5 Issues Caused By Duplicate Packets

2020-05-02by Finnegan Pierson

Monitoring your network is essential for your business. It enables you to watch for (and identify) potential threats before they become a serious problem. You can more easily troubleshoot problems and track trends. Monitoring saves valuable time and money.

A SPAN port (or port mirroring) is one way to monitor network traffic. Using this method, a copy of all network packets seen on one port is sent to another to be analyzed. While useful, this form of network monitoring also creates duplicate packets, which can cause some significant issues.

Interfering with Analysis and Troubleshooting

Network monitoring helps you to analyze patterns and troubleshoot problems before they become serious issues. Duplicate packets, however, can skew statistics, making analytics more difficult to pinpoint problem areas. As a result, it becomes more difficult to improve performance. These issues can delay corrections and affect your ability to restore service if your network goes down. Such delays could severely hurt your business.

Reducing Storage Capacity

When packets are sent, they go to a capture device. This device monitors and stores your network traffic. This is done for a number of reasons, namely analyzing, compliance, and security. The more duplicate packets are sent, the more space they take up, leaving little room for useful packets. What’s more, is that storing packets can be expensive. If you’re storing duplicate data, you’re wasting money. Getting rid of duplicate packets via data de-duplication can help to free up the necessary space, allowing you to store more valuable information.

Impacting Port Bandwidth

The greater the number of packets being sent to your monitoring tool, the more strained your port bandwidth becomes. Every duplicate packet that gets sent to these tools reduces its bandwidth capabilities.

What makes this even worse is that network devices are increasing in speed and capability. The monitoring tools often strain to keep up with the pace. With this and having to deal with the strain of duplicate packets, your bandwidth could be significantly impacted.

Causing Network Congestion

If your bandwidth is slowed, you could be faced with network congestion. When this happens, serious problems could develop.

One issue you may have to deal with is delayed packets. This occurs when the packets are queued. As a result, latency increases. If acknowledgment packets aren’t sent fast enough, retransmissions occur. Additionally, you may also end up with duplicate acknowledgment packets, adding even more duplicate data to your system.

Another issue is dropped packets. If there is no queue available, your system may simply drop the packets that can’t get through, resulting in lost (or dropped) packets. Since they’re not acknowledged, retransmission increases. Should too many packets get lost, you may then experience disconnections. You may notice issues such as system time-outs, TTL exceeded, or TCP sessions not being terminated correctly.  

Lowering Analyzer Tool Processing Power

Analyzer tools typically do more than store packets of information. They also go through incoming data to analyze it and prepare it for future analysis. As many monitoring tools have trouble keeping up with normal network traffic, having to deal with duplicate packets only makes the situation worse. When duplicate packets have to be processed, important data has to wait in line. The result is bottlenecking and delays.

If network traffic is delayed, your monitoring tools could become overloaded. Should this happen, you risk even more potential packet loss. While losing duplicate data might not be a bad thing, you could also be losing new, important packets of information. The more data you lose, the harder it becomes to perform a proper analysis. You can’t properly monitor your network traffic, which could then leave you open to major issues like security threats or broken systems.

Network monitoring is vital for ensuring the safety of your business and identifying potential problems before they become major issues. Don’t let duplicate packets hamper your business. Eliminating those packets can help to ensure optimal and effective monitoring.


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Finnegan Pierson

Freelance Writing Finnegan Pierson loves business and has a passion for technology. Even more interesting is the combination of the two. As a freelance writer, Finn hopes to influence others so they can have a positive business experience. View Finnegan Pierson`s profile for more

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