What is the ping time really telling me

Posted on 2014-10-29
Last Modified: 2014-11-03
We have 3 locations.   Our main branch is connected via VPN to the other two.   I did a speed test on from each of those locations.    Branch A shows Ping - 200 ms plus.  (tested several times over 30 minutes)    Download speed comes back at 4.53 - 5.67 Mbps and Upload Speed comes back at 10.71 - 11.03 Mbps.    
Branch B shows Ping -  70ms with download speeds 4 - 4 Mbps and upload speeds of less than 1 Mbps.   showing .40 - .50.

Branch B complains a lot of slow computers, and with those wonder.

But I don't understand if Branch A has such high pings, why they aren't complaining.    

A little help in understanding this would be appreciated.  Laymans terms....LOL      Thanks
Question by:bankwest
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LVL 28

Assisted Solution

by:Predrag Jovic
Predrag Jovic earned 250 total points
ID: 40411073
Ping tells you nothing by itself. Could be indicator of congestion. Maybe somebody is downloading (or uploading torrents) and waste bandwidth (although skype can do similar thing) . Also can be routers or firewalls with CPU usage skyrocketing.
You need to find reason why is network so slow.
Netflow analyzer can help you to find out what is going on on your network.

Short about supernode - skype's default mode

Search for Syslog, SNMP, Netflow for more details.

Author Comment

ID: 40411096
Newbie here..........Looked at Netflow link and we don't have Cisco.  We are using Sonicwall routers..     I will try to find something there unless someone has experience with TZ215 that can give me some help on what I need to do or how to set up something to see why we are so slow.
LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:Predrag Jovic
ID: 40411104
Sonicwall supports netflow.
Configure netflow on Sonicwall - video
Google for more :)
LVL 12

Accepted Solution

profgeek earned 250 total points
ID: 40414315
Ping is primarily a measure of latency, while speed checks test throughput.  The two are different and while there is some relationship, it often isn't what most people think.  Latency is the time required to do something.  In the case of ping, that something is send a packet out and receive a reply.  The elapsed time between sending and receiving would be latency.

On the other hand, throughput, as measured by your speed test, is how much data can be moved in a given amount of time.  In the physical world, think of a highway.  Ping would measure how fast a car could travel from one end to the other and back again.  Throughput would measure how many cars pass a given point in an hour.  One is a measure of speed, the other a measure of volume.  

The reason the people in your branch B might not be complaining, even though their latency is higher, may be because their applications are not latency-oriented (such as gaming, for example), but throughput-oriented.  In such cases, ping times matter little.

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