I have been asked to analyze the bandwidth usage of a company and make a recommendation for upgrading their Internet connection(s).

Here is the layout

3 DSL lines so it is 3x(6 Down, 1 Up Each) into a load balancer out to the office's network.

30 VOIP phones run on a T1 (1.5 Down, 1.5 Up)

The users at the company are heavily uploading. It is my suspicion that the issue in slowdown is being cause by multiple people uploading and others not being able to get requests out for even simple http requests.

My initial idea is to get them a fiber line with a 10 down and 10 up. What do others think on this plan? Will that be enough to host their network traffic? What do I do about the VOIP line afterward? The fiber is expensive and I know the T1 does a great job for their VOIP so I do not want to suggest a DSL line because I know it may not be sufficient. I would also like to save them some money if I can. Maybe even get a faster fiber line and forgo the T1. Though I know their load balance/switch can only handle 20MB/S throughput.

Looking for some confirmation/suggestions on my plan.

I am planning on going in to get some real diagnostic numbers. Any suggestions on software to use for that? Preferably Windows software.

  • Nobody thought this was a good question. That just hurts guys. – Campo May 12 '10 at 18:27
  • Router model/OS? – Kyle Brandt May 13 '10 at 12:30
  • They are all on macs and windows PCs. Some linux servers. One Windows server. I do not have the Load balancer model but that shouldn't matter I know the specs are 20Mb/s throughput 3 in 4 out. – Campo May 13 '10 at 13:43

As a solution to bandwidth issues, a fiber line should be a good solution (and might even wind up saving money over a T1 + 3 DSL).

Check out wireshark for software to look at bandwidth. See http://sysadminhell.blogspot.com/2008/04/using-wireshark-to-determine-bandwidth.html for an example.

  • Thanks, though wireshark is more for packet inspecting no? I am looking for bandwidth monitoring. – Campo May 10 '10 at 16:56
  • Do you think the VOIP can also be on the 10x10 I feel they will require more bandwidth or a separate network for the VOIP to avoid any degradation in call quality. Any degradation is unacceptable. – Campo May 10 '10 at 17:37
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    Wireshark does packet inspection, yes. But that means its more than capable of doing bandwidth monitoring. Check out: sysadminhell.blogspot.com/2008/04/… for an example – joeybaker May 12 '10 at 17:58
  • @ JoeyBaker! Excellent find! Thanks a bunch. I was using PRTG it is good but this looks much better. Put that in an answer and if I complete the project using this method I will mark it right! Thanks again! – Campo May 12 '10 at 18:05
  • Most welcome. Added to the my answer – best of luck you! – joeybaker May 14 '10 at 16:16

Saturating the upload bandwidth of a DSL line will kill the download bandwidth. Use any QoS options available in your load balancing tools to set the maximum upload rate at 90% of the bandwidth.

  • Could be ADSL? If that is the case I believe upload won't affect download. – Kyle Brandt May 10 '10 at 16:34
  • It affected my download when I had ADSL. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 10 '10 at 16:43
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    Thanks for the info. @Kyle If upload is saturated and a user cannot get a request out they will never get anything back. – Campo May 10 '10 at 16:57
  • Ah right, that is true. That has to be a lot of contention I think for that to be the case as requests are small. I would think at that point you might be beyond what QoS would fix and might just need more bandwidth. Not entirely sure though. – Kyle Brandt May 10 '10 at 17:54
  • No, when the upload saturates, the line goes south. Period. I have years of experience with using DSL so I do have some idea of what I'm talking about. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 10 '10 at 17:59

PRTG is a good tool for monitoring and measuring bandwidth useage.

  • Cool I am checking it out thanks! +1 – Campo May 10 '10 at 17:36
  • PRTG did not work well on my macbook pro V 1.1 running windows 7... Though I am not surprised. Loving it for monitoring the office on my xp workstation though! – Campo May 19 '10 at 2:46
  • Glad to hear it – joeqwerty May 19 '10 at 3:21

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