Wireshark-users: Re: [Wireshark-users] 8-10% packet error/loss is normal wired network?
From: Jim Aragon <[email protected]>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2012 18:59:50 -0700
At 08:32 AM 7/10/2012, you wrote:

Counting only "tcp.analysis.retransmission" I'm from 0.95% to 1.21%, a value more enjoyable. :)

I think it's despicable for further research .. but I get the question if this value is normal :)
In a wireless link, a loss of 1% is acceptable, but in a network cableda?

I would expect lost packets within local traffic in a wired LAN to be close to zero; certainly under 0.5%. However, depending on the traffic levels on your network, if the 0.95% to 1.21% retransmissions are not causing a problem, it might not be worth your time to track down.

If you do want to try to track it down, packets generally get lost at a network device, so go to your switches one at a time and capture simultaneously on both sides of the switch. If you see "previous segment lost" on one side of the switch, but not on the other, then that switch is dropping packets. The same for any other network devices that the traffic passes through, such as routers or firewalls.

If you can't capture on both sides of the switch simultaneously, then there's another method to identify the point of packet loss. Find a TCP retransmission, then apply a display filter for the tcp stream index number and the TCP sequence number. If you see both the original packet and the retransmission, then the packet loss was downstream from you. If you see only the retransmission, but not the original packet, then the packet loss was upstream from you. Be sure to do this for several retransmissions. As you identify whether packet loss was upstream or downstream from you, you can keep moving your capture point until you find the device that is dropping packets.

You also said that you have a 100mps switch and a 1Gbps switch.  Are these switches directly connected to each other? If so, I'd start with the 1 gbps switch. If the 1 gbps switch is receiving traffic from the attached devices faster than 100 mbps, then it will be forced to drop packets because it can't transmit the packets to the other switch any faster than 100 mbps. In other words, it will be receiving packets faster than it can send them, and at some point, the switch's buffers will fill up and it will have to drop packets.