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#1 Posted : Monday, September 28, 2015 6:11:50 PM(UTC)
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Swordfish Client Connectivity Guide

Understanding connection problems

The way the Internet has been designed allows it to "break" in certain areas but continue running in others. Thus many users immediately assume that if they can still browse www.google.com (or just one site on the Internet) their Internet connection is still working. This is however not necessarily the case and it is therefore possible for some Swordfish users to run whilst others are not.

To explain this with an analogy, think of the internet as a network of roads. The information transmitted can be seen as the vehicles driving on the roads. It is possible for an accident on one of the roads to only cause congestion to certain destinations, leaving other roads open for normal traffic.

Internet issues in South Africa come and go and even with the continued growth and development of the industry, consistency and service levels are still not desirable. Often when users are having difficulty connecting, the problem can be localized to users on the same ISP or in a specific geographical area.

Our support and technical team always aim to bring you the best possible service, but very often we are at the mercy of broader internet infrastructure in South Africa.

Troubleshooting connection problems

Several factors may cause poor Swordfish connectivity and there are a number of steps users can perform themselves to resolve and/or diagnose the problem. The primary points of failure to consider when troubleshooting connectivity issues.

  1. Configuration, software and performance of the computer running Swordfish.
  2. End to end internet connectivity between the client computer and the Swordfish servers

Initial troubleshooting steps

  1. Switch to any backup internet connection, and see if the problem is resolved. Preferably to a mobile connection if your primary connection was on a landline (DSL) and vice versa.
  2. Switch to a different computer, and see if the problem is resolved. Malware and other programs or operating system configuration changes could interfere with Swordfish.

If the above methods have not resolved the connectivity problems, check with our help desk to confirm there are no Swordfish platform errors. Provide as much information to them as possible. Specifics regarding the kind and time of connectivity issue, username, member code, current ISP and geographic location and whether the issue has occurred before all assist our team in resolving problems as quickly as possible.

If no Swordfish platform problems are detected, more detailed troubleshooting should be done by the user or company IT technician as outlined in ‘Further troubleshooting’ below.

 

Further troubleshooting

Latency

A ping test can be done to determine the latency to the Swordfish server.

From the command prompt, type “ping 41.208.46.100”.

When looking at the ‘time=xx ms’ output, 40ms or below is typical for ADSL connections from within South Africa. Latencies above 100ms may indicate an internet or ISP related issue if connecting from South Africa.

Telnet connectivity

Telnet is not enabled by default in windows. You can follow these steps to enable telnet.

  • Click Start > Control Panel.
  • Click Programs and Features.
  • Click Turn Windows features on or off.
  • In the Windows Features dialog box, check the Telnet Client check box.
  • Click OK. The system installs the appropriate files. This will take a few seconds to a minute.

After you have enabled telnet, you should determine the port number used by your broker server. This can be found in Swordfish.

  • Run Swordfish
  • Select “Live” and “Start Swordfish”
  • Click Server – Login/Logout
  • Select a service (SAFEX or YieldX etc)
  • Enter your company code
  • Click Advanced
  • Read the “server port”.

From the command line type “telnet 41.208.46.100” followed by a space and your port.

The above screenshot shows a telnet session unable to connect. If you receive such an error message you should contact your IT department or ISP to determine why the port is blocked.

Trace route

We use UUNET (Verizon) and MTN as our backbone operators and therefore all traffic has to go onto their network at some stage. When UUNET / MTN experience problems internally all Swordfish users will be affected no matter what network path they take.

From the command prompt, type “tracertt 41.208.46.100”.

The above trace route results show a working connection. If you ping & trace route result look different, you may have to contact your ISP and send them the results.

Recommended internet connections and setup

Connection speed is not the primary factor to ensure the best level service for Swordfish.

Swordfish requires very little bandwidth, currently we recommend a minimum of 192 kb/s per user for the best service. Usage however is dependent on how many instruments are loaded into watchlists or how many charts are opened.

A stable, reliable internet connection with low latency from a reliable ISP is critical for consistent connectivity to our platform. Unfortunately the entry level internet connections provided by ISPs in South Africa, like ADSL and mobile internet, only provide a “best effort” service.

Primary connection

For home or small office use, ADSL should be sufficient. We recommend a capped, unshaped ADSL account from Afrihost or Axxess, as these reside on the same MTN network as our systems.

For larger offices a dedicated leased line is the preferred solution. For best reliability, MTN provides MPLS connectivity which can be provided over microwave or fiber optic connections, and as of 2014/11/27 costs around R8000 per month for a 2mbps line.Please confirm coverage in your area with a provider before investing in a mobile connection. Preferred providers are MTN and Vodacom.

Edited by user Tuesday, June 7, 2016 1:13:30 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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