Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transmitted at one time. As enterprises tap more into cloud solutions that have heavy bandwidth requirements for maintaining performance levels, the demand on bandwidth is growing. While you can employ a network performance manual (NPM) to examine bandwidth usage, it’s also helpful to know the common culprits when there’s a sudden surge.
If your bandwidth usage is too high, your network performance will suffer. This, of course, also impacts application performance, so start with these five areas to determine whether your problems might be rooted in one of the more usual causes:
- Malware Scanning: One of the many ways malware can mess with your network is to continually request data or try to send large amounts of data, tying up large amounts of bandwidth. A good NPM will usually detect this kind of activity, but you can also run a manual scan to see if malware is eating up a lot of bandwidth.
- Quality of Service (QoS): This is the ability that allows networks to set aside a certain amount of bandwidth to ensure that a particular application will have what it needs to perform well. If you see a sudden surge in bandwidth usage, it may be due to QoS for a new app.
- Need for Access Restrictions: Certain files or websites can tie up too much bandwidth. If large or uncompressed files are traveling along your links causing congestion, you may need to set up access restrictions that set aside your bandwidth for work-related and properly compressed files. For instance, if employees are watching Netflix in the break room, you may notice that bandwidth is particularly tapped during lunchtime.
- Bandwidth Monopolization: You may have applications on your network that simply take up a lot of bandwidth. It’s a good idea to include this consideration when determining whether an application is appropriate for the enterprise. Will you need to plan a network upgrade or purchase more bandwidth to support it?
- Rampant VoIP Usage: Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) takes a definite toll on the bandwidth usage rates for any enterprise, but these can multiply if employees are tapping into VoIP for recreational purposes. When implementing VoIP, determine the full bandwidth demand on your network and consider whether an upgrade might be necessary to maintain performance levels on other applications.
If you’re noticing increasing bandwidth usage, contact Access Tech for solutions that help you better manage network resources. We can also help you identify the applications common in any size enterprise that may monopolize bandwidth.