How to test the internet connection speed without putting any load and allocating bandwidth

5535 pts.
Tags:
Bandwidth
Cisco 3745
ISA Server
ISP connection
We do have a 10 MB internet connectivity, the speed is ok, I am monitoring the link using cacti and netflow. ISP----10 MB Link-------Cisco 3745 Router----Switch ----Firewall 525----DMZ Switch- ISA---- LAN Our bandwidth is under utilized, hence our average consumption is around 5 MB, half of our allocated bandwidth is not consumed. Our management thinks the ISP is not providing is the allocated bandwidth. But this is not true. When ever I tried to download lot of stuff we do reach the allocated speed. My problem is I can't keep on downloading the things to reach the specified 10 MB. Is there is any way to figure out the allocated bandwidth at any given amount of time without putting any load on the link. I tired plenty of speed test web sites which proved to be inaccurate. My second question is can I distribute the allocated 10 MB bandwidth for different services, like for download I want to assign 2 MB, exchange server 3 MB, browsing 4 MB, VPN connectivity 1 MB. Can i achive this by using my existing infrastucure like Cisco 3745 Router or a PIX 525 7.0.6.

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You can probably assign QOS using your existing router, which would make sure that there was always bandwidth available for specific applications (based on port number) but there isn’t any way to say that 2 Megs for something and 3 Megs for something else.

If you aren’t using all the bandwidth that’s fine. The last thing that you want is the link saturated at 100%. If you are using 5MB of bandwidth, the speed test sites should show you having about 5MB of bandwidth of speed available. It won’t show you as having 10 Megs of bandwidth available as you are already using 5 MB of bandwidth.

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Certain Observations on your first question:
1. If your utilization is 5 MB, why are your carrying out 10 MB (I am assuming that your peak requirement is not more than 5 MB at any moment of time).
2. You are paying for a bigger pipe that is not required at the moment, so switching back will definitely cut down your costs and the credit will go to you.
3. At any moment of time you can switch back to 10 MB or whatever, based on actual requirement, as and when needed. Keep your management informed on this.
4. If you don’t want to cut down with your current 10 MB, go for an SLA with your ISP to provide you a real time usage graphs (and that is quite possible and happening), with a clause that if the available bandwidth is below 10 MB at any moment of time, he will be penalized (frame a penalty clause).
5. It is quite possible that your ISP, based on your average usage might be providing you a shared 10 MB and charging for the same from so other customers also for which you are already paying in full.

For your second question:
Yes, it is quite possible to allocate bandwidth – user wise, port wise, group wise, requirement wise (Internet, Application, Chat, Download, Upload etc.)

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  • Labnuke99
    Is this a DSL or cable link? If it is, remember that this is a shared bandwidth architecture. The carrier (ISP) may have significantly oversubscribed their network and may not be able to deliver the bandwidth you expect. You should review the SLA with your provider for the language about delivered capacity vs normal usage capacity. If you do enable QOS at your network edge, remember that the provider may not "honor" the tags that the Cisco boxes put on the traffic. It's just something to be aware of and not of major concern. As previously mentioned, your provider should be able to provide usage reports, if not, request them. They are worth getting to show what is being delivered at the price you are paying.
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