If you’ve recently implemented an enterprise network upgrade, it may be time to explore methods for optimizing your network bandwidth. Bandwidth can be thought of as the throughput of your network, or the maximum capacity to transmit data.
While your team may have spent a lot of time trying to calculate your bandwidth requirements, there are often unanticipated issues that can eat up too much bandwidth, resulting in impaired application performance. These issues can range from malware and outdated switches to problems related to LAN management. They add up to increase the cost of running an enterprise network, which can be calculated by multiplying the lost productivity hours by average hourly wages and the number of employees using the network.
The following are six suggestions for optimizing your network bandwidth:
Establish a Baseline: Understanding how user applications access bandwidth is a good first step to optimization. It’s also a good idea to pinpoint peak periods of usage across the network and how it impacts application performance.
Map the Network: Next it’s important to create a map that tracks network traffic, determining how devices are connected to the network and the flow of traffic to and from specific users. Once these maps are understood, it may be beneficial to segment the network using virtual local area networks (VLANs). This step can prevent unnecessary flow around the network and reduce the amount of bandwidth consumed.
Use Load Balancing: Load balancing helps distribute network traffic across various network paths, equipping network bandwidth usage for more effective access. This step also helps manage sudden direct-packet overloads to an alternate path.
Create Policies: Network teams can set up business policies that automatically prioritize certain applications that require real-time transmission, such as video conferencing and other cloud communications technology, while less-critical transmissions like email are given lower priority status.
Policies can also serve to keep certain bandwidth-hungry sites from accessing the enterprise network, such as Netflix or YouTube.
Optimize Updates: Schedule network updates, upgrades, configurations, and security patches for when the demand for network access is at its lowest, such as overnight or on the weekends.
Set Up Effective Monitoring: With the right monitoring tools, network administrators can receive insights into network bandwidth consumption, such as which applications are consuming the most bandwidth, as well as information about device inventory and performance. Keep in mind that even monitoring solutions can become a drain on the network, so gathering insights must be balanced by the impact on user experience.
Managing network bandwidth is central to how your IT environment performs as a whole. Contact us at Safari Solutions to discuss solutions for getting the most out of your recent network upgrade with best practices for optimization and the technology that supports it.