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Case Study (The simplest problem can cost a fortune)

Have you ever had a problem that has been a substantial cost only to find out it was in fact a simple and cheap solution from the start?

During our many years our experience has taught us that companies can waste a small fortune on resolving the simplest of faults. Recently we engaged with a medium sized company who contacted us with regards to a network issue. The issue being abnormally slow transfer speeds. They had already replaced a number of hardware components. The problem first arose when opening files across the network was slow but on a handful of PCs it was painstakingly slow. The company opted to replace the PCs affected. After replacing the PCs they still had the same issue, they then decided to replace the 8 port switch the PCs connected to followed by any other switches between the PCs and the Server. Alas the problem remained and the PCs were still very slow. They then replaced the Server the documents were held on, still to no avail. That’s when we were called in to take a look.

Upon a visual inspection of the server room everything appeared to be ok, the cabling was neat, tidy and logical. The new switches appeared to be performing as they should, until we started interrogating them in more depth. One of the switches was showing a number of collisions, or packet retries. After finding this issue we traced the cable from the port with the issues, and upon further investigation we found that the fault was in a network cable between the Layer 3 switch and the 8 port switch, it had a sharp bend in it, which believe it or not caused most of the data passing through it to be lost, hence the number of retries, and the slow network. Just by straightening the offending cable, the network started performing as it should. Obviously, we replaced the troublesome cable and seated it correctly.

The total cost to the company for fixing the cable was a couple of hours fault finding and less then £10 for a replacement cable. This company had needlessly spent in excess of £5,000 to remedy this fault. All the equipment that had been replaced was still fairly modern and serviceable.

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