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Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

PUGITadmin
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎17-10-2007

Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

A new PUGIT has been raised, Item 377, which Business Customers might wish to support by registering their votes in the box, top-right of the item.  (It will be necessary to register on the UserGroup site to vote.)
As users might be aware, forced disconnections to achieve network balance have been especially prevalent recently.  This is disruptive to business processes if it has to be done during the working day.
It is suggested that business customers should be assigned to a realm different from that for residential customers so that forced disconnection of customers on the business realm could be avoided during business hours except in exceptional circumstances.
13 REPLIES 13
Mark
Grafter
Posts: 1,852
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

Just to clarify the situation here and to put our busines customers minds at rest.
Load balancing is not something which we approach in an adhoc manner and is not something we do without a lot of consideration.
The last few times we have been forced to perform load balancing we have ensured that this was carried out after 5 pm so that we reduced the impact on our business customers. This is an approach we will continue with in the future and only in unavoidable or very exceptional circumstances will we kick business users to perform load balancing.
I am not sure why this PUGiT item has been raised but I need to ensure that we clarify the situation as there seems to be a bit of misunderstanding here.

jelv
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 26,786
Thanks: 990
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

So you wait until the evening when the network is heaviest loaded and then start load balancing? That's crackers! What about if the network is badly unbalanced - do you wait until after 5pm with those on the overloaded pipes suffering bad performance all day? I'm sure your business users love you for that!
Surely the best way of doing it would be to start the balancing as soon as you know it needs to be done by disconnecting residential users during the day and residential and business users during the evening.
To do that you need to be able to tell users apart on a pipe - surely a special domain is the easiest way to tell that?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Mark
Grafter
Posts: 1,852
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

Quote
So you wait until the evening when the network is heaviest loaded and then start load balancing?

Nope. We do it between 5 and 6 before it gets under heavy load thus acheiving what needs to be acheived with the least possible impact.
jelv
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 26,786
Thanks: 990
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

Oh I see - like this you mean?
Quote
Maintenance Window:-
Thursday 25th October 2:00pm-4:30pm.
Service Affected:-
Broadband Connectivity.
Duration of expected customer impact:-
5 minutes during the maintenance window.
Detailed description of work to be performed:-
We will be undertaking a period of load balancing which will involve disconnecting a number of broadband customers from the Internet. This work is required in order to balance the network following a recent problem affecting the gateway ptn-ag1:-
http://usertools.plus.net/status/archive/1193306856.htm
Expected customer impact:-
Some broadband customers will be briefly disconnected from the Internet at some point during the maintenance window. These customers should be able to reconnect immediately, however some broadband modems/routers will require rebooting before this becomes possible.
Other Details:-
Any customers having problems connecting once the maintenance is complete are advised to power down their equipment for 30 minutes before attempting to reconnect.
Kind Regards,
Bob Pullen
Customer Support
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 (£14.40/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Mark
Grafter
Posts: 1,852
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

Yes,  which is what made us change our process so that it didnt happen again.
I was in total disagreement with kicking users during those times and we kicked off a major internal debate and a discussion with PUG.
The impact work like that has on business customers is too great. The last two decisions to load balance were the subject of much discussion and as a result we decided to perform this between 5 and 6.
jelv
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 26,786
Thanks: 990
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

During the day there will be many routers connected for residential users which are totally idle because everyone in the house is out at work/school. Surely those are the perfect ones to kick off first? Is there no way you can identify the users who are the least likely to be impacted at any particular time of the day and just kick those?
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 (£14.40/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Mark
Grafter
Posts: 1,852
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

Unfortunately not.
Whilst this would be the ideal way to go about it it just isnt that simple.
Ok recently we have had a rash of load balancing issues but this doesnt happen that often and our plans for the future will greatly simplify our approach to this and reduce impact all round.
pjmarsh
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 3,631
Thanks: 1,300
Fixes: 14
Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

Quote from: Mark
...I am not sure why this PUGiT item has been raised...
It was my suggestion to have business users on a different realm for the purpose of load balancing, and was raised on PUGIT because Ian Wild asked us to.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: ‎12-08-2007

Re: Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

Quote from: Mark
I was in total disagreement with kicking users during those times and we kicked off a major internal debate and a discussion with PUG.

Hmm.. I seem to recall that the debate was "kicked off" after I, as a Business Customer, raised the issue of load balancing during the working day in PUG.
Mark
Grafter
Posts: 1,852
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

I dont think there is any contradiction there Liam.
We did kick off a major internal debate - PN - PUG  Huh
You are of course well aware of my stance on this and how much I want us to get this right.
LiamM
Grafter
Posts: 5,636
Registered: ‎12-08-2007

Re: Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

Yep.  And very glad that you agree 🙂  Being a big Business user in the past yourself is good... cos you 'fink of us!!
Mark
Grafter
Posts: 1,852
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

Yip and I'll never lose that focus. Smiley
grimme
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Network Balancing Impact on Business Customers

One other concern is that some smaller businesses may not have an IT person around the office all the time and would possibly not be aware that there is an issue.
Said IT person would then start getting phone calls along the lines of  - "internet's a bit slow today, are there any problems?"
I know we get the status messages that say customers "may" get disconnected, but it might be more worthwhile to send out an extra e-mail to those Business customers who actually "did" get disconnected so that any issues could be addressed at the time.