Eight Tips for Bandwidth Management

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Several years ago, Comcast upset many of its customers by rate-limiting peer-to-peer networks. Fortunately, your organization is probably not in the business of providing home Internet use. While there are valid uses of peer-to-peer downloading, such as Linux installations, the traffic and its content are difficult to police. Given that most peer-to-peer traffic uses random ports, you can address this traffic by applying the lowest priority – or even blocking – any traffic on non-standard ports. However, remember that protocols like VoIP may also use non-standard ports, so make sure your equipment tracks them based on known destinations or monitoring the SIP or other control traffic.

It’s a common belief that bandwidth, memory, and disk space are all cheap. However, the apps that we use – whether running on our computers or on the cloud – are increasingly sophisticated, and often seem to grow at the same pace as the upgrades. Between real-time streaming, VoIP, and cloud trends, bandwidth can be overwhelmed, slowing everyone’s downloads and response times. While some organizations respond by buying ever more bandwidth, others are taking steps to reduce and prioritize the demand.

To help curb some of the bandwidth pain, Jim MacLeod of WildPackets provides common issues and illustrates how to identify and overcome them.


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