasonable conclusion.  I don't think the software that sets up the routing on the internet does any checks for latency or slowdowns.  You would probably have to move your site to another host in another location to avoid the Cogent network nodes.
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Author Comment

by:mrosier
ID: 39282197
well the site is unfortunately our vendor's service, and that is simply where they host it. Shouldn't my ISP be able to do something about this? I have T1 service so they should be able to re-route it, shouldn't they?
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Dave Baldwin earned 500 total points
ID: 39282296
I don't think so.  Your T1 service is just between you and your ISP.  To get a different path, there would first have to be one available.  If they are only on Cogent's network, there may not be a different path.  Then you would probably have to pay to get a different connection routing, maybe to more than one carrier or service.

The internet is not a monolithic block of a network.  It is a spider's web of smaller networks.  A typical ISP or hosting company has connection agreements with 6 to 12 different carriers.  Those connections aren't free so I would expect that any path is probably based on 'least cost' or most direct routing.  

Also worth noting, it is not guaranteed that you can access any particular site across network boundaries.  I have seen a couple of times that network A simply did not or would not connect to network B.  It's been a long time and it's rare.

I know that when one of the intermediate carriers between me and my web site hosting company went down, we simply had to wait until they fixed and service was restored.  So while it may be possible to route around Cogent's network, it will take more than some slowdowns in your access to cause it to happen.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mrosier
ID: 39282305
Thanks for the info! My provider said they will re-route, but I guess we will see
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39282319
Good thing you called... but that is the right thing to do.  They wouldn't change anything unless they knew about it.  I hope they fix it for you.  Thanks for the points.
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