Network Latency & Web Latency … Catchpoint the Plumber


Remember when Ted Stevens, the late Senator, talking about Net Neutrality referred to the internet as a series of tubes ? Even Jon Stewart did a segment on that story.

Well our support team troubleshooted an issue this past weekend for one of our customers and, superficially at least, it did indeed look a lot like a bunch of clogged tubes.

Their response time had suddenly started fluctuating dramatically. Upon investigating, we discovered that the network latency (ping) from our Los Angeles Global Crossing node, to their datacenter in Virginia, had increased from the usual 60-70 ms to about 170 ms.

After discussing it with our partners and vendors, they identified and fixed the problem via some routing changes.

What was interesting was the web performance impact that occurred; the network latency had increased by 100 ms but the web response had jumped by 300 ms.

Web Performance Impacted by Network latency

Here is the scatterplot chart for the just the ping response time:

Network latency scatter plot

Sometimes the Internet really does look like a series of tubes! And you’ll need to watch out, because sometimes those tubes might get clogged.

Mehdi – Catchpoint – Internet Plumber.

Published on
May 02, 2011
updated on
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