Network Latency

Network latency is a phrase used to describe how long it takes for data to be sent from one designated point and be received by another. In an ideal World, network latency time should be as close to zero as possible, however often this is not the case.

Network Latency

The main contributors of network latency include:

  • Switch and router processing: in order for data to be sent, it has to leave and arrive through a network node which can often require examination and configuration time. In some instances data may need to change the hop count in the transistor-to-logic (TTL) field resulting in an increase in network latency. By ensuring the network is manually configured correctly and the administration is without basic errors (such as double negatives), network latency can be decreased instantaneously.


  • Computer and storage delays: where equipment within the network is incompatible with the required function. Equipment can include (but is not limited to) switches, bridges and storage devices. This equipment could be archaic and in need of being replaced or (in some cases) requires a refresh. Network hardware has developed dramatically recently with additional features included as standard (e.g enhanced security, reduction in network latency causes and upgraded management consoles).


  • Network design: a network can be built utilising the latest hardware equipment. However, if the network has not been designed efficiently (e.g. has data jumping through extra hoops before it gets to its final destination) it results in a waste of company time, cost and resources for any IT department.


  • Transmission errors: networks are commonly designed and created with the wrong medium in place making it unsuitable to transfer data from one destination to the next in a swift fashion. Be it wireless, cables or fibre optics, transmission errors can be caused depending on the overall set up and transmission medium in place. Naturally, a larger packet of data will take longer to make a round trip than a a smaller packet. Whereas, by installing something as humble as a small form-factor pluggable (SFFP) transceiver, the data can receive a boost


  • Buffer sizes: data is often sent in large quantities, with no regard for it’s size and compatibility to reach it’s final destination. If the data is too large for what the end destination can manage, there will be a buffer as it is unable to cope. This will cause a noticeable time delay and in most cases, create queuing delays on top of this until the equipment can slowly work it’s way through it all.


Reducing network latency can not only be expensive and time consuming, but if a user lacks the depth of knowledge and understanding of all of the latest products and services, it can be frustrating. However, by employing Signal Networks to work alongside your current IT team, it doesn’t have to be.

Our IT Consultants can assist you with all stages of the design, configuration, build and maintenance of your network (be it next generation or software defined) ensuring you future-proof your investment in technology.

With a wealth of experience and knowledge of networks for organisations of a variety of sectors and sizes, Signal Networks can offer clear, impartial advice and recommendations. These suggestions will be tailor made to your budget, requirements and time frames.

Contact Signal Networks today to organise a free advisory meeting: tel +44 845 370 2202 or email [email protected]


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