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How to Reduce Packet Loss

jkirkwood's picture

This is the final article in a series on that ever-so frustrating issue of packet loss. Please click here for part one and part two

As we covered in part one of this series, there is not a single cause of packet loss. It’s the end result of many different problems. After replicating the loss and knowing exactly what part of the network is affected, you can take the following steps to finally solve the issue and reduce packet loss. 

Understanding the issue to stop packet loss

Seeing as there is no single cause for packet loss, you need to start looking at monitoring for other symptoms. Is there congestion on the segment in question? Are you seeing any port errors on the segment? These will serve as valid clues for what might be going wrong and will influence your next actions.

How to test 

There are a few commonly found packet loss scenarios that can be fixed by testing out fixes within your environment. If it’s a link sitting at over 90% congestion, you may want to provision extra capacity or consider the source of this utilization spike. This would be the appropriate time to leverage flow based traffic monitoring as it might be a backup or malicious network usage issue, such as CryptoLocker encrypting a network drive. It could also be the router’s resources (such as CPU) causing a problem, so be sure to check those situations within your monitoring system. 

What to do if the issue is happening outside of your network

So it would need a miracle for packet loss to only happen inside the network. A packet loss issue may represent a fault with your ISP or another ISP in the network path between you and your destination. At this point, your best course of action is to raise a ticket with your ISP and attach the captured ping/MTR output to help demonstrate and replicate the issue. The more detail you include, the higher chance you have of getting it successfully resolved.

How to reduce packet loss

Here comes the product pitch you have all been waiting for: the best way to reduce packet loss is by monitoring it. If packet loss is a symptom of a larger issue, such as lack of capacity or hardware failure, monitoring deployed across your network recognizes these problems and immediately alerts you. Ultimately, the best cure for packet loss is not letting your network fall behind in terms of maintenance or planning. 

How to test for packet loss

How to monitor for packet loss

With Opsview Monitor, you can be monitoring packet loss very quickly. We have a range of fully supported monitoring solutions tailored exactly to the needs of your organization. Try Opsview Monitor for yourself, free for 30 days.