Software and Computer Network Conflicts Part II

Network problems can crop up at any time. In my previous blog post, I talked about how many businesses experience problems with software systems and their computer network. In that post, I talked about mismatches between how current either the operating system or the software program is can be the issue. There are other possibilities, however, that can cause your network problems.

One way to determine how your network is doing is called a Technology Performance Review. A Technology Performance Review by NoCo Technology Solutions of Fort Collins helps determine the source of network problems. An issue we often see is network traffic has gotten so heavy that your system is experiencing slow-downs and crashes.

Network traffic can increase for numerous reasons. Sometimes software can be part of the network problem, but sometimes not.

The best way of thinking about network traffic is to think about a busy highway. Data moves along the network much like cars do on a freeway. Even if there is lots of traffic on the highway, and cars are bumper to bumper; when everybody’s moving at a fast, consistent speed, everybody gets to their destination quickly. But what if you add one more on-ramp to that busy freeway? Just a bit more traffic on a busy freeway can significantly slow everyone down, sometimes to a crawl.

Another issue is when two sets of data, called data packets, are sent along the network at the exact same moment. Neither can get to their destination and it’s called a Data Collision. It’s like two cars jockeying with each other to get off the freeway at the same exit at the exact same time. On a network, neither of the data packets gets to their destinations and they have to be sent again.

Data collisions can become so frequent that they noticeably slow down your network performance. The same thing can happen when you add just one or two more users to an already busy network. If the network traffic was close to the maximum amount it could handle effectively, adding even a single user can have huge effects. Everyone will be able to see how much slower the network has become.

Another possibility is that you installed a software upgrade and it included a new feature that creates lots of network traffic, such as a dashboard that continually updates itself. If lots of users start using that dashboard, you can increase network traffic significantly and cause network problems.

More possible explanations include: 1) Software “bloat”, when an application uses more and more system resources, such as memory, each time it gets updated. Bloat can cause problems with a network’s ability to handle the load. 2) An error in the software, called a “bug”, could be the issue. For example, a memory leak, where the software uses memory while it’s working and then doesn’t release it for other applications when it’s done is a type of bug. Software companies often want every other possibility ruled out before they agree the problem is a software bug.

Yet another possibility for software/hardware conflicts is that you have a combination of issues. This is the most common situation we find with businesses we work with. IT and technology are complicated and there are many factors to consider when resolving network problems.

The owners of NoCo Technology Solutions of Fort Collins previously owned a computer software business, so we have experience on both sides of hardware-software conflict. We put that experience to work for you when we look into finding the solutions to any software and computer network problems you’re having.

To figure out what’s going on with your network and the software you’re trying to run, call NoCo Technology Solutions at 970-223-1885. We know how to make technology the solution, not the problem.

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