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View Poll Results: Should some packet loss be expected on a network?

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I had someone tell me the other day that on large networks some packet loss should be expected. I am under the belief that any packet loss says that there ...
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  1. #1
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    Packet Loss


    I had someone tell me the other day that on large networks some packet loss should be expected. I am under the belief that any packet loss says that there is something wrong with the network and it should be determined and fixed.

  2. #2
    Linux Newbie jeickal's Avatar
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    The loss of packets is a normal thing special over a Wide Area Network. On a propely managed network this is not a problem. Some protocol are more sensitive than others, this is why we use QoS on low bandwidth links where packet loss can be expected. This is how we can protect some sensitive traffic like VoIP from loosing packets while other flow of data won't suffer much from it.
    Typically when using TCP, there is nothing to worry about few packets lossed on the way as TCP manages this kind of problem and re-sent the lossed packets.

  3. #3
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    What I intended...

    I am more interested in the packet loss on a large network, such as a coporate network where everything is done "in house." I would expect the internet (WAN) to have packet loss, but not your average corporate network.

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  5. #4
    Linux Newbie jeickal's Avatar
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    Corporate network are not only made out of gigabits Metropolitan Arean Network, but also out of slow WAN links. Specially linking branches in some countries where bandwidth is still very costly. Packets loss typically occurs when a link is getting overloaded and the routers at each ends are filling up their buffers. When the buffers are full, then the routers start dropping the packets.
    There are also some Quality of Service mechanism that are "killing" some packet to reduce the TCP windows (it's called WRED for Weighted Random Early Detection). Like, a TCP flow (let's say an FTP for ex) tends to use the maximum bandwidth possible by opening the TCP window (sending more and more packets at once before waiting for an acknoledge from the other side). This can have a bad impact on some other sensitive flow, like some voice over IP, where packet needs to flow with a minimum jitter. Then you can configure some QoS on the router to randomly kill some TCP packets (from your FTP flow) to slow it down (to reduce the TCP window). It's actually a little more complicate, just trying to write the general idea.
    In such a case the loss of packet is made on purpose.

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