Server Connection Time Out – What now?
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
by Lou Bartlett
As I write this, it is the end of a busy week…. a great time to sit back and stream one’s favorite TV series and forget about the “real world” happening back at the office. But every so often a scene sparks a thought that bridges the gap between work and leisure.
In my case, that recently happened while watching what had been a fairly simple, amusing show: Brooklyn Nine-Nine. But one particular episode — Season 3, Episode 10 to be precise — changed things. One of the characters, a police officer, complained about a server time out, which stopped a report from being submitted. While most viewers on their couches may not have given this another thought, this technical reference triggered the work side of my brain. (If you’re like me, you probably figured out that they should have called it a ‘server connection time out’, but still…)
The above-mentioned scene reminded me of a blog post from long ago, Seven Ways to Speed Up Slow Windows Print Servers. At the time that article was posted, the topics of server elimination and bandwidth reduction were very much in the news, and new solutions to these challenges seemed to be popping up overnight. The idea that a server could be removed as the bottleneck and reduce bandwidth consumption was an appealing idea to most large enterprises. This was especially true in terms of printing, where large numbers of print servers were often used to manage all print processes, including those from business-critical applications. With the high cost of print servers and the time needed to maintain them, it was no surprise that companies were looking for ways to remove them.
While many software developers have shifted their focus to cloud offerings, the importance of server elimination has not diminished. It may come in a different form, but the concept is still very relevant, since we are more reliant on digital connectivity than ever (don’t worry, I won’t repeat the viral C-word of the year). We are consuming massive amounts of data with video conferencing, file sharing and social media for either professional or personal use. So server connections are as important as ever.
In reality, a server connection time out is not necessarily a bad thing. Trying to connect for an endless amount of time would only negatively impact Internet speeds. The problem with a timeout lies with submitting and transferring data, or more precisely, trying to submit data and then losing the connection. We all know about watching videos and then having to wait until the connection is restored — this is also called “buffering,” which happens to be one of the first words my son ever spoke.
While having to wait for connections to be restored is mildly annoying when streaming a hit show in the living room, it can be terribly stressful when back in the office. Say for example you are submitting a large file to a colleague who eagerly awaits its arrival, and that colleague cannot dial into a meeting. Or in the case of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode, it’s a police report that could not be submitted or might have been lost. This could have a number of consequences, none of them very positive. There is a risk for any work process to be affected by poor internet connectivity.
Earlier in this article, I mentioned a few activities that depend on fast, reliable data access. Though some of these processes are more vital than others, in the end we simply rely on the Internet to do our jobs. We need to connect to servers to retrieve or share data. We need to be online to connect to the world. Not just right now, but for years and even decades to come.
LRS technology can support connections both within an office as well as from any remote location. We can help with server consolidation efforts and provide direct IP printing to reduce bandwidth consumption. We also handle BYOD and mobile printing. We can support all the various ways and resources that your people have and need to do their jobs. So when you have a moment, why not connect with us?