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I've been observing the ping latency to my server's internal gateway switch from my server machine. I noticed the ping spikes to as high as 500ms at times. Is this a possible indication that the switch is overload or this is perfectly normal?

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From my workstation to the gateway (single switch) is <1ms. 500ms is probably an indication of a problem, but as TomTom stated, without knowing your topology we can only make a reasonable guess, based on our own response time. – joeqwerty Oct 14 '11 at 11:08

Define local gateway. WIthin a shorter lan (same room) with 1-2 switches nivolved unless the line is totally overloaded it should be low single digit ms - witha strong push towards 0-1ms. I am jsut checking my VM I type that on to the firewall of my company (also a VM) via a physical router (i.e. traffic goes to router then from there to firewall) - definitely more than a simple switch - and I get 3, 1, 2, <1 ms.

500ms is RIDICULOUS - US is around 115ms from my place (europe) including a lot of routers in between. This is either some defective / overlaoded part or a really hard overload on the the line. It is extreme.

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By local gateway, I meant internal switch/router – Flint Oct 14 '11 at 8:19
Which can still be in another building, you know. Anyhow, it sounds ridiculous high. Modem level. – TomTom Oct 14 '11 at 8:29

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