(Sorry if this question looks silly.) I see that many popular hosting companies still offer (primarily) a 100mbps network switch - Hostgator and Rackspace are good examples. While very few exist that offer a gigabit uplink connection - mediatemple for example - large companies (like Softlayer, probably the only company) even offer 2Gbps and 10Gbps ports .

But all this does make sense to me. How is this going to affect the performance of a website or server? How should someone know if they require more than 100mbps?

Consider a wordpress blog receiving 40-50 million page views a month and a single page size of 1.5mb. Does it require a 1Gbps uplink?

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    If you're asking about it, you don't need it. – Michael Lowman Aug 12 '11 at 15:17
  • @Michael Lowman Of course, I know that. I was wondering what difference they make in performance of the server / website. – user88753 Aug 12 '11 at 15:23
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    Side note: 2Gbps is just a 1Gbps connection. They're all full duplex (normally), but nobody advertises that unless they're desperate to sound better than the competition to uninformed buyers. – Chris S Aug 12 '11 at 15:35
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    @Aahan 50m pages per month / 30 days / 24h / 60min /60 sec = 20 pages per second. Unless those pages are >625KB each you'll be using less than 100Mbps. – Chris S Aug 12 '11 at 15:37
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    If your page is 1.5MB (or 1.5Mb) then you've got bigger problems than your connection upload speed. The bottleneck will be your client's end connection. Why is your page so feckin huge? – Tom O'Connor Aug 12 '11 at 21:19

Practically, few webservers can move data fast enough to significantly saturate GigE network links. The ones that can tend to be those that either stream large files (video, .ISO-fles, and the like), or are very busy static-content servers. Application logic tends to slow things down to the point that the webserver will run out of other resources before they run out of bandwidth.

That said, there are some applications where a faster source really does come into its own and that's computing latency and overall network throughput. We covered this on ServerFault recently in a pair of questions:

That's a case where transient saturation of a GigE link seems to cause an overall decrease in perceived throughput.

As for figuring out when you need to upgrade your bandwidth to the server, that depends a lot on what you're doing with the server. For a server where each page-load requires hundreds of connections, you'll probably run into it sooner than one that only needs 15 connections. It varies.

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    +1 I love what all that boils down to: "It varies." – Chris S Aug 12 '11 at 15:33
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    Standard IT answer to imprecise questions. – mfinni Aug 12 '11 at 15:40

Considering server with 10 Gbps port and full bandwidth 10 Gbps you should be able transfer around 3200TB/monthly (by bandwidth 5 Gbps around 1600TB). For 1 Gbps you could use per month about 300TB. Always ask your server provider about usage of the bandwidth and connectivity.

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