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What's up with the Plusnet network?

Community Veteran
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What's up with the Plusnet network?

I have the fortune (currently) to be able to connect over the Plusnet network or RIN (over the BT network). As a result of a post on the ADSL 2+ forum (I'm not on ADSL 2+) I have been doing some response time tests.
I am on PAYG so all traffic is prioritised, I'm also on Max Premium which apart from the faster upload speeds should give higher priority on the BT network between my exchange and the gateway.
I've run pings for a minimum of 20 times to the Plusnet DNS server. Here are the averages using different connections/gateways (in the order I ran the tests):
RIN      12ms
pte-ag1  22ms
pcl-ag03 20ms
RIN      11ms
ptn-ag2  20ms
pte-ag1  17ms
pcl-ag01 18ms
RIN      13ms

So what's up with the Plusnet network?
Edit: Clarification - these tests were all to 212.159.6.9 - a Plusnet DNS server.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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15 REPLIES
scootie
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Re: What's up with the Plusnet network?

21cn to 212.159.12.49
Minimum = 17ms, Maximum = 159ms, Average = 55ms
think your self lucky jelv Wink hopefuly dave gets to the bottom of the 21cn problem tho
Plusnet Staff
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Re: What's up with the Plusnet network?

RIN emerges onto the Internet at a different point to our network, so depending where you are in the country and where the BT PoP you connect to is will make a big difference. If I was on RIN I'd be in the BT cloud from my exchange to Manchester, then out on to the Internet to us, whereas on IPStream I'd be in the BT cloud to Manchester then down to Ilford in the BT cloud, across to our data centre and then out into the Internet. 10ms difference could easily be down to that.
Community Veteran
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Re: What's up with the Plusnet network?

Dave If the ping test I am comparing is to a Plusnet DNS server (212.159.6.9) then theoretically the Plusnet connection should be better than RIN!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: What's up with the Plusnet network?

Quote from: dave
the BT cloud to Manchester then down to Ilford in the BT cloud, across to our data centre and then out into the Internet

is there a publically available network schematic (or set thereof) that maps out all that stuff ? I'd love to know which clouds my packets are in ...
Community Gaffer
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Re: What's up with the Plusnet network?

Quote from: jelv
Dave If the ping test I am comparing is to a Plusnet DNS server (212.159.6.9) then theoretically the Plusnet connection should be better than RIN!

I think what Dave's saying is still applicable.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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Community Veteran
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Re: What's up with the Plusnet network?

I don't buy that for several reasons:
1 The distances involved are too short to account for 10ms difference.
I live near Brighton. Using the instructions given by Jon Green (Find RAS info from Netgear Router) I get
rcvd [CHAP Challenge id=0x88 <44f301d4fec265027f7e4b161e360ac8>, name = "ERX16.Kingston3"]

so I'm on the Kingston RAS. I can't believe that the ATM cloud is going to take such a diverse route to get to the East of London that it will add 10ms which would require a very considerable distance (pinging portal.plus.net instead of 212.159.6.9 - i.e. add London to Sheffield - increases average ping time by 9ms).
2 The added delay varied according to the gateway
If it were down to the BT cloud, why such a variation in the results depending upon the gateway or even on the same gateway (pte-ag1 22ms and 17ms)? That is far more indicative of loading on the gateway. Especially considering:
3 The times for individual pings vary widely
From pte-ag1 last night:
C:\Documents and Settings\John>ping -n 20 212.159.6.9
Pinging 212.159.6.9 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=19ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=19ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=44ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=16ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=16ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=19ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=26ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=26ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=19ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=16ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=17ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=24ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=26ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=14ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=36ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=55ms TTL=251
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=21ms TTL=251
Ping statistics for 212.159.6.9:
    Packets: Sent = 20, Received = 20, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 13ms, Maximum = 55ms, Average = 22ms

If it's down to 10ms being added by the BT cloud routing how can I get a 13ms response?
To see the variation I get when on RIN see http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,75951.msg609739.html#msg609739 - nothing like the range of times which rules out anything between here and Kingston.
4 The killer - Results vary by time of day on PN and they don't on RIN
I had a discussion with Dave last night about what results I might expect this morning. He thought I'd still see some slowdown on the PN connection compared with RIN.
So on pte-ag2 at around 8:15 this morning:
C:\Documents and Settings\John>ping -n 20 212.159.6.9
Pinging 212.159.6.9 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=11ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=11ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=11ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=11ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=252
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=252
Ping statistics for 212.159.6.9:
    Packets: Sent = 20, Received = 20, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 11ms, Maximum = 13ms, Average = 11ms

Oh look at that, ping times are back to normal - I was convinced that my normal ping was about 11-12ms on both PN and RIN.
What's interesting is that I've just retried the ping test on RIN:
C:\Documents and Settings\John>ping -n 20 212.159.6.9
Pinging 212.159.6.9 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=15ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=11ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=14ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=13ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=240
Reply from 212.159.6.9: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=240
Ping statistics for 212.159.6.9:
    Packets: Sent = 20, Received = 20, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 11ms, Maximum = 15ms, Average = 12ms

So when the PN gateway was quiet I got a better ping than on RIN (OK just one test so not conclusive - but it does prove that there is nothing inherently wrong with the BT cloud routing that is always adding several ms to the ping times).

I can't see anything that doesn't point to the problem being the Plusnet network.
For reference here is a RIN tracert to the PN DNS server I used for testing:
C:\Documents and Settings\John>tracert 212.159.6.9
Tracing route to ptn-cdns01.plus.net [212.159.6.9]
over a maximum of 30 hops:
  1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  dg834 [192.168.0.1]
  2    11 ms    11 ms    10 ms  217.47.89.122
  3    10 ms    10 ms    10 ms  217.47.88.161
  4    11 ms    10 ms    10 ms  217.47.88.6
  5    10 ms    10 ms    10 ms  217.41.171.17
  6    11 ms    11 ms    11 ms  217.41.171.138
  7    13 ms    10 ms    15 ms  217.41.217.42
  8    10 ms    10 ms    10 ms  217.47.159.59
  9    14 ms    12 ms    13 ms  core1-pos12-3.kingston.ukcore.bt.net [62.6.40.121]
10    12 ms    11 ms    10 ms  core1-pos0-0-0-8.ealing.ukcore.bt.net [62.6.201.69]
11    11 ms    11 ms    12 ms  core1-pos5-0-0.telehouse.ukcore.bt.net [194.74.65.122]
12  131 ms  200 ms    15 ms  linx-gw2.plus.net [195.66.226.164]
13    12 ms    12 ms    11 ms  ae0-102.ptn-gw01.plus.net [212.159.1.53]
14    13 ms    12 ms    14 ms  vl55.ptn-lb01.plus.net [212.159.2.124]
15    12 ms    13 ms    12 ms  ptn-cdns01.plus.net [212.159.6.9]
Trace complete.


jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: What's up with the Plusnet network?

Quote from: paulh
is there a publically available network schematic (or set thereof) that maps out all that stuff ? I'd love to know which clouds my packets are in ...

Best I could find is here
B.
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Re: What's up with the Plusnet network?

Barry - this isn't 21CN.
paulh: try http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/equip.htm
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Community Gaffer
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Re: What's up with the Plusnet network?

Quote from: jelv
I don't buy that for several reasons:

Based on your findings I'd be inclined to agree with you.
Quote
I can't see anything that doesn't point to the problem being the Plusnet network.

I wouldn't consider sub 30ms pings to be that much of a problem tbh. By all means I can ask somebody to cast their eyes over this thread but what you're seeing might just be because we run our network a lot 'hotter'. As you're aware, the traffic shaping on the retail network is minimal when compared to our platform so there's going to be overheads associated with this too. IIRC, ICMP traffic is in the titanium queues so if there was a significant problem then I'd expect to see a lot of complaints about poor gaming/voip performance etc.

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

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: What's up with the Plusnet network?

Tonight I'm intending to do some comparative speed tests between RIN and PN - is http://www.mybroadbandspeed.co.uk/ the best to use at present or would you suggest another?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Community Veteran
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Re: What's up with the Plusnet network?

Just been reading other topics which I'm wondering if they are related:
Slow net or something..
What's happening with the speed recently?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Re: What's up with the Plusnet network?

There is definitely something wrong with the Plusnet network. As a PAYG user whose traffic is gold or better I should not be seeing slowdowns - especially when the graphs are not reporting gold drops. However:
RIN:
ptn-ag2
thn-ag1
pte-ag1
RIN:
RIN:

Six tests conducted over 8 minutes, three on RIN and three on Plusnet, each on a different gateway. RIN is consistently faster than the Plusnet system.
I've just looked back through my speedtest history and found this one with my PN IP:

So the Plusnet network used to be capable of delivering speeds comparable with RIN - it just isn't now.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Community Veteran
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Re: What's up with the Plusnet network?

Any explanation forthcoming as to why PAYG users are seeing slowdowns when RIN speeds prove it's not local or the exchange? If there's no gold drops we shouldn't see slowdowns.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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James
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Re: What's up with the Plusnet network?

IPStream Max or IPSC?
If it's the latter, you know the answer now.