Confusing Networking Behavior

The other day I got on a Skype for Business call and I struggled to hear the other people. I looked at the interface, and saw red where the network connection was represented. Since I was communicating with the UK, and I sometimes see issues, I assumed this was our office over there.

Then it happened the next day. I decided to assume it was my issue, and I ran a speed test.

2018-04-19 10_00_00-Speedtest by Ookla - The Global Broadband Speed Test

That’s not great, but that looks OK. I’d think this was enough bandwidth for a video call. No one else was in the house, so there shouldn’t be contention. After contacting both Redgate’s IT group and my provider, I ran a ping test.

2018-04-19 10_02_00-cmd - ping  _t redgate.slack.com

If you know anything about networking, you know this is no bueno. The periodic long times will cause stuttering and problems with real time communications. A short, 4 ping test might not show this, but over time, you can see things repeating.

In this case, it seems something is wrong with my connection.

However

That’s not the issue. I called my provider, and they didn’t see issues from their end. We restarted the router (hard start) and things didn’t see to improve. They escalated, which is a callback, so I went on with my day.

This was bothering me and I had more calls, so I decided to restart my machine. After the system came up, I started shutting services down. No Spotify, no TweetDuck, nothing with network access.

In the meantime a call started, which had stuttering and issues, as you might expect if regularly there was a 1-3s delay for packets. In this case, I finally got to my Crashplan backup process. This was backing up files, which is something that has been happening for a few years. However, as soon as I shut this down, my video/audio issues stopped. In fact,

2018-04-23 11_41_29-cmd

That’s more what I have been experiencing for years.

Since then I’ve restarted that process a few times, just to see, but issues haven’t returned. In hindsight I should have tried video from another machine and made sure this was a networking issue and not a “this machine” issue.

I’ve been good at troubleshooting in my career, but this is one of this times that I didn’t really do a good job of looking at the trees and not the forest. I made assumptions and experienced issues for a few days that were unnecessary.

A good reminder and lesson for me.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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2 Responses to Confusing Networking Behavior

  1. rsterbal says:

    Is it worth offloading your files backing up to the cloud to their own machine? Performance on cloud services overheated my desktop a couple of times.

  2. way0utwest says:

    No, that would be plenty of other work.This hasn’t been a problem since, but it was an interesting thing. To see the behavior from my machine when it appeared to be networking.

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