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What is Network Latency? What you Should Know

What exactly is network latency? Network latency simply means how fast data is transmitted or received from a computer to another computer or from one computer to another. Latency actually is the difference between how quickly two different computers can exchange information or data. This can be important when you are making an important online purchase, playing games online, or chatting with friends. Network delay will cause lag in your online gaming, chat room chatting, and even your web surfing.

Latencies can make a significant difference in your application performance. In order to have smooth application operation and an excellent user experience, network monitoring is essential. You need to be able to detect performance issues so that you can resolve them before they result in system failure or other more severe problems. Network monitoring tools can provide the information necessary to resolve network latency issues so that your users get the best possible performance.

Network latency is also caused by the number of people connecting to your network. More people result in a greater number of network hops. If a single person connects to your network, they take their time in processing the request and send it down the line until there are other people to join in on the conversation. The more people you have connected, the longer it takes for the request to be filled and sent down the line. Network latency will increase as each additional hop is taken.

When looking at network monitoring to identify potential issues, you should look at the various factors that contribute to your network latency problems. Some of these factors include the number of individual network devices, their individual speeds, and network routing. Here is an overview of what you can do to help improve network performance issues:

Defragmenting Your Hard Drive

If your computer has many programs open at once (such as when working on a spreadsheet or similar application), there is a good chance that some of these programs could be sharing the same space on your hard drive. In order for your CPU to perform well, it must be able to access all files simultaneously. Otherwise, you experience what is called “jitteriness” in which a sudden decrease in data packet loss occurs. This can result in poor user experience and a decreased level of productivity.

Bluemix Routing

There are certain routes that a network device may follow in order to send and receive data packets. Each of these paths can be affected by other network devices and even other applications. If one application uses a different path than another application, it can negatively affect both of those applications and the entire network. By altering the paths taken by your network devices, you can greatly reduce jitteriness and improve your overall network speed and performance.

Configuring Your Network

Sometimes a single network device can be configured to send its own data packets or be configured to use a pre-determined set of IP packets. This is called an IP QoS policy and it can be extremely useful. If your company allows customers the option to place their own settings in their QoS policy, you can alleviate a great deal of network latency by ensuring that each IP packet has the same delay from the destination.

Bandwidth Limiting

It is also possible for your network to experience excessive traffic, such as when downloading large files from your e-mail or web portal. If the network is experiencing too much traffic, it will take longer to download information and data. There is good news, though: if you configure your network to use a QoS policy to limit the amount of bandwidth you use, you can alleviate some of this traffic. By using traffic shaping, you can adjust the rate at which data and voice traffic is sent across your network and thus reduce how long it takes to transfer information.

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