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From : cchucktaylor
To : saintly
Rating :
Message Status : Public

[08-22-2000] cchucktaylor : My offices are about 200 miles apart. They both connect to internet thru ISDN and both have Centrix networks using Novell. Internet speed at main office is slower than my other office tho both connect at 128K [DSL and cable not available in these cities] and my small office has slow connection to main office.
Question: Will increasing speed of processor, RAM and HD space in main office server computer help the network move faster? What are the main indices of speed for a network?
[08-22-2000] saintly :
Increasing processor speed, RAM and HD space will probably improve overall computer performance, but will not have much of an effect on network speed unless your computer is so severely underpowered that it just runs slowly in general and the improvement to all other areas affects your network speed.

Even a slow 386 with a 200MB hard drive and 16MB of ram can still chew up the entire bandwidth available to 128K ISDN or the entire 10MBps (or 100MBps) of an ethernet LAN if allowed. Sending and receiving network data/packets is not a very intensive chore for computers.

The two main indices of speed for a network are bandwidth and traffic. Bandwidth (capacity) is the maximum amount of data the hardware is capable of transmitting and receiving. In your case, it is 128Kbps. Traffic is the amount of data other people on the network are trying to send or receive through the connection. For example, if you have two people on your LAN who both want to use the ISDN line, then your effective transmission rates are cut in half, since all network traffic has equal priority. ISDN can be compared to a pipe, and the data you want to exchange as the water in the pipe. Bandwidth would be the thickness of the pipe, and the traffic is all the water anybody wants to run through it.

Your connection to the ISP through ISDN is not the only connection you are making; you are only connecting onto a larger network. In order to access other sites you have to make use of several connected networks along the way. The amount of usage, and the capacity of those networks also affects your total transmission rate to the site you want to go to.

If you are connecting to an ISP that does not have a lot of bandwidth themselves, then you are sharing your bandwidth with the other people also connecting to the same ISP. As an extreme example, if you have a 128k line, but the ISP only has a 256k line to *it's* ISP and has sold 3 other people 128k lines, then all of you only end up getting 56k past the ISP to all other internet sites. Likewise, if you use the same ISP, but their two separate sites you get ISDN from have varying amounts of other users using it, then your connection will be slower.

ISPs make equipment upgrades all the time, especially in busy areas with lots of traffic. If they fall behind, then all their users suffer performance degradation to and from their connected sites. If you are unhappy with their service, your best bet is to choose another ISP. The more expensive an ISP is, the more traffic they can usually handle. You can often ask questions, like how fast the ISPs connection is to their provider (Very fast are T1, T3, OC-3 and higher. Many ISPs have a single T1; equivalent to about 10 128k ISDN lines. This isn't *that* fast, but marginal.) and how many users or customers they have.

Does this help explain the problem? I can try to help you find another ISP in your area if you like.
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