The musings of an IT Consultant

Sep 30 2009   9:05PM GMT

Oversubscribing your Internet

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, I wanted to talk about your Internet bandwidth in your client networks! These days most people have either cable or DSL for their Internet access. It’s very rare that you see anyone with just dial-up access. Even wireless Internet services have become popular.

However, the one thing I see over and over again are people oversubscribing their Internet. I think what happens is that non IT people are used to the high speeds that cable and DSL provide at home, and instantly assume that will be good enough for their business. They get all hooked up and then as their business grows and more people join their company, things start to slow down. They don’t realize that the bandwidth on the line is shared amongst all their users.

This problem is now exacerbated because most people have smartphones that also get IP’s from the server via wireless connectivity and they also communicate out through the Internet. I have seen this cause numerous issues with customers and running out of licenses on their firewalls.

People need to analyze their Internet needs and average bandwidth usage and size the Internet pipe appropriately to their business. This doesn’t take much time and their are a lot of freely available tools you can use to help you figure these things out. If you aren’t comfortable doing this on your own, give a quick call to your local IT consulting company and in short order they should be able to help you out.

Don’t yell at your service provider for slow Internet, it might not be their fault.

-RP

3  Comments on this Post

 
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  • SAPjava74
    I think you mean "oversubscribing" the connection rather than "overprovisioning".
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  • Jbeltran
    You're right, thanks! I've corrected the error. -RP
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  • DarkAlman
    Don't forget connection reliability is just as important as available bandwidth. It's critical that a business not only choose an internet package with a suitable amount of bandwidth but also choose a package meant for use by a business. All too often small businesses get residential grade internet connections in order to save money without realizing that if there connection goes down they can wait as long as a week before a technician will come down to fix it for them. For some businesses that's fine, but for others it's worth paying the extra cash to have same day service. Let alone the fact that most ISP's now check there networks for high bandwidth usage like hawks. If high bandwidth usage is suspected the first thing they're techs do is surf you WAN IP to see if you have a website on your dynamically assigned IP. Running a server off residential connections is often expressly forbidden in the Terms of Service and can cause your business to have its internet disconnected. What is comes down to is making sure that as a business you get advice from someone qualified about your requirements to make sure you don't get burned.
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