Why is the network so slow?

If you are a network engineer you are probably used to being blamed for every problem under the sun. If not blamed, your network is sure to be top of the list of suspects. Well, in this case, it was the network, or at least the ISP.

Like most techies I can access work from home using a remote access VPN. This allows me to check problems without having to go to the office. In my case this would not be too much of a problem as I only live half a mile from the office, but when I get a 2am call, I would much rather just fire up the VPN than drive into work.

Well, my VPN has got slow, real slow. My Internet access is delivered using WiMax and this does get slow occasionally, requiring a restart of the router to fix the problem. In this case that did not help. So my next step was to do a simple trace route:

tracert 212.x.x.x
Tracing route to 212.x.x.x
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1     1 ms     1 ms     1 ms  192.168.1.1
  2   152 ms    84 ms    73 ms  145.255.64.1
  3    74 ms    78 ms    79 ms  188.135.3.5
  4    53 ms    79 ms    78 ms  188.135.0.153
  5    88 ms    78 ms    79 ms  188.135.0.129
  6    59 ms    79 ms    82 ms  188.135.0.138
  7   295 ms   209 ms   224 ms  213.242.115.25
  8   231 ms   223 ms   198 ms  ae-3-4.bar2.Marseille1.Level3.net [4.69.143.253]
  9   218 ms   228 ms   229 ms  ae-15-15.ebr1.Frankfurt1.Level3.net [4.69.143.246]
 10   219 ms   228 ms   228 ms  ae-84-84.csw3.Frankfurt1.Level3.net [4.69.163.26]
 11   237 ms   228 ms   228 ms  ae-83-83.ebr3.Frankfurt1.Level3.net [4.69.163.9]
 12   224 ms   228 ms   228 ms  ae-47-47.ebr1.Dusseldorf1.Level3.net [4.69.143.173]
 13   219 ms   229 ms   229 ms  ae-23-23.ebr2.Dusseldorf1.Level3.net [4.69.143.190]
 14   219 ms   228 ms   229 ms  ae-46-46.ebr1.Amsterdam1.Level3.net [4.69.143.201]
 15   218 ms   229 ms   228 ms  ae-57-112.csw1.Amsterdam1.Level3.net [4.69.153.190]
 16   218 ms   228 ms   238 ms  ae-1-51.edge4.Amsterdam1.Level3.net [4.69.139.138]
 17   227 ms   229 ms   228 ms  OMAN-TELECO.edge4.Amsterdam1.Level3.net [212.72.43.122]
 18   373 ms   388 ms   442 ms  82.178.32.17
 19   453 ms   398 ms   393 ms  82.178.32.9
 20   379 ms   400 ms   396 ms  xxxxxx.omantel.net.om [212.x.x.x.x]
 21   402 ms   387 ms   404 ms  212.x.x.x

And there you have it. To get from my apartment to the office half a mile away, I go from Oman to France on to Germany into Holland and back to Oman. Unfortunately this means that half the in-country users of our web services take the same tour of Europe.

A big thanks to my ISP. Their motto, ironically, is Get Closer.


	

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