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Understanding the common root causes of application problems

When a user claims the network is slow, the network professional must first determine if it really is the network or if an application is performing poorly. To determine the cause of a slowdown, the network professional first should understand four common root causes of application performance problems and how to resolve them.

PROBLEM COMMON CAUSE RESOLUTION
Small packets    
Small packets are used to move large pieces of information Poorly written applications that are requesting data in chunks that are simply too small Provide information about application behavior to the developers; rewriting the code could speed performance.
Latency    
Evenly spaced long delays between each packet High latency links or devices in the line; for example, long distances or a device that adds latency Determine if the latency can be removed from the line; examine LAN, WLAN and WAN response times. If not, look at a different application access strategy (remote access, application change, etc.).
Inconsistent delay    
Inconsistent delays between packets but without re-transmission Usually server or client slowdown Determine the cause of the slowdown by examining client or server processes and resolve it.
Re-transmission    
Many re-transmissions occur, either TCP or application layer Packets are dropping somewhere in the stream Determine where the packets are being dropped and fix the problem.