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when to add WAN bandwidth

By hig ·
Is there a general rule of thumb, a percentage of bandwidth usage, that is an indicator that it is time to lease more bandwidth? I know, "It depends".
Given:
User perception of link is slower now than ever before and getting unusable.
Primary apps are CAD and MS Office files
Current bandwidth at T1
No QOS filtering being done on this link as most packets are for the primary apps anyway
Spikes at over 60% several days a month of several minutes or more, sustained traffic at 50% for hours at a time several more days a month

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Here's how i see it

by Zen37 In reply to when to add WAN bandwidth

I look at the bandwidth usage throuout the day. If the average usage is at 50% then i start to talk about increasing the bandwidth. If it's at 70%, you will start seeing major trouble, don't just talk about increasing bandwidth then, do it.

But base your decision on the average usage not the spikes that may occur during the day. Spikes will happen no matter what your bandwidth is.

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What Zen37, first you need to benchmark it

by TomSal In reply to Here's how i see it

I agree with Zen.

Before you can make a decision on increasing your bandwidth (thus increasing your expenses) the first step is to log/record your bandwidth usage patterns for a specific period of time - I'd say at least a month (30 day period). This will create a decent benchmark on where you stand in regards to your bandwidth needs.

As previously mentioned in Zen's post ignore occassional spikes -- spikes will happen, this is a reality of networking. However if you have sustained spikes lasting for several minutes at a time and this occurs at least once every day that is a hint of a larger problem.

(If that happened I'd note the time of day such spiking occurs, then correlate the times if they match up to any specific task the company is doing during that time period each day).

My bandwidth standards are more lenient than Zen's are -- I don't get excited about increasing bandwidth until I consistently see usage at 75% bandwidth, when it hits 85% there is no debate, no talking...I just order more bandwidth.

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Over 70%

by BFilmFan In reply to when to add WAN bandwidth

When you WAN is over 70% utilization, it's time for more bandwidth.

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Don't go by spikes

by jmgarvin In reply to when to add WAN bandwidth

Typically you want to look at sustained traffic. Since you say you are hitting 50% most days a month, it is probably time to look at more bandwidth.

However, you need to log and analyze what and why. What kind of bandwidth do you need and why...I would guess you need a 1/2 T1 to add into the mix...

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by The Admiral In reply to when to add WAN bandwidth

Most of the time bandwith is not the problem, but the amount of clutter and the lack of optomization at the machine level.

First, delete any temporary files (even temporary system files) in the c:\windows\temp directory and in their profile under local settings.

Second, get rid of any unused applications.

Third, ensure that the swap file is optomized.

Fourth, Stick more memory in the system if possible.

Last, Defrag the hard drive!

I think with this you will be able to reclaim some speed.

CAD used to be run on 386 systems fairly quickly, so their complaint is based on what is in front of them, not the network.

If they get their files of a network server, you may want to optomize that as well, but the first rule we tell users is do not work off server copies.

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by TonytheTiger In reply to when to add WAN bandwidth

What is the operation? Users on one side, Servers on the other? Servers and users on both sides? How many points?

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How about implementing a traffic filtering system?

by PSX In reply to when to add WAN bandwidth

I was amazed at how much bandwidth was being wasted by such things as streaming radio and unnecessary file downloads. Since we've implemented Websense, the traffic was nearly cut in half. A WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) implementation further reduces the load on our WAN connection.

Of course companies grow and so we're at a point where we need more bandwidth (currently have redundant T1s). We're switching from a load-balanced dual-T1 config to a bonded T1 config with a DSL for backup. Fortunately, due to the steadily falling prices, the "upgrade" ends up costing us little more than what we are already paying.

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