If you have sat in traffic on the freeway and not moved an inch for 15 minutes, you know the pain of congestion.
The same can be said for routes on the Internet. With network congestion, it is the same as roadway traffic.
Cars come to a screeching halt due to an accident, and nobody can move.
On the Internet, when there is a flood of requests for a website, this can result in network congestion.
I am going to discuss some negative effects of your network congestion problem.
The loss of data is one of the more detrimental effects of a network congestion problem. Packet loss, where data packets are lost in transmission, causes poor video quality, bad VoIP service, and online game play to stop.
Network congestion causes packet loss when an Internet route becomes full. The full Internet route allows no further data to be transmitted. The result is data packets will not make it to the receiving computer.
The issue is there can become pixelated video streaming or a VoIP call is “broken up”. The result is the conversation is affected. Also, in online game play, the game can skip around scenes. This can lead to a player losing a game they would have otherwise won.
Jitter is the irregular distribution of data packets through a network. It causes problems with the receiving computer and can result in worse congestion, as well as packet loss.
When a network congestion problem begins to occur, the transmitting signals requesting data become interrupted. This interruption is what creates jitter. Jitter has a negative effect in VoIP, as VoIP data packets need to have priority over a network. Jitter leads to network congestion and packet loss.
Buffer Memory is Full
Within a network system there is a buffer. This allows a queuing of data packets to account for any imperfections in a network. The primary function is to alleviate jitter, but streaming services also have a buffer. It provides better quality of service (QoS).
If packets are arriving at irregular times due to jitter, the buffer can become full as there becomes an influx of data packets that arrive all at once. When the buffer queue is full, packets are lost, more congestion occurs, and the user experience plummets.
Severe Performance Degradation
Whether running a cloud application, streaming service, online game, or VoIP, network congestion is going to negatively affect the service.
The service affect can come in as simple a form as taking a long time to load, to an application stalling in the middle of operation. When too much data fills the Internet pipe, not all the data can be loaded.
Loss of Customers
If your network congestion becomes severe enough, there can become a loss of customers.
“81% of Internet users abandon a page or video if it does not play immediately.”
If your network has chronic congestion, it could be that you are losing potential customers.
The last negative affect is when your Internet service provider is artificially congesting your network. The claim is that this is “fair use for all Internet users”. Unfortunately, this can also be seen as an infringement on net neutrality.
The artificial congestion can lead to your inability to provide quality service, and in some cases, the only way to fix the situation is to pay more. This can be in the form of peering agreements, or more bandwidth in your Internet package.
Network congestion has business ramifications. At times, you may have no control over how congested your network is. Understanding the problem is the first step in addressing a solution.
To learn how Datapath.io can solve your network congestion problem, you can download the AWS Network Optimization Whitepaper.