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Is there an optimal value for the output queue length and how does it affect system response?

Is there an optimal value for the output queue length and how does it affect system response? We are receiving poor system response from a pair of clustered x440's, which everyone wants to blame on the network. There doesn't appear to be significant traffic across the network, but the OQL is very high (>100K) on those boxes all the time. Is this significant? And if it is, what can I do?
It isn't clear from your description what sort of network device we are talking about here. I will assume that the device is a router and an "X440" is a reference to the IBM server.

That said, the unequivocal answer is "yes" – router queue length can seriously affect performance in unexpected ways. The most typical is when queues are too large and the result can be dramatic increases in RTT/jitter, and sometimes destabilized TCP flows.

However, you seem to be referring to output queue lengths on the server interfaces, as opposed to input queues on a router. This I am less sure of since it sounds like something above Layer 3 and therefore part of the OS. And I can easily imagine that it is a symptom of something in the network.

I would need more details though. If you care to write back, I'll try to help further.

This was last published in January 2004

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