Let’s say that your client gets new equipment and software for their company’s network, expecting to see a boost in performance. When everything is tested, they see no change in performance, which understandably bums them out. In a situation like this, your client's network is likely bottlenecking, and they might not recognize that. That's where you and your managed IT services come in!

What Is Bottlenecking?

Bottlenecking gets its name from the design of a bottle (think wine bottle) where the neck narrows to allow for a smaller amount of fluid to pour from the bottle’s opening than would come out if the opening was just as large as the base, like with a pickle jar. Techquickie defines bottlenecking (also known as a choke point) as, “Holding back the performance that could otherwise be achieved.”


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The Problem from the Client's Perspective

When clients experience performance-hampering bottlenecking situations with their company’s network, they likely don't know how to locate the source of the problem and resolve the issue so that the rest of their network can reach its full potential. As their MSP, you understand that this is typically done by upgrading whatever is causing the choke point so that it meets the same performance standards as other components that make up the network.

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A classic example of this is when a PC user upgrades one component of their machine, like a video card, hoping to see an overall improvement in performance, but they end up experiencing minimal-to-no-boost because other factors that affect performance (like CPU and RAM) are old and already maxed out. This is a common occurrence with workstations and home computers, and as the technology becomes more complex with more computers and components in the mix, there’s a higher chance of there being bottleneck issues.

Therefore, when clients deal with something as complex as a computer network, with multiple workstations, servers, and NAS devices, they've substantially increased the risk of experiencing a bottleneck. For example, even if they're working with top-of-the-line computers and powerful server units, their company's network routers can be old and outdated, which will prevent powerful equipment from reaching its full potential; and, vis–à–vis, hold the SMB back from fully realizing its competitive goals.

Enter: You, Their MSP

Locating the exact cause of a network bottleneck requires a thorough knowledge of every component, which is why MSPs can and should offer to troubleshoot clients' network performance issues. Otherwise, it would be quite easy to place the blame for performance issues on the wrong piece of equipment, replace said piece of equipment, and then, after investing all of that time and effort into the wrong fix, have to go back and try it again.

Speaking of Bottlenecks: IT Help Desk Bottlenecks: 5 Reasons Your In-House Help Desk Just Doesn't Cut It! [SlideShare]

Eliminate this headache for your client by running diagnostics on their company’s network to quickly determine what the exact cause of the bottleneck is. Depending on what the issue is, you may even be able to determine the cause of their bottleneck with remote monitoring and management (RMM). As your client's trusted business advisor, by using this remote support, you'll be saving them money on their IT bill as well as preventing a technician from having to visit their office. 

The preceding was adapted from Computer Solutions Group, Inc.'s original blog post, Bottlenecks: Good for Drinks, Not for Networks

For more information on the author and Chief Visionary Officer at Computer Solutions Group, Scott Spiro, check out his tech consulting success website, 

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