Every time technology advances, there is some sort of bottleneck that is created by older technology holding things back. With the rise of virtualization and cloud computing, networks have become strained, and bandwidth issues have come to the forefront of technology problems for many IT departments. Read on to learn how to diagnose, and solve bandwidth issues.
What is Bandwidth
Bandwidth is like lanes on a highway. It allows for more traffic to go through at once, while still retaining high speeds. A lone car can speed down a single lane road, in the same way a lone network request can function with low bandwidth.
However, often times many requests must go through a network simultaneously and a low bandwidth connection will severely slow speeds. A high bandwidth connection can service many requests and users without sacrificing precious speed.
Common Causes of Bandwidth Issues
Bandwidth Issues can almost always be traced to one or two specific activities. These activities almost always have two characteristics: large amounts of data, and extended duration. Common activities causing bandwidth problems are:
- Watching videos from Internet (YouTube, Netflix)
- Large file transfers between computers (greater than 100 megabytes in size)
- Constant stream of data (surveillance footage from security cameras)
- Downloading files from internet
All of the above can contribute greatly to bandwidth issues in a network, and should be done only when there is only light network traffic. Large file transfers or data streams within a network should be placed on a separate network, in order to avoid bottlenecking other users.
How to Detect a Bandwidth Problem
A symptom of a bandwidth bottleneck is always slow network performance, however not every slow network is the result of a bandwidth issue. Many times IT departments simply add bandwidth when a network slows down. This is not always a good solution though, since it adds cost, and merely solves the symptom of the problem, not necessarily the problem itself.
In order to diagnose a network problem one should use a network monitoring technology. Some popular “flow-based” technologies are NetFlow and sFlow. These technologies are able to “rewind” a network to the point where the slowdown was experienced, and analyze the data to see if any routers or ports were operating beyond capacity – if so, a bandwidth issue is likely present.
Applications to Monitor Networks:
Determining if Problem will Re-Occur
Once the cause of a network slowdown has been found, it is important to analyze the impact and likelihood of such a slowdown. Determine who the top contributor was to the bottleneck (example: someone viewing full HD video over the internet) and if that use was necessary. Often bottlenecks are caused due to irresponsible data use that can easily be avoided.
It may also be the case that the network wires were overloaded, which is bottlenecking all connections, regardless of more bandwidth being added. It may be time to upgrade the wired or wireless LAN connections if networks are constantly slow.
Adding More Bandwidth if Necessary
If it is determined that a network problem is the result of insufficient bandwidth Packetworks is able to provide full solutions to upgrade bandwidth and eliminate data bottlenecks. Click the button below to contact us today to talk to an expert to discuss full solutions to eliminate bottlenecks and increase performance.
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