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By Ben Puzzuoli, Director Sales & Marketing at DataDepositBox
Data Deposit Box Cloud Backup Expert Tips: What is Bandwidth Throttling?
As a small business owner, its useful to understand the concepts of bandwidth throttling so you can get the best out of the bandwidth you have available and are paying for. Many enterprises, small and large, link their offices over a WAN and depend on adequate network performance for much of their business communication. As applications become bandwidth hungry and data transmissions over the network increase, bandwidth throttling issues become significant.
Bandwidth throttling can be defined as a method of limiting the quantity of data that is transmitted across a network, by a bandwidth intensive device, over a given period of time. One good example for small business users is an online backup server. When you use cloud storage such as an online backup service, you are connecting to a server over a network, such as the Internet. It provides data request responses to client computers or accepts data that is uploaded to the database. During working hours, there will be a number of peaks and troughs in interaction. A peak in requests can cause bandwidth congestion or bottlenecks or can even cause the server to crash resulting in downtime. Server administrators (both at the client and vendor end) have many ways of managing this but one important one is bandwidth throttling to prevent network congestion and server crashes by limiting bandwidth usage, network access of certain applications or the speed of data upload.
Bandwidth throttling can be user controlled or vendor controlled.
User controlled bandwidth throttling requires the installation of client software at the user end. This process is sometimes called traffic shaping. Traffic can be uniformly shaped at the point of origin by specifying a rate of transmission over the network. This is at best a simple method of controlling bandwidth use. More complex traffic-shapers classify traffic and categorize it. Each category is treated differently and the treatment can be customized to the needs of the user or the criticality of the information being transmitted. The administrator can use this differentiation to treat different types of application traffic differently.
Vendor controlled bandwidth throttling may be governed by performance and commercial interests. In the case of many internet service providers (ISPs), high cost, high traffic networks are assets owned by them. The traffic shaping methods may therefore be used by these vendors to optimize the use of their networks and make money by intelligently shaping traffic on a per customer value basis. Intelligent shaping can improve the quality of their service and ensure that a minimum service level is provided for all customers. It also allows them to up-sell their high performing services to certain customers and tier their services in order to charge a premium for the higher performance services that they offer.
What actually happens during bandwidth throttling? The settings activate a set of counters to monitor the system. These counters record the number of requests that have been made, blocked, held in abeyance or have been processed over a period of time and log a cumulative total of the different types of actions taken on the requests. An analysis of the counters can provide administrators with a wealth of information and provide them with inputs for setting up or reviewing the bandwidth throttle settings already made.
When bandwidth throttling sets a limit and usage reaches that limit, all further attempts to read will be blocked and users will be queued until the bandwidth use reaches acceptable levels. When bandwidth use exceeds the limit, the write requests will continue to be processed along with transmission requests but actual data transmission will take place only when the bandwidth use reaches the acceptable level.
At Data Deposit Box, we help small business users protect their valuable digital assets by providing continuous backup to our secure cloud storage. Most of the time, this continuous backup is compressing and encrypting incremental changes, sending very small files over the network connection with negligible performance impact on the user’s system or the local bandwidth availability. Many online backup providers, especially scheduled backup services that may be uploading large file sizes, will automatically limit the maximum upload and download speed to prevent data congestion on the network. However, our backup and recovery service provides users and corporate administrators with the ability to manage bandwidth throttling so they have complete control. Now that’s peace of mind!
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