How to Optimize Bandwidth Usage

Today’s technology infused environment has presented many challenges for IT professionals across the globe. One of the main challenges that companies and IT pros face is making the best use of bandwidth to help optimize network resources and increase network performance.

Technical applications require a high demand for increased bandwidth. This means managing the bandwidth in the most efficient way increases company productivity while reducing server downtime due to inadequate bandwidth usage. There are many programs that consume a lot of bandwidth and the challenge is to determine what the programs are before coming up with a strategy for effectively managing network bandwidth. Here are a few tips on how to optimize bandwidth usage on your company network.

Assessment of All Network Activity

Many companies are under pressure to reduce IT costs which makes the purchase of additional bandwidth impossible for most budgets or simply not an option. However, there are ways to improve the management of an existing network to help improve productivity and performance. In order for this to happen the IT professional must have complete visibility of all network activity. Depending upon the configuration this can consume a high percentage of an IT pro’s time.

First, it must be determined what applications are eating up the bandwidth on the network. These are applications such as VoIP and instant messaging programs, streaming video applications, incorrect configuration for routers, switches, servers, and clients, email messages with large amounts of data, and data backup programs, to name a few. Once the identification process is complete then it is possible to work on management solutions to increase network performance.

Network Management

Many times when you assess a network for programs that are consuming bandwidth, the staff which is using the applications on a daily basis have no idea of how their activities impact other programs running on the network. To determine a solution, an IT pro must monitor the network in real-time to determine what programs are utilizing a large amount of bandwidth. Then they must develop a reporting system that assists with assessing the current network status. Based on the reporting and documentation, a new management strategy can be designed to reduce bandwidth usage.

Typical Issues with Bandwidth Consumption

Typical problems that contribute to unnecessary network traffic can have an impact on devices which are connected throughout the network. Locating the problems and providing solutions for the primary causes will improve network performance and employee productivity. Some of the common causes include:

  • Unused Protocols: Applications which are used on a network for business productivity are continually evolving. This means that upgrades are constantly being performed as well as the addition of new devices on the network. As a result, the network becomes inundated with unused protocols related to older configurations that consume bandwidth.
  • IM Applications and P2P: Many companies rely on instant messaging and other P2P applications for customer relationship management and to conduct daily business. Since many of these applications are web based they can consume bandwidth which is necessary to run other critical business applications. Some of the P2P applications will search for a firewall port which is available where others use http. The challenge on the part of IT pros is to identify these and come up with a resolution.
  • Switch Settings: Settings which are configured on a network during the manufacturing process can consume a lot of bandwidth if the settings are left on default once a business begins using the network. Default settings can also create other problems on the network where users are constantly logging in and out. Customizing the settings helps to optimize the bandwidth while increasing productivity for the end user.

These are a few of the issues which can consume an excessive amount of bandwidth. If you do not have the IT resources to identify bandwidth issues you may want to consider a virtualization model. Contact Thrive Networks today to speak with one of our network engineers to identify a model that will help you cut costs while increasing productivity.