How to Optimize Your Network Bandwidth: A Comprehensive Guide

Learn about the importance of network bandwidth monitoring while ensuring optimal network performance and productivity. Discover the challenges network administrators face and how Percipient NMS can help you overcome them.

How to Optimize Your Network Bandwidth

Worldwide, there are 4.66 billion active internet users, according to Statista. Furthermore, internet statistics reveals that 65.6 percent of the world’s population have internet access, and users spend approximately six hours and 56 minutes online each day. 

Slow internet connections make it difficult to perform various tasks and are especially problematic for businesses, as they can result in significant challenges to overcome. It can significantly reduce productivity and hinder users in any organization. Accessing important files, uploading or downloading data, or performing basic tasks may be delayed due to slow network speeds. To ensure optimal network performance, it’s important to understand the role of network bandwidth and how it affects productivity. 

An example of this can be illustrated by comparing your organization’s network bandwidth to a canal, and the data passing through it to ships. A narrow canal will only allow a few ships to pass through it, while a wider canal can accommodate more. Similarly, the slower the network bandwidth, the longer it will take for data to pass through. Therefore, ensuring sufficient bandwidth for your organization’s needs is essential.

Understanding Network Bandwidth and its Usage

Bandwidth monitoring is a crucial aspect of network administration. Network administrators are tasked with tracking the bandwidth consumed in the network and maintaining policies that enable smooth access to business-critical applications. However, with different organizations having varying bandwidth needs, there is no standard definition of good or bad bandwidth. 

To aid network administrators in their duties, it is important to have network visualization capabilities. This allows administrators to visualize what’s happening in the network and quickly recognize bandwidth issues. By implementing bandwidth monitoring, organizations can save resources and time while enhancing productivity. 

Bandwidth monitoring is a vital task for network administrators, as it allows them to identify which applications consume the most bandwidth during high-use hours. By doing so, administrators can implement bandwidth usage policies to control the usage of non-mission critical applications.  

Here are some detailed pointers on the importance of bandwidth monitoring: 

  • Bandwidth hogs such as video streaming platforms and other services that demand a static stream of data. It can cause jitter and latency issues, resulting in poor quality VoIP calls, increased risk of malware and other security threats, and poorly implemented network configurations designed to limit bandwidth use. 
  • Organizations must monitor their bandwidth to ensure that business-critical applications and services are not impacted by low bandwidth. 
  • Regular checks and analyses of bandwidth usage are necessary to detect and troubleshoot issues. 
  • Organizations should forecast bandwidth requirements based on user habits to determine the appropriate bandwidth requirements for both the local area network and the wide area network. 

The challenges in tracking bandwidth usage

As an organization’s network grows, the applications used by the workforce also evolve. It is essential to monitor traffic patterns, analyze logs, and eliminate bottlenecks in every physical hardware element such as routers, switches, and firewalls to maintain a healthy and stable network. However, network bandwidth monitoring poses several challenges for network administrators.  

Below are some of the common network bandwidth monitoring challenges that administrators face:  

  • Identifying the underlying cause of bandwidth issues: Network administrators often receive complaints from users that they can’t access applications because the network is slow. To quickly identify the issue and minimize the troubleshooting time, it is necessary to have a tool that can provide detailed packet-level analysis.  
  • Efficient bandwidth allocation: It is necessary to allocate available bandwidth to different departments to meet the organization’s growing needs. In the absence of software that provides insights into bandwidth utilization, IT admins may allocate less bandwidth, causing downtime, or too much bandwidth, resulting in resources being under-utilized and not being cost-effective.  
  • Obtaining granular visibility: Granular visibility provides accurate traffic and time statistics for a specific source, such as an interface or device. Without granular visibility, the accuracy of traffic data collected can be uncertain. That makes it difficult for administrators to identify traffic trends or detect security attacks when there is a sudden spike.  
  • Controlling voice and media traffic: To fix network performance issues during video conferences, you need to check bandwidth, packet loss, and Quality of Service policies. Without visibility into these aspects, troubleshooting can take hours or even days, reducing productivity. Network monitoring tools often don’t provide enough insights.
  • Threat detection: Quickly addressing abnormal network activity is crucial in troubleshooting security issues. Firewalls and IDS can detect basic attacks, but they may not work against evolving attack strategies and zero-day attacks. With unknown threats, you might not even know there’s an issue until it’s too late. To prevent this, use a network behavior anomaly detection tool to detect unusual traffic and isolate zero-day intrusions. This proactive approach helps identify and mitigate security breaches.  

A comprehensive solution for monitoring network bandwidth usage

Percipient NMS is a powerful network bandwidth monitoring and traffic analysis tool that provides comprehensive insights into your network’s bandwidth usage. This flow-based tool monitors traffic patterns at the interface level, giving you detailed information on device performance and bandwidth usage. 

With its capacity planning reports, you can track the growth of your network’s bandwidth consumption over a specified period. Moreover it allows you to make informed decisions about your network’s capacity. Additionally, you can detect both internal and external security threats and identify network anomalies with network behavioral analysis. 

Percipient NMS also allows you to easily optimize your network’s bandwidth usage by providing traffic details such as IP addresses, ports, protocols, and conversations.  

Still in doubt? Click here to get more information.

Shakshi Gusain 

Technical Content Writer

With a focus on clarity, conciseness & accessibility, my passion for writing enables me to write thought leadership content around cutting-edge technologies like 5G, Networking, Enterprise solution, and emerging technologies. My skills in branding & marketing allow me to produce impactful results while staying up with the latest trends & technology.

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