If there’s one technology glitch that gets me ticked off, it’s when there’s a networking problem somewhere outside my home, but also outside the network centre where my servers are. For the past three days, I’ve seen atrocious performance when trying to download files off my servers. I have two dedicated servers, each in different locations, yet on both when I tried to download large files I couldn’t get anything faster than 40 KB/s. I’m used to seeing speeds in the 1500 KB/s range, so this was a real shock. At first I suspected a problem with my cable modem (again), but a quick test showed that my connection from the modem to the ISP’s server was pounding at 9 mbps. I then thought maybe there was a bandwidth or load problem with both of my servers, but checking them both showed me that they weren’t overloaded nor were they saturated in terms of bandwidth. Even accessing the Web was flaky – some sites came up fast, some didn’t. Outlook 2007 was locking up on me because it would lose connection to my Exchange server/IMAP accounts and freak out (it’s so ungraceful when dealing with connection problems). Just an hour ago I was trying to post a message to the Microsoft NNTP server and Windows Mail was locking up on me.
I was deeply puzzled and decided to finally call my ISP (Shaw). I knew it would be tough going because trying to convince a tech support person there’s a problem outside their immediate network is almost impossible. While waiting on hold I fired up my FTP program to try again, fully expecting to see 40 KB/s download rates…and instead I saw 800 KB/s downloads. Wouldn’t you know it, somewhere between here and there someone turned the SUCK knob down from 11 to zero and everything is fast again. I pulled down some files from my server at 1300 KB/s – nice and fast.
Thanks to whoever dun fixed ‘ma Internet. 😀