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Software slow down hinders shipments

The shipping department of a manufacturing company complained that the ERP (enterprise resource planning) software used for entering and tracking shipments sometimes slowed way down at seemingly random times, generating a “waiting for server” error message when the problem occurred.

As a business-critical application, it was essential that the problem be solved as quickly as possible, but the random nature of the error made it extremely difficult for the network engineer to be in the right spot at the right time to diagnose it.

To solve this, she used the tool’s free string match mechanism to “turn on” and “turn off” the capture engine just when the problem occurred by setting the analyzer to trigger on the contents of the error message. This allowed her to capture the relevant traffic without having to be there when the problem occurred.

By looking at the traffic captured, the engineer determined the cause of the problem: just prior to the slowdown, another user had submitted an improperly structured SQL query that locked the entire database.

The scenarios above illustrate how to use a portable analyzer to identify application problems that result in a slowdown. The scenarios also illustrate the importance of keeping networks and applications running smoothly, because poor performance impacts users and operations…and sometimes even customers.