Troubleshooting "The Network is Slow"

You’ve heard it probably before: whenever you struggle with a weird problem, take a network capture on the ISA external and/or internal interface to find out what is really happening on the wire. You can use for that the Microsoft Network Monitor 2.1 Lite Version included with Windows 2003 or the excellent free tool Ethereal. However, the hardest part is definitely correctly interpreting the network capture.

Today, I stumbled on an excellent TechNet Webcast Troubleshooting “The Network is Slow” (Level 300) given by Laura Chappell from the Protocol Analysis Institute:

A slow network is the most common onsite request and we explain the information you need to troubleshoot various types of network calls. Where do you tap in? How do you set up the analyzer to measure time properly? What do you look for at the packet level? This webcast takes you through several case studies of networks that would make many IT professionals consider getting a job as a lint-picker in a garment factory.

I hope that this webcast, together with the information available at, will help a lot of people to become familiar with the most important troubleshooting tool for anyone serious about networking.

BTW — Jim Harrison from Microsoft announced today in the excellent TechEd 2006 Webcast Securing Wireless Access with Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004 (Level 400) that Microsoft Network Monitor 3.0 will go in Beta around 1 August 2006 ( Here is a screenshot of the new version as shown in this webcast:

It sounds to be a very good product with a lot of new features. So, stay tuned.


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