Your Guide to Determining Bandwidth Requirements
As the world becomes more interconnected, our dependence on the Internet is becoming almost a non-negotiable business necessity. Less and fewer systems are being used offline or in a Local Area Network (LAN) environment, while more and more systems are moving to the cloud, requiring a reliable Internet connection. Not only do you need to have a dependable connection to the Internet, but you will also need the correct amount of bandwidth.
Too little might slow business operations, while too much could be burning unnecessary OPEX. So, how much bandwidth do you need? And how do you calculate bandwidth? By the end of this article, you will understand how to calculate bandwidth requirements. Or at least understand what is behind the results of the bandwidth requirement calculator.
Being a decision-maker in your organization requires that you achieve business objectives efficiently and with the most value possible. That means that you need to make informed decisions acquired through information and data; after all, knowledge is power. Understanding your company’s bandwidth requirements is an important part of running a modern business. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
How Many Employees Do You Have?
How many employees are currently at the company/organization? This should be easy to answer, but projecting growth is a little more difficult. Being able to project staff growth is important to understand future bandwidth needs. For example, a business using a VoIP phone system that experiences a high call volume that doesn’t have enough bandwidth, will find their call qualify becomes compromised. This could in turn affect revenue.
Make sure that your broadband connection is easily upgradeable and scalable for at least the coming 2 years. More importantly, be sure to have a backup connection, for those unseen, yet planned for, emergencies. While knowing the amount of current and future employees is important, knowing what each one of them does is even more important.
If you are a fast growing company, then make sure you have an easily upgradable and scalable connection.
How Many Active Workstations Does Your Business Have?
Workstations is a very broad word, and in the modern business environment, a mobile device can be considered a “workstation”. So, how many connected devices is probably more accurate. Furthermore, are personal mobile devices on the network? That could add up to another 25% of required bandwidth,unless you have a policy in place limiting their throughput. If you have office phones that also need to be connected to the Internet, don’t forget to include those in your count. Even though their bandwidth requirements are not intensive, they should be included in the bandwidth calculation.
It is extremely important to be as accurate as you can in figuring out how many devices will be consuming bandwidth. Slightly overestimating is always better than underestimating. The next step is to understand what those identified devices are doing.
What Applications Are Running on Network Devices?
Even though many businesses have their own systems infrastructure hosted on-site, a lot of companies are migrating their systems to the cloud. Systems such as a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM), Human Resources Management (HRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) are reliably being used in the cloud by newer businesses. Such trends are increasing the importance of a reliable broadband connection.
Do you have a marketing department that creates social media videos and multimedia files? In-house marketing departments require large amounts of bandwidth. For example, a typical 2-4 minute video could be between 500 MBand 1 GB– depending on the quality.
Is your PBX/IPBX on-site, or do you use hosted IPBX, i.e. in the cloud? How many employees are using such systems? It’s easy to figure out how much bandwidth is required for each service being used, as most companies list these requirements.
As a rule of thumb, allow 1-1.5mbps for each workstation/device. Add another 25% if personal devices are connected. However, every case is different, you might need less or you might need more. The final necessity is the need for a backup connection.
The Need for a Disaster Recovery Plan
Having a backup Internet line is more imperative today than it has ever been. At the very minimum, access to a payment gateway or website is needed for business continuity. To read more about disaster recovery planning, we cover how to do so here: Disaster Recovery Plan. Considering the fires that have taken place recently in California, being able to survive a major disaster could be the difference of life or death for your company.
That said, it is highly recommended that you consider planning for a backup line or have a carrier with a strong Service Level Agreement (SLA), just like the one that GeoLinks provides.
Named “Most Disruptive Technology” in the 2018 Central Coast Innovation Awards, GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ network offers business-class fixed wireless Internet with guaranteed speeds reaching up to 10 Gbps. Backed by a carrier-grade Service Level Agreement boasting 99.999% uptime and 24/7 in-house customer support, we’re proud to offer the most resilient and scalable fixed wireless network on the market.
Understanding your bandwidth requirements is important in running a successful operation. It allows you to make informed decisions on OPEX that is justified with accurate information. How to calculate your bandwidth requirements is based on how many employees are located at the site, how many devices will be connected, and what those devices will be doing. Add a 10% contingency for peace of mind, and always plan for future expansion.
If you have any questions about how to calculate your bandwidth requirements, our service engineers will work with you to calculate the required bandwidth for your specific business needs. Don’t hesitate to call us at (888) 225-1571 or contact us here.