Diagnose and Solve Switch Port Efficiency Issues in 2024

Network analysis

Bad Switch Port Efficiency Symptoms

Mr. Hong, the Information Center Director of a large chemical corporation, reported switch port efficiency issues following a recent network upgrade and expansion, where they transitioned from 10Mbps to 100Mbps Ethernet with a gigabit core switch. Post-upgrade, most network users experienced slow speeds and occasional data errors, with no issues observed in copying data within subnets. All workstations and servers tested normally via Ping. Despite excellent cabling quality in their network, limited tools for network maintenance hindered effective diagnostics. The increased network size and complexity made troubleshooting more challenging. This network consisted of core and workgroup switches forming the network backbone, utilizing a mix of desktop switches and hubs as the access layer, all connected via gigabit Ethernet.

Diagnose Switch Efficiency Issue

While the network topology seemed reasonable, it became evident that the issues primarily occurred when transferring data across subnets. The network testing tool was connected to the network center in the office area, observing traffic between 27% to 42%. Notably, the traffic direction pointed to the WINS server in the office area. Further testing revealed the inefficiency of port P32 in the workgroup switch, leading to dropped and delayed traffic. Changing the WINS server to port P33, the system operated normally. Upon validating the inefficiency of port P32, it was promptly replaced.


The central data servers located in the office area played a vital role in the network, relying on the WINS server for link connections and data exchanges. The low efficiency of port P32 on the switch caused signal quality issues, leading to some data packets being treated as errors and collisions, ultimately impacting network performance. It’s common for network equipment ports to become inefficient after 2-3 years of use, with failure rates varying by manufacturer and product series. Periodic performance testing and maintenance are crucial for enhancing network reliability.

Diagnostic Recommendations

It is advised that the organization conduct a comprehensive assessment of all network equipment, recording and testing all ports, and including regular maintenance in their network management practices. Mr. Hong later reported that after the evaluation and maintenance, network users were pleasantly surprised to experience significantly improved network speeds, marking a considerable performance boost and widespread satisfaction.

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