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Server Errors and Packet Loss

batdesign
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: 08-08-2007

Server Errors and Packet Loss

I have just gotten off a phone call with Plusnet's Customer Service Department and am unimpressed. I am hoping that someone on this forum can provide insight. The basic issue is that I cannot access 95% of the sites (of which there are many) that are hosted on a server outside of Plusnet. There are no problems with my server; but since I could not get a response from Plusnet, I asked my hosting company to run some tests (traceroutes, etc...)  and they found the following:
"I am showing a little bit of packet loss in dallas and at the telia.net link. Please contact your isp and notify them of this packetloss.
As for the websites, they are up and running. You can test that they work by going to tuxpr0x.com and typing in your domain name. This is a server hosted outside of our network."

Now, something interesting to note is that we tested the sites with multiple people who use Plusnet, all of them are getting server errors. We also tested the sites with three other ISP providers, everyone else can pull up the sites fine. So, basically everyone we know using plusnet (in this area) cannot pull up the sites. And everyone we know using a different ISP can.
So, I send this information to Plusnet and the response I get is
"We can see the sites so it is not our problem"
I mention, again, the packet loss issue and that everyone we know from this area who is on Plusnet cannot and that everyone we know who is using a different ISP can. Therefore, it appears to be something that Plusnet might be able to help resolve. He responds with "we cannot control every part of the internet" To which I respond, "I am aware of that; however, you can make sure to notify your partners and/or data providers elsewhere along the pipeline that there are packet loss issues to help ensure that these problems are resolved as quickly as possible". This is part of what an ISP should do, they all link together to provide service along the web and they should inform one another whenever there are problems. This is a simple process, I have spoken with other ISP's and they have stated that not only do they inform others when there are loss issues; but that most ISP's have online submission forms and service numbers that other providers and/or customers can call to do just this.
I run a web development company; I cannot complete any development on my websites from my business premises. I am now at the point of needing to find temporary premises using a different service provider until this issue gets sorted out. I explained all of this and received the following response.
"we cannot do anything about this, but since you do not believe me I will escalate this. I am just warning you that they are going to tell you there is nothing we can do".
I am at a loss; again, Plusnet subscribers is my area cannot access the sites on my server. People using other ISP's can. I can walk down the street, connect to a friend's router (who uses a different provider) and I can pull everything up fine.
How in the world can this be completely out of Plusnet's sphere of influence? And why does Plusnet not have a policy of informing other providers when there is a large amount of packet loss on their servers?
30 REPLIES
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Server Errors and Packet Loss

Hi there,
I'm not overly comfortable with how this has been handled to date.
I've asked one of the Team Leaders in the callcentre to look at doing a dialtest on your account to see if we can replicate the problems that you are seeing.
I'll make sure that they get in touch with you to let you know when this is likely to be.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,294
Thanks: 1,070
Fixes: 86
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Server Errors and Packet Loss

I suspect that it's an issue with one of our transit providers (Telia) although I could be wrong.
Edit: I've tested from my own PlusNet connection though and all three sites you're having difficulty with load immediately for me Huh

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

notheruser
Grafter
Posts: 139
Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Server Errors and Packet Loss

batnet - is there a site you can give us the URL for? I'm sure there are enough people on the forum who would be willing to have a look and see how it goes. That will help to see if it's in any way related to just your area, or if it's widespread.
I can't comment on how your query is being dealt with, but the comment "I am showing a little bit of packet loss in dallas and at the telia.net link" would suggest the fault does lie outside PlusNet's network. Since different ISP's have different peering arrangements, that may explain why your friends connections work, and PlusNet ones don't. Although it may not be in PlusNet's own network, I'd like to think they would investigate this a bit further, since they are in control of who their peers/transit providers are and should accept some responsibility if one of them is failing their customers.
batdesign
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: 08-08-2007

Re: Server Errors and Packet Loss

Thank you all for responding so quickly. I was contacted and had to shut down the router for a dial test (thank you Jameseh). The test is complete and resulted in the following:
[Internal] I have dial-tested and this is what was happening when trying to go to batdesign.net and the other domains. When trying to tracert to the domain you get an error message stating:
Unable to resolve target system name
When performing nslookup you get the following message:
***ptn-cdns01.plus.net can't find batdesign.net: server failed
Not exactly sure what that means as to the source of the fault, but customer service has escalated this to the networking group and we will see. It would be interesting to investigate if this is localized to our geographic area. (It seems so given that plusnet users in other areas can pull up the sites). If anyone feels like spending a minute or two pulling up a few:
batdesign.net
armitageandco.co.uk
ceredigion-cottages.co.uk
Thank you, again, for all of your help.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,688
Thanks: 911
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Server Errors and Packet Loss

Well this tells a story:
Quote
C:\Documents and Settings\John>nslookup batdesign.net 212.159.13.49
Server:  pth-cdns01.plus.net
Address:  212.159.13.49
Non-authoritative answer:
Name:    batdesign.net
Address:  74.52.238.242

C:\Documents and Settings\John>nslookup batdesign.net 212.159.13.50
Server:  pth-cdns02.plus.net
Address:  212.159.13.50
Non-authoritative answer:
Name:    batdesign.net
Address:  74.52.238.242

C:\Documents and Settings\John>nslookup batdesign.net 212.159.6.9
Server:  ptn-cdns01.plus.net
Address:  212.159.6.9
*** ptn-cdns01.plus.net can't find batdesign.net: Server failed
C:\Documents and Settings\John>nslookup batdesign.net 212.159.6.10
Server:  ptn-cdns02.plus.net
Address:  212.159.6.10
*** ptn-cdns02.plus.net can't find batdesign.net: Server failed


Can you get the sites if you set one of the working DNS servers?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Server Errors and Packet Loss

Yup, it looks like 6.10 and 6.9 can't collect an authoritative response from the name server.
It won't be geographic, but it will depend on the DNS servers that you're presented when you do connect.
I suspect Networks will pick this one up fairly quickly.
B.
batdesign
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: 08-08-2007

Re: Server Errors and Packet Loss

Thank you guys for looking at this, it has cleared things up and relieved a considerable amount of stress. I guess it is now just waiting for the Networks department.
I must say that the response I have received from the forums is amazing and very much appreciated. I wish I would have gotten something remotely similar from the customer service ticket system.
Thank you, again.
batdesign
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: 08-08-2007

Re: Server Errors and Packet Loss

Jelv,
"Can you get the sites if you set one of the working DNS servers?"
It is with much shame that I admit I have no idea what you are talking about. I can build a website with my eyes closed (well - I might have to peek a few times), but I know very little about servers/networking etc... And my networking guy is on vacation, of course.
It would appear to me that your question has been answered by Barry, but that is just a guess. If not, and there is some way I can manually set which DNS server I connect through (and thus get things up and running at my premises), I would greatly appreciate your guidance on the proper steps to take. If not, then I will just wait it out.
I feel like a broken record, but thank you - again. I really cannot say it enough.
Best,
Catherine
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,688
Thanks: 911
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Server Errors and Packet Loss

See if http://portal.plus.net/support/domains_and_dns/dns/changing_dns_xp.shtml helps you.
The servers you ned to use are 212.159.13.49 and 212.159.13.50
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,294
Thanks: 1,070
Fixes: 86
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Server Errors and Packet Loss

Quote from: batdesign
Jelv,
"Can you get the sites if you set one of the working DNS servers?"
It is with much shame that I admit I have no idea what you are talking about. I can build a website with my eyes closed (well - I might have to peek a few times), but I know very little about servers/networking etc... And my networking guy is on vacation, of course.

Users having difficulty connecting to the site can manually specify what DNS servers they are using.
In Windows XP this is achieved by...

  • Click Start > (settings) > Control Panel
  • Open Network Connections.
  • Right click your network connection and select Properties.
  • Highlight Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and click Properties.
  • Select 'Use the following DNS server addresses '.
  • Enter the two addresses 212.159.13.49 and 212.159.13.50.
  • Click OK then OK again.

Hope that helps.
I'll chase the networks guys now.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,294
Thanks: 1,070
Fixes: 86
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Server Errors and Packet Loss

Quote
C:\Documents and Settings\John>nslookup batdesign.net 212.159.6.9
Server:  ptn-cdns01.plus.net
Address:  212.159.6.9
*** ptn-cdns01.plus.net can't find batdesign.net: Server failed

Only fails for me on 6.10:
C:\Users\Bobby>nslookup batdesign.net 212.159.6.9
Server:  ptn-cdns01.plus.net
Address:  212.159.6.9:53
Non-authoritative answer:
Name:    batdesign.net
Address:  74.52.238.242

By the way jelv, I accidentally modified your post instead of quoting it... Doh! I think I've put it back to its original state.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

batdesign
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: 08-08-2007

Re: Server Errors and Packet Loss

Bob and Jelv,
I changed the information in my TCP/IP settings to the servers you listed and can now connect to my sites. Which is a great thing. We can now get development work done while networks fixes the other servers.
This was a good thing for me to learn. Thank you.
Best,
Catherine
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,294
Thanks: 1,070
Fixes: 86
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Server Errors and Packet Loss

Hi Catherine,
Networks have reloaded the DNS software on a couple of our caching servers and the underlying problem should now be resolved.
Apologies for the inconvenience.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

batdesign
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: 08-08-2007

Re: Server Errors and Packet Loss

Bob,
I have reverted the TCP/IP settings to 'obtain server automatically' and can now pull up the sites. It appears that reloading the DNS software works. The juvenile part of me wants to copy this forum and paste it on the wall in front of the smug customer service rep who condescendingly told me that there was nothing plusnet could do and that because I did not believe him he would escalate it to networks but that they were just going to tell me the same thing. However; the  adult part of me (which is the overriding one - for today) is just grateful to have found you guys and to now be able to catch up on a days worth of missed work.
Thank you, again, for all of your help.
Best,
Catherine