Site speeds are too slow

Description - Internet speeds are much slower than expected at a site.

Indicators of this issue - There can be a number of indicators:

  • Users report applications or websites are slow or request time out.

  • Performance charts in the Bigleaf Web Dashboard show a circuit or site never reaching configured speeds.

  • Speed tests from the site's LAN are slow.

Potential Causes

  • The most common cause is a degraded ISP circuit or a degraded LAN network.

  • The remote destination web site or application is experiencing performance issues or an outage.

  • A site or ISP circuit is over-utilized / congested and there is no available bandwidth.

Tests and Solutions

  • Verify site bandwidth and circuit status.

    • Check the overall site bandwidth utilization in the Bigleaf Web Dashboard’s Performance tab.

    • Look at the overall and circuit performance charts for throughput, capacity, and Health Monitoring to determine if there is a degraded ISP circuit. If there is a degraded ISP circuit, follow the guidance in the topic “A circuit has packet loss or latency”.

    • Verify that the circuit throughput does not exceed the site’s Bigleaf service plan.

  • Verify and test ISP circuit speeds and overall site speeds (Bigleaf service plan speed) with a speed test application.

    • Bigleaf Support team uses iPerf3 testing between the CPE and TE server in the Bigleaf POP.

    • We advise using a similar testing topology if possible so you can control as many variables as possible in a speed test. However, public speed tests sites and servers are acceptable and valid as long as certain considerations and expectations are set.

  • Considerations and expectations for “speed test” applications or web sites:

    • Service plan speeds will be limited by the model of Bigleaf router being used. Review the Bigleaf datasheet to ensure speed expectations are correct. A site’s service plan will not be able to exceed the router’s capabilities.

    • For speed test results, we set expectations to approximately 90% of the fastest circuit's bandwidth. The internet uses flow-based load-balancing, meaning that all packets with a specific source and destination IP and port are considered one flow, and are therefore placed on the same link; this is done to ensure packets arrive at the remote endpoint in-order and to prevent problems with out-of-order packets. Depending on the speed test application, it is possible for all test flows to be load balanced over a single WAN circuit. However, speed test providers like often use multiple flows per test, so a single speed test could be placed on multiple WAN links at the same time, and observed speed test results could be much higher.

    • For the best and most accurate results, ensure you test against a speed test server in the same city or location as the Bigleaf Gateway Cluster you’re connected to, and test against multiple servers to rule out an over-utilized server.

    • The Bigleaf service considers the quality of each link while making load-balancing decisions, so certain links may not be selected as being eligible for load-balancing if there is a circuit problem like packet loss happening at the time of the speed test. If a circuit has a problem with download-direction packet loss but not upload-direction packet loss, then only the download side of that circuit could be excluded from load-balancing calculations.

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