You may have one of these in your system.
We perform site surveys as standard for all our clients. When carrying out one such site survey recently for a client who was reporting slow speeds generally but only on some workstations, we found something rather interesting.
This is what we found – a venerable HP 10Mbps hub.
For those of you who are not old enough to remember what a hub is, it was a step up from smoke signals and was a revolutionary early connectivity device. Each machine sent signals to the hub and the hub rebroadcast those signals to every other machine. It was up to each device to only listen for signals meant for them. If all the devices sent signals at the same time their packets collided and needed to be re-transmitted, which mean hubs were superceded by the more modern switch we see today. The device’s maximum speed was rated at 10Mbps, or 100 times slower than a modern 1000Mbps switch.
The importance of Site Visits
Without being on site it would have been next to impossible to locate and diagnose this piece of history and the client would be none the wiser as they didn’t know what they had. It’s been there for ages and therefore became invisible to them. It’s a good example of why all our IT Support contacts have on site visits included – employees and company directors tend to overlook what has been there for a long time, or simply don’t know what a device does until it breaks!
So the client is now running at maximum speed and their performance has been transformed. All for a fairly inexpensive fix.
(I did a bit of internet surfing and it appears the hub was made in 1999! As it was still working I guess “they don’t make ‘em like they used to!”)