Wireless LAN / General

Clearing Up Network Congestion

network congestion
Technologies such as videoconferencing, VPNs, VoIP, email, productivity tools, and cloud-based business applications have quickly become an indispensable part of doing business in the 21st century. But technologies like these, plus the proliferation of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, are also placing more demand than ever on enterprise wireless networks. If your wireless network is overburdened by applications fighting for bandwidth, you could find yourself facing network congestion.

Network congestion isn’t just inconvenient—it’s a major threat to your business health. Congestion can cause reduced quality of service across your entire network, which can mean stalled apps, dropped calls, lost data, and reduced productivity, not to mention dissatisfied customers.

What Symptoms Looks Like
How do you know if network congestion is your problem? Look for symptoms like these:
  • Timeouts
  • Dropped wireless connections
  • Higher latency
  • Packet loss
  • Jitter
  • Performance degradation
Causes of Congestion
  • Over-subscription: Just as traffic jams snarl up your commute during rush hour, your wireless network slows down during peak periods when there are more users than it can handle. Networks are designed to handle a certain amount of traffic, so when they’re pushed past their limits wireless users are going to experience some slowdowns.
  • Bandwidth hogs: Some devices, applications, and users demand more data than others. On a wireless network with limited resources, a handful of bandwidth hogs can cause performance problems for all users.
  • Outdated or incompatible hardware: When you upgrade your network capacity and speed, it’s essential to upgrade switches, servers, routers, access points, firmware, and hardware as well. If your wireless network hardware isn’t equipped to handle the data speeds required by your enterprise, you’re likely to experience slowdowns and bottlenecks.
  • Poor network design: Sometimes it’s not the traffic that’s the problem—it’s the way the highways are laid out. Your wireless network layout should be optimized to maximize performance across all your areas of coverage, especially if your network is divided into SSIDs or subnets.
  • Security attacks: Network congestion can also have more malicious causes. An attack on your router or server can seriously impair your wireless network in addition to placing your valuable business data at risk. Denial of Service (DOS) attacks, viruses, and worms can all disrupt network traffic and potentially bring your business to a standstill.
Visibility is the Solution
Knowledge is power, and wireless networks are no exception to this rule. If you can’t see and understand what’s happening on your network, you can’t pinpoint the source of problems—let alone fix them. That’s why network visibility is essential to alleviating congestion and combating security threats. As technologies such as network virtualization, artificial intelligence tools, and multi-cloud environments make networks more sophisticated and complex than ever, end-to-end visibility becomes even harder to achieve. That’s why finding the right Managed Service Provider (MSP) to monitor and manage your wireless network should be at the top of your list.

Frontier Managed Wireless LAN is a centralized network management solution that gives you a clear line of sight into your network infrastructure. With seamless scalability and proactive central management, Frontier handles all the details, so you can get back to seeing the big picture.

To learn more about the state of enterprise cloud-managed networking, download our Managed Wireless LAN Stats and Trends article or call 866.238.7317 to speak with a business consultant.

“Managed Wireless LAN Stats and Trends article”