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I have a few employees who only have access to one website. This website they use for absolutely everything they do and they have started to tell me how slow it is as certain parts of the day. At certain parts of the day when it becomes really bad, they will click a button to submit a form and the request will take so long it will time out and make them log back in.

Let me be clear, the only thing that is slow is the web site. It is not the time it takes IE to load

The site in question has nothing to do with our company and is controlled by another company. There is nothing special about the connection between us and them.

No one else in our company is complaining about slow Internet access or anything else that would lead me to believe this problem is on our network.

An IT manager for the company who runs the site said "we have 150 sites as your company is the only one reporting problems."

To eliminate our network as the culprit, I have thought of a couple different ways to test.

  1. Set one of the users up for a day or two with a high speed air card. The problem with this is that the users then have unfiltered Internet access.
  2. Take my computer out there and stand with them for 45-69 minutes while they use the computer and also browse another sites at the same time. During this time I would like to track how long it takes to load every page regardless of the domain. I can then take this back to the other company and show them that everything else is working fine and fast except for your site.

I have yet to find any software that will help me with idea #2. Any suggestions?

Can you think of anything else that would help determine where the problem is?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Invest your time in installing a monitoring solution. All of the data you need to determine the problem will almost fall out of thin air, and the system will help you in countless other ways for troubleshooting, capacity planning, etc.

Designate a host on your network as your monitoring server. Run any monitoring package such as Zenoss, Zabbix, Cacti, or many others.

Continuously monitor ping times from your monitoring server to:

  • All of the client machines on your network (your employee workstations)
  • Your ISP's first gateway and DNS servers
  • Some gateway near the website you're concerned with (use traceroute to determine this)
  • The actual web host of the website

This data will tell you if there is network congestion, and you should be able to deduce where it is. It won't tell you if their web servers are just bogged down though. For that, you will need to monitor the response time of specific URLs. You can do this with most monitoring servers as well. You can have one monitor the response time of google.com as a control case.

Once you are continuously monitoring all of this stuff, let it run for a week and then analyze all of the graphs. You may see response times rise during certain parts of the day. You can show this data to the IT manager at the web site and say:

Here is a graph showing unacceptable response time from your web server, and here is another graph showing excellent response time from google during the same time period. Clearly our network and Internet connectivity is not to blame.

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My company uses Netmon but I don't know much about it and have never used it. Would this also be one of the software packages such as Zenoss, Zabbix, etc.? –  rodey Oct 15 '09 at 14:02
    
I've never used netmon, but according to their website, it should be able to do all of what I've suggested. –  lukecyca Oct 15 '09 at 16:33

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