One of our connectivity clients keeps insisting that the connection is slow. And for proof, he shows us the results from the Speakeasy speed test.
“See?” he says, pointing to a result that shows 300Kbps speed.
“Okay,” we say, “that just shows the traffic from here to the Speakeasy network in Atlanta. Try the Chigaco test. See? 2.8Mbps. That test means nothing.”
“But they're in the Central Time Zone,” he said. I swear, I am not making this up. “They're an hour ahead of us.” [I think his reasoning was this: it's about 5:30 pm Eastern when he said this, and as people get home, the network starts getting congested. At least, I think that was his reasoning. —Editor]
Sigh. “Okay, try the New York test. See? 2.9Mbps. The test is meaningless.”
So, why is the test meaningless? Because once the traffic leaves our network, we have no control over speed issues. The only meaningful test is one that runs across their connection to our network. Or maybe across our network to the exit point. But that's it.
Okay, we might have some influence with our carriers for the first hop or so into their network, but that's about the extent of it. But nooooooooo! “I paid for a 3Mbps circuit and by God I want 3Mbps to Afghanistan!” (okay, he didn't say that, but I suspect he still didn't believe us)
We've been battling with client networks for the past week or so, and I think the problems have finally abated. The last spot of trouble was the new Metro-Ethernet circuit. The Monopolistic Phone Company kept insisting it was 10Mbps clean both ways. At best we could get 3Mbps one way, and maybe 300Kbps the otherway (and no, this is a different client).
Smirk was insistant upon a test using a different router, but I was hesitant. I was fed up (so was Smirk) and I felt that doing a test with a different router would be a waste of time. Well, that, and it would be a bitch to configure the equipment to use VLANs (long story short: it takes some coaxing to get Cisco equipment to support VLAN IDs above 1024, yet our Metro-Ethernet connection requires a VLAN ID above 1024).
Since Smirk signs the checks, he won.
We called G, our Cisco consultant for help. “Well Sean me boy,” he said, “let's work through the theory of what we're trying—”
“Sorry G but I don't want the theory. I just want the configuration to test this thing and be done with it.” Had I not said that, it would have taken us another three hours. Don't get me wrong, I like G—it's just that he tends to be loquacious.
“Oh,” said G. “In that case, type … ” and inside of ten minutes we were running a test.
Color me surprised.
The Cisco router we were using was defective.
Once that was settled, things wrapped up rather quickly.