Network latency, also called lag, is defined as the amount of time it takes for a packet of data to be encapsulated, transmitted, processed through multiple network devices until it is received at its destination, and decoded by the receiving computer. Latency in networks is measured in milliseconds (ms). The closer your latency is to zero, the better.
The most common signs of high latency include:
Troubleshooting issues across a large network becomes complex when you try to pinpoint an issue manually. This is where comprehensive network monitoring and troubleshooting comes into its own. Network monitoring and troubleshooting can help you quickly identify the root causes of latency. Accurately diagnosing issues enables you to implement solutions to reduce lag and improve bandwidth speeds. Testing network latency can be accomplished using Ping, Traceroute, or the My TraceRoute tool.
ManageEngine OpManager is a comprehensive network monitoring and network troubleshooting software. The solution effectively performs network latency testing by tracking the total RTT taken by data packets to reach the destination and return, and troubleshoots network latency.
You can use OpManager's wide area network (WAN) monitoring feature as a network latency performance monitor.
OpManager provides Packet Loss Monitoring and helps the IT admin to resolve poor WAN performance. The WAN RTT monitor in OpManager mitigates network latency by diagnosing the network paths with a high RTT, and identifies outages between two network stations by performing a Traceroute action to obtain the required information on packet loss. OpManager provides a hop-wise view of the latency graph in a single window. This network latency monitoring solution helps you drill down and precisely locate the hop at which the outage occurred.
Use the WAN monitoring feature in OpManager to configure threshold values for RTT. You can also use reports to obtain information about threshold violations with graphical representations. This helps you to make informed decisions and avoid network latency.
Latency in voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks is primarily caused due to configuration and bandwidth-related issues. Any irregularities caused on the VoIP-based network will lead to packet loss, which eventually disrupts the quality of communication.
OpManger's VoIP monitor helps the network administrator locate latency issues and quickly resolve them before they become critical.
OpManager also has handy built-in tools to troubleshoot network latency issues. These solutions include simple command line-based troubleshooting utilities that allow for a systematic, efficient approach to network troubleshooting. Some of the tools for troubleshooting network latency include:
Ping - The Ping tool is the graphic representation of the ICMP PING utility. The Ping diagnostic tool helps in the discovery of the status of a network device. That is, whether the device is alive or not. Before you ping a device, with the Ping diagnostic tool, you can configure the ping settings, such as number of packets, time to live, size, and timeout. The Ping diagnostic tool determines whether a specific IP is accessible in the network.
Traceroute - The SNMP Traceroute tool records the route followed in the network between the sender computer and a specific destination computer. With the Traceroute diagnostic tool, the user can configure the settings, such as number of hops and timeout.
OpManager will help you improve network speed and reduce network latency across the entire network, or between points. By improving your network speed and reducing latency, your business processes will accomplish leaps and bounds in efficiency and performance.
Latency in a network refers to the time it takes for data to travel across the network to its intended destination. It's generally expressed as a round trip delay, or the time it takes for data to travel from one location to another.
There are four main causes that can affect network latency. These include:
Latency can either be measured as the round-trip time (RTT), or the time to first byte (TTFB):
A simple way to improve network latency is to check that others on your network aren’t unnecessarily using up the bandwidth, or increasing lag with excessive downloads or streaming. Next, check application performance to determine whether applications are acting unexpectedly, and potentially placing pressure on the network.
Subnetting is another way to help reduce latency across your network, by grouping together endpoints that communicate most frequently with each other.
Additionally, you could use traffic shaping and bandwidth allocation to improve latency for the business-critical parts of your network.
Finally, you can use a load balancer to help offload traffic to parts of the network with the capacity to handle some additional activity.