T1 degradation

I have a T1 and our traffic has grown rapidly over the last 2 years. I believe that our T1 is no longer sufficient we are having long load waits stuff like that. At what point (75%, 80%, 85% of bandwidth) do you start having lag times from a T1? If we wew to add Bandwidth would 2 T1's bound together solve our problem of connectivity?

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Adding a second T1 will certainly double the amount of bandwidth you currently have. However there are other pieces of the puzzle that you should take into consideration that may be causing you lag time as Internet traffic has increased. I would ask the question of; What is your T1 used for. Internal employees accessing the Internet. Do you have web servers or something to that effect that external clients are connecting to.

If it is only for internal employees that are accessing the internet. You may want to see what they are doing. Non business internet activity can quickly eat up your available internet bandwidth if a number of employees are accessing video new feeds, music videos and the like.
The other things you should check into is your Firewalls and Routers. Are they still sufficient enough to handle the increased loads you have experience. And if you are serving up web services are the like to the public, are you webservers up to snuff to handle the increased loads.

A combination of a small percentage of a problem in each of these areas could equate to a significant lag time in your internet access speed, either from internal out or external in.

Good Luck

The Humble Network Admin

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  • Astronomer
    I agree with the first response. You need to characterize your current traffic and see how it matches with your business goals before making any architectural changes. What do you mean by long load waits? Is it possible these are being limited at the other end? When I tested our internet pipe last year, I downloaded several ISO images at the same time and saturated our three T1s with just my laptop. Because the servers on the other end were throttling their output, I had to download from several different servers to adequately load our pipe. There is no set percentage of utilization, (other than 100%), that causes lag times. Also, some applications are more sensitive than others to delays. How are you measuring your utilization? We use MRTG because it's free but under windows we are limited to five minute averages so we miss some spikes. Traditionally, you should size the pipe for the average with some headroom and let the spikes hit saturation. Some poorly written apps won't allow this model. When I set up ntop we experienced significant enlightenment about how our connection was really being used. Management may decide some sites, downloads, and protocols are inappropriate for your business. It will then be your job to limit/eliminate them. In our environment, we experienced congestion caused by student downloads of music. This caused a business critical and highly latency sensitive application to fail consistently. We were forced to throttle the students on our squid proxy server. Our experience has been if we just add bandwidth it will get soaked up in a few months and the demand for more will repeat. We are currently using four T1s and are transitioning to a 10Mbit connection. We have had to prioritize traffic to keep the internet connection affordable. If your ISP will cooperate, you may be able to institute QoS for your incoming traffic and give priority to protocols deemed critical to your business. Ours isn't that helpful so we are purchasing a "packet shaper" to control the traffic. One last point, is a T1 the best solution for your internet connection? Would you get more for your money by using an ADSL? Again, this depends on your traffic as well as the relative costs in your location. rt
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