Bandwidth Management for Business Critical Applications
In today's business world that consists of different types of data, devices and servers, handling various network connections as an individual traffic stream does not allow network administrators the necessary flexibility to allow for optimal business application performance. By not utilizing bandwidth management, a network administrator could be required to block critical bandwidth applications like video and audio streaming. Bandwidth management allows administrators to control network traffic flow so that the appropriate users, groups, or applications receive the proper network resources. These include: P2P applications, multi-media applications, video streaming, file sharing, and bandwidth intensive protocols.
Benefits of Bandwidth Management
Bandwidth management controls allow for more effective and manageable bandwidth network usage for your organization. Through actually seeing how your organizations bandwidth is being used and having the ability to control usage directly contains a wide range of different benefits including:
- Restricts bandwidth abuse of using unpermitted protocols and applications
- Provides different departments and users with bandwidth usage access
- Monitor and record bandwidth usage by each network user
- Diagnose specific bandwidth issues and network slow-downs
Bandwidth Management Strategy
By now it has become imminent that there is a need to manage bandwidth that is available to your organization most efficiently and effectively. But bigger question here is – How to implement bandwidth management strategy?
Let us first understand cornerstones that motivate network team to include bandwidth management in the IT strategy.
- Ensure that business critical applications like ERP, HMS, Billing, CRM, and Mail Server performance is not impacted.
- Block bandwidth hungry applications from chocking the pipeline.
- Define Quality of Service (QoS) for protocols that carry data deemed necessary and important.
- Connectivity, accessibility and data sharing between multiple office sites is available round the clock.
- Application of bandwidth quota in order to make users accountable.
In order to achieve best results, we have to categorize needs and then take shots one by one. First and foremost, we have to identify group of applications that are mission critical for the business. Second, identify websites/ applications that are not required by your business or used most by users for entertainment like music, videos, live news stream etc. We cannot out rightly block access to these websites while keeping in mind freedom and free will of employee that said we can always control bandwidth parameters for incoming and outgoing traffic.
Till now we are able to identify, group and segregate applications, as next step – we can create bandwidth pools (BW Tree) for each application to implement granular level controls on users, groups and protocols. We can define separate pools of bandwidth for inbound and outbound traffic. We can analyze user statistics or bandwidth usage to create/update/modify pools to set up bandwidth limits.
Lastly, bandwidth hierarchies can also be defined allowing sharing of excess or unused bandwidth between various pools. This will allow you to set bandwidth limits for each department as well as for overall traffic.
From this article it is seems that managing bandwidth is very easy but actually it is a specialist job wherein you have to use tools allowing hierarchical and dynamic bandwidth management. In addition to tools, you have to use network statistics to configure control policies for optimal utilization of the bandwidth.