Network performance woes
Spent most of today trying to nurse the residences network back to health, working with Data Integration. It's been pretty poorly for the last few days now, with parts having been slow for a week or more. We were at a bit of a loss to explain what kept slowing the whole thing to a crawl, until we stumbled across the one thing that all the 'problem' computers that Norsk Data took a look at had in common: they all had Bittorrent installed.
So today we took the rather dramatic step of blocking all the common Bittorrent ports on our core equipment, and since then the network has mostly seemed to return to normal. It's going to be Monday before things have settled down enough for us to say for sure, but it certainly looks like it had been a handful of Bittorrent users who were crippling the network.
As for a proper explanation, well we still don't have one. Quite how a single filesharing program can cause that much disruption is something we can't explain yet, but I guess that can wait until Monday :-)