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-   -   network slows down until wifi is turned off (

esteeven 07-23-2006 03:17 PM

network slows down until wifi is turned off
I host a mysql server on site a. There are 15 boxes on the network and a wifi connection. Site b is the same as site a in all respects except for the server. Wifi useage is "unrestricted" --- as is all Internet useage. By "unrestricted", I mean that all users on our networks can do exactly as they wish on the Internet. All LAN boxes are either Kubuntu Dapper or Mandriva 2006. On the wifi, we can find all flavours of OS. Both sites are served by their own 4mb cable connection. This connection is routed through a netgear router at each end and there is a D-LInk wifi access point attached. All works well ---- the office users are all able to do what they wish 80% of the time on both sites. The "casual" users (in 2 Internet cafe style rooms and on the wifi) are happy. Or have been until now.

I must stress that for most of the working day, the connection is extremely efficient and more than serves our needs. This is why I have never needed to use a more complex routing system than that provided by the Netgear routers. Office needs are simple but the casual users do exploit our lack of control occassionally .... but not often.

Suddenly though, I find I have a problem. Site a (serving a + b with a much used MySQL server) will experience a severe slowdown. Because of this, site b will experience database connectivity issues. Site b might experience its own slowdown and there will be a general angry outcry. On both sites, I can say for certain that the problem is removed by switching off the wifi connection. Sometimes it is necessary to reboot the Netgear router. It is important to note that problems do not occur on both sites at the same time.

My conclusion is that I have excessive useage of bandwidth on my wifi network(s). I suspect that it is one (or two) users using voip and / or a webcam. I experienced severe problems at site b on Friday and I was offsite. It was interesting to see connection speeds vary from outside the system as I instructed admin users to switch off the wifi --- I was able to observe the impact of this switch off by accessing a test webserver. Once the wifi was taken out of the equation, connection speeds were entirely normal.

My question is this:

I know that I need to beef up my system. I need a more complex router on both sites and I need to split the network and share out the bandwidth as I see fit. I will do that soon but I can't do it immediately because I leave for my holiday in a week and I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving the network in the hands of an unknown router. I also need to monitor the networks more closely, but adding a more complex router will help with this. What i want to know is this: What would you do? I have 5 working days to go. I am able to dedicate 60% of my time to this if need be. I realise that I should have done something weeks ago but hey! If it ain't broke...... ;)

I would certainly appreciate any and all advice.

edit: typos etc.

esteeven 07-23-2006 03:20 PM

What I think I need to know is would voip (and / or ) a webcam cause this kind of slowdown?

esteeven 10-05-2006 04:58 AM

Hello --- just in case anyone is interested, the problems were caused by old hardware. I swapped a very old hub for a modern switch and the performance of the network increased dramatically. The slowdowns more or less stopped. The addition of a BSD router added masses of speed and bucketloads of control. Problem solved.

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