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Troubleshooting a slow company LAN?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Lc3, Mar 28, 2010.

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  1. Lc3

    Lc3 Thread Starter

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    At our company we have a LAN with about 15-20 computers (win xp/vista) mostly HP within 1-5 years old, a linux mail server, a win 2003 domain/file server with DNS and intranet HTTP. The network also has an ADSL wi-fi router with DHCP for the Wi-Fi (wired systems are on static IPs), another wi-fi access point, about 3 or 4 switches, about 10 IP phones and an asterik phone server. A few (not all) of the workstations are actually daisychained through the IP phone where there aren't enough network points available. We're using some network applications such as Sage Accounts, and Clik Service. The network infrastructure is heterogeneous, mosty netgear but I think there's some belkin and belkin devices. There's also a backup server, one networked printer, and a couple of shared printers hosted on workstations. The network has built up over the last decade or so and hasn't actually been designed, it just grew by itself. There's probably other things I've forgotten to mention too.

    It may not be surprising, but our network is running quite slow (both using the Internet and LAN) and has been for a long time. Is there a way to track down the main sources of slowness without going to huge expenses such as hiring a network consultant?

    Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. avisitor

    avisitor

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    What specifically is slow? How fast is your internet supposed to be? What LAN actions are slow?

    You don't have any loops in your switches, do you?
     
  3. srhoades

    srhoades

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    The first thing I would do before even looking at the hardware is to make sure no one is using any files sharing apps. Internet radio is also a drag on networks.
     
  4. Lc3

    Lc3 Thread Starter

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    The internet connection is supposed to be 6meg and speedtests show sometimes we actually do get near that (about 5.5 meg), other times it can drop to 0.5 meg.

    I found one loop a few months back where the router was connected back to itself so I took that out, I'm 95% confident within that tangle of wires theres no more loops.

    Users complain about general slowness, I can't really say what's slow. I hear Sage is much slower than it should be and logging on to windows takes a while even though we don't have roaming profles (which could be expected to be slow if we had), so is transfering files. Also I find loading internal pages from the web server is slow too. The Wi-Fi is also painfully show when browsing.

    How do I find out what type of data is flowing through the network? I looked into WireShark, but had no clue how to use it.
     
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    First step here would be to create an accurate network diagram of what you have, including exact make/model of switches, routers, and other network hardware.

    Next is to quantify exactly the performance issues you have, and where they occur. Are they Internet related? Local network transfers? Wireless speed?

    Once you know what you have and how it's all interconnected, you can start to address the performance issues. You need to know what you currently have, and what issues you're trying to solve before you can intelligently start to solve them.
     
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