dies
Cadet
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Network issues - remote exams - Europe

Hi Guys

Today I tried for the second time do the remote exam. Initially I tried the test on my ADSL line but network error occurred many times and eventually we agreed to reschedule the exam. The second attempt was from my friends home, where ping (as per speedtest) was about 2ms, download 500Mbps and upload around 50Mbps. Though network error was seen only a few times, after a short while responsiwness becomne really bad, typing and going through docs was really frustrating. So again with proctor we agreed to reschedule the exam.

It seems I will have to do individual exam.
I wonder is this common issue (at least in Europe)? I am not able to believe the issue is on my side, especially in the second case.

Regards

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ericbos
Flight Engineer
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No I haven't had any network issues during the exams, although sometimes I would restart my network devices before the exam just to be sure. I am also based in Europe.

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JS_Learning
Moderator
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Hi @dies, It's hard to say if the root cause was network only (I'm not from support or from the proctor team, I am talking based on my own experience).

Fyi, I have a rather low connection compared to what you indicated (around 80mmbs download and 30 upload, old adsl which was recently upgraded because I had barely 40mbs download a few weeks ago). In all my situation I was able to do the Remote Exams properly with that.

I did experience some very unpleasant lags on 1 attempt at DO180 exam. On 2nd attempt those were almost not visible and none visible at all on 3rd attempt (yes, I failed twice :smileymad: ). FYI those specific lags are currently unexplained, I contacted support to investigate recently.

The most obvious other lags were when I had booted the remote exam from the Lenovo T480s with a docking station. It seems as if the live OS has detected poor graphic card driver and as a result it was visually very slow, both in CMD line and in the web browser, because everything is "displayed" (therefore it's the graphic card or gpu taking charge of that). With the proctor authorization,I completely stopped the laptop, unplugged the docking, reloaded the exam environment and without docking but the same T480s laptop, it was much better.

 

Note: I had the RJ45 cable in all cases, I did not want to complicate with Wifi connection, even if it can be perfectly stable and it has worked well for many others.

 

As a candidate, I would say you are better off trying to load that Remote Exam environment on another setup, if possible. Surely try without any docking (in case you did), and try on another computer. That's likely the fastest way.

Also, some other candidate said the support proposed them to load the older version of the remote exam iso, as their issue(s) only started to appear with the newer version.

There's a link somewhere in this forum to that older iso, try to find it and/or ask the support, there's a link to contact them at the end of page 1:

Contact support page 1 

(Explain them your issue and ask if you can have the link to the older iso so you can try the difference)

Hope that will help you!

EdM1
Cadet
Cadet
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Hi,

    I am having a similar issue here in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada and it has been exhausting to say the least. I have tried to take the my RH294 exam twice but the network has been consistently dropping during the exam as well a significant lag when entering commands. I have taken a few Red Hat exams before without issues like this. I did recently move but in the last few months I have not had any network drops while working. I am getting 900Mbps download and about 800Mbps upload speeds. I have also contacted my ISP provider twice and they ran tests and could not find any issues on my network and even sent me a new modem which I tried on the second exam and it made no difference.  I am using a physical connection from my home office and during the exam even tried moving to the basement to directly connect to my modem but still had the same issue. I have tried 3 different laptops (Lenovo Flex 4 , Thinkpad T470, T490 ), two different web cameras and different ethernet cables and still the same issue. I even tried an older ISO I used on my exams last year and it still made no difference. I am pretty well at the wits end. I was hoping to schedule an in person test but I can't believe the closest testing centre is like 300 KM from me in Ottawa!  

     I am not sure if this is a driver issue or network issue. I am going to try the exam in my daughter's apartment next in Toronto to rule out a network issue on my end. She has a mac pro core i5 8gb ram so I could try that too. I'm hoping  the ISO has a driver for a usb-c to ethernet adapter on a mac pro in case I try that during the exam. 

     If anyone else has had similar issues like these please share. 

Thanks.

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PetrCihlar
Flight Engineer
Flight Engineer
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Let me give you a couple of ideas, maybe some of it matches your issue:

There is no difference in the ISO you boot, as it comes to network or exam performance.
Later ISO just makes more tests to verify the network quality before it shows you the login screen. So if you are getting some Network error preventing you from logging in (after you close the settings window), you may perhaps avoid it by using the older ISO, but you will have issues later anyway.

The fact you claim your network is high speed does not mean the exam computer with its own network card and drivers are running the same speed. It may be the drivers in the exam Fedora USB are not 100% compatible and the network card is running in lower speed or has some compatibility issues. See the Link speed at the network card, especially when on wifi and you may be suprised. I can imagine wifi card running in some old B mode or an ethernet going on 10Mbps insteead of 1GB, as usual. Connect an external usb to ethernet adapter, any 100Mb old one for 5USD will do the job. Avoid wifi

It is not only about the network speed but also about its latency and quality. Check jitter, shoudl be less than 10ms. I use speed.io for testing. Also, make sure the upload speed is high. The speed shoudl be 10/10Mbps upload/download at least. The compatibility test is set very low, it lets you pass with 2/2, which is almost unusable for the exam.

If you strugle with the network bandwidth, consider disabling internal webcam in BIOS. The video stream will not be transmitted to RH, having just the external camera is fine.

Check the firewall settings. In case the UDP is blocked, the video is sent over TCP which corrects errors by resending packets and it results in very high network traffic. It may also be related to camera compatibility, consider swpping the cam for a different one.

Do not transfer to much data. As I said earlier, the internal cam may be disabled. Also, set the screen resolution to lower values. Surely do not set anything higher than full hd.

Yes, bad/incompatible/missing video drivers may give you a feeling of low internet speed. It takes time for the computer to draw the image and everything is laggy.

Have the network ballanced. I have seen issues when there was a big discrepancy between download and upload. Like 100/10, 500/50, and so on. If you have something like 400/100 Mbps, talk to your ISP and change it to 250/250 for the exam.

Do not use mobile hotspot, do not use proxy caches and stuff like this. Often, such a device is ingeged and you dont even know about it.

I hope this helps you guys. Those are my observations from working in the RH support team for some time. It is not easy to make a bootable bulletproof system compatible with everything.

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EdM1
Cadet
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Thanks for the advice. My issues occur after I login to the exam. Network dropping every few minutes and lagging.  As I mentioned  my network is very stable and my speeds are balanced at 900/800 Mbps download/upload and jitter is usually 0-1 ms. I am also using the same type of modem router from my ISP provider, a Sagemcom Home Hub 4000, and I have taken several exams in the past without any issues. I don't see any firewall settings on the router that would block UDP. I have used the same camera as in previous exams and also swapped out during my second attempt a spare one I used before, Logitech C270 HD Webcam, but that didn't help. I will disable the internal camera in my BIOS since I do not use those anyway. I am using a generic 4 port usb hub for all my usb connections and an external monitor via hdmi port. I also just bought a TP-Link UH400 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub just in case my hub may have an issue. All my 3 laptops (Lenovo Flex 4 , Thinkpad T470, T490 ) have a built in ethernet port but just in case I also have a TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter (UE300) I may try if all else fails. However as JS_learning mentioned  removing his docking improved his connection and so if issues continue I will disconnect my hdmi and usb hub to rule out one of those as the issue.

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