Bandwidth is a critical component of IT networks. It is a range of frequencies or wavelengths in a band through which data is transmitted from one point to the other. It determines the speed and amount of data that can be transmitted in a specific amount of time.
Why Bandwidth Management Is Important
Bandwidth does not just measure speed and capacity, but quality of service (QoS) as well. Enterprises that have adopted Internet-enabled communication systems need it to run their Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) devices. With exploding data from video, images, and streaming media, both speed and QoS need to be balanced by an optimal amount of bandwidth.
A good amount of bandwidth can increase speed and improve QoS, but it can be costly. Over-utilizing bandwidth in a few applications can result in the significant slowdown of neglected applications, jeopardizing overall network performance.
On the other hand, scrimping on bandwidth can lead to slow phone service or Internet connection, dropped calls, poor sound reception, garbled data, or data unavailability. This can result in the dissatisfaction of customers and loss of revenues. That is why bandwidth management is important.
Planning for Bandwidth
IT managers have to do more than just manage supply. They have to remember that a higher frequency range does not always mean better network performance. Other channels outside the network may not be working properly. For instance, latency within the circuit to which several networks are connected may be high because of congestion within the circuit itself.
Another critical factor to consider is that data travels between two or more end points. In many cases, transmittal may go through a series of end points until data reaches its final end point. The source point is not always to blame because bandwidth has a role in every end point, and any deficiency in between contributes to quality issues.
The Monitoring Lifecycle
The monitoring process starts with keeping track of bandwidth utilization with the use of software solutions. Many of these tools are capable of monitoring wide area network (WAN) and local area network (LAN) performance in real time. They can capture data, device, application, and user activities to monitor interface utilization. The more advanced types can perform traffic analysis with a detailed examination of current, historical, and peak usages to establish patterns.
IT managers also need to apply good governance practices to bandwidth consumption so that utilization of network resources is optimized. These practices should be implemented before, during, and after the deployment of applications. They should also be done every time an application is modified or upgraded to preempt any unexpected impact on network performance.
One key practice is to model potential solutions to test if increased supply will deliver expected results. This can be done by using technology to replicate the existing enterprise network in a virtual silo where test runs can be simultaneously conducted. The tests should be able to find solutions to what-if scenarios like the capability of the network to support additional users, remote offices, remote servers, and remote workers.
QoS cannot be compromised. Sufficient supply and proactive utilization management are key to determining optimal bandwidth to enhance the employee and customer experience, and the bottom line. To learn more about network upgrade requirements, contact us at Copper State Communications for a free consultation session.