If there is a more appropriate forum for this post, please point me in the right direction. But you guys are generally such a font of knowledge, I thought I'd start here.
Some of our users use a web-based application, and they are constantly complaining of sluggish performance and lock-ups. It is a Citrixy, terminal services kind of app, and the vendor recommends something like 24k - 36k of bandwidth available per user. We have an aggregate of over 6MB internet bandwidth, 3MB from one provider (say Sprint), and 3MB from another provider (say AT&T), going through a load balancing device that does round-robin distribution.
We have used various measurement tools and have determined that the problem does not seem to be bandwidth. We never "peg-out," and there always seems to be bandwidth available according to our measurement tools.
We told our application vendor this, and they replied that besides bandwidth, they require a minimum QoS of 90%. They pointed us to a site called InternetFrog.com where we can run bandwidth tests. Sure enough, the QoS readings from this site are consistently less than 90%. We have also isolated the circuits, and interestingly we found that AT&T consistently gives poorer results than Sprint. With 100 samples for each circuit, AT&T averages roughly 40% QoS, while Sprint Averages 80%.
- Are there other ways to measure QoS for Internet access? I don't know how reliable "InternetFrog" is. If I could at least compare it with a few other sites, I'd feel more confident before taking this to our ISPs.
- Is there anything we can do on our end to improve QoS? Our path through the Internet goes through a Cisco switch, a Cisco router, a CheckPoint firewall, and a load balancer. I'm not real sure which one might be tunable to provide better QoS.