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Thread: abnormal access database traffic?

  1. #1
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    abnormal access database traffic?

    We've got a bit of a weird one at work, if anyone attempts to open an access database it seems to generate way more traffic than it should, causing a huge amount of data collisions on the network.
    Which either means the database takes an absolute age to load, or if it's a big database, it completely blocks all other network traffic and you get network timeouts all over the place which appears to take windows explorer out with it..

    I know the network configuration here is a bit of a mess with complete jumble of hubs and switches all over the place, but it's been fine up until last night?

    Anyone have any ideas? (Virus, other known issues?)
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  2. #2
    Senior Member da.Guvna's Avatar
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    Argh, god this rings alarm bells in my head but I can't quite remember what the details were. I worked as tech support for a large company who were hosting an engineering firm on their site. The engineers paid some "expert" to produce a project managment database for them, but they were too tight to pay for an SQL server so he did it in Access for them. Apparantly, Access is horrificly inefficient over networks with a large user base and large database.

    They had well over 100 users using this thing heavily all day every day, and it just became too much for the system and it collapsed repeatedly every day, bringing the network with it. In the end they had to front up the cash for an SQL server.
    I don't know how much that applies to your situation though.

    We also had a situation once where the network would slow down heavily in a few particular areas. We thought it was bad cabling but it turned out to be something called a 'Broadcast Storm'. Not too hot on the specifics of it, but it's basically caused by the routers sending lots of random pings out to other routers on the network to let each other know they're there or something like that. Apparantly, they sometimes get caught in a loop and the amount of pings being sent out increases exponentially until there's no room for anything else. Just had to reboot the switches and all was fine again.

    Might be worth a try?

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    access isn't good over a network as it tends to send whole tables rather than just the records you want.

    might be worth getting a packet sniffer on there - withh all those hubs you are bound to find a hub with plenty of broadcast traffic.

    have you got a network diagram ? mail it to me at cd@bluecube-uk.com and I'll take a lewk and see if there is anything hugely evil at it.

    no SQL boxes on the network at all ( I'm thinking SQL slammer )
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    Well access not being a good database to use with large databases and multiple users seems to have been covered already.

    What i will say is that you really should get your network infrastructure in order as there has literally never been a cheaper time to buy good fast switches. You should find that spending a few hundred or a few thousand (depensing on how big your network is) on your network infrastructure will provide a faster, more reliable, easyer to manage and troubleshoot network. That will serve your company well for the next 5 years.

    Butuz

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moby-Dick
    access isn't good over a network as it tends to send whole tables rather than just the records you want.

    might be worth getting a packet sniffer on there - withh all those hubs you are bound to find a hub with plenty of broadcast traffic.

    have you got a network diagram ? mail it to me at cd@bluecube-uk.com and I'll take a lewk and see if there is anything hugely evil at it.

    no SQL boxes on the network at all ( I'm thinking SQL slammer )
    We've only got one SQL server, and that's just a dev box, there's no traffic coming out of that at all.

    I've already run ethereal on my machine when I try to open up one of the databases, and there just seem to be a boatload of mal-formed packets everywhere (checksum fails)..
    If you access the database indirectly it's fine, the problem only happens when you try to open it through access, which is a bit odd. It's odd because it's been fine for *months*, and the problem has only just happened in the last day or so..

    I've not got a network diagram (I don't think there is one to be honest), but I know there is a silly mixture of switches into hubs into switches, which really can't be helping..

    I've got an ethereal dump I can send you if that would help..
    Last edited by Stoo; 06-10-2004 at 02:27 PM.
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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    as long as you dont have to go thorugh more than 3 hops to get to the server your network should be ok.

    can you move a copy of the access db onto another box and try and access it via then.

    this shoudl eliminate it being a server problem.

    does it happen no matter who opens up access ?

    have you got an old version of the DB you can put onto another box to test for db corruption ?
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    Okay, single hop to the server (from tracert), copying the db to a different box results in the same issue, *anyone* opening the database though access has the same problem, the db isn't corrupt, as it *will* load eventually, but only after a very long time..

    Loading the database up *on* the server is fine, it's just anything over the network.. and it's any large access database too..

    I think it's a networking problem somewhere, possibly one of the switches or hubs dying..
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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    it could be possible - stick access on a laptop , and plug it into the same switch as the server ?
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    Moby, YGPM
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