8 Ways To Maximize Network Bandwidth

Use techniques like traffic policing and WAN optimization to get the most out of your bandwidth.

Network bandwidth is a fixed commodity. Sure, links can be upgraded or aggregated to add more capacity in many situations. But it also costs a significant amount of money and can take a great deal of time to implement. Because of this, it's important to know and understand ways getting the most out of the finite amount of bandwidth you already have.

In this slideshow, we’ll look at eight different ways you can maximize your network bandwidth. These eight specific methods all really boil down to just three different techniques. The first technique is to streamline data flows, which essentially means that data from point A to point B take the most optimal path. Doing so can eliminate areas where bottlenecks are commonly found.

The next method is to optimize data so it either consumes less overall bandwidth or is prioritized to give it a sense that there's more bandwidth available than there actually is. Optimization can be performed at a number of points along the data path. It’s also the area that is growing the most in terms of capabilities and effectiveness.

The third way to get the most out of your bandwidth is to eliminate unnecessary data traversing the network. This can take the form of written Internet usage policies, and more effectively, through the use of blacklists/whitelists enforced on the network. Limiting what can and cannot be done on a corporate network can make a significant impact on bandwidth utilization at critical parts of the network.

Learn best practices and strategies for building and managing an enterprise network in the Networking Track at Interop Las Vegas this spring. Don't miss out! Register now for Interop, May 2-6, and receive $200 off.

(Image: Trifonenko/iStockphoto)

About the Author(s)

Andrew Froehlich, President, West Gate Networks

President, West Gate Networks

As a highly experienced network architect and trusted IT consultant with worldwide contacts, particularly in the United States and Southeast Asia, Andrew Froehlich has nearly two decades of experience and possesses multiple industry certifications in the field of enterprise networking. Froehlich has participated in the design and maintenance of networks for State Farm Insurance, United Airlines, Chicago-area schools and the University of Chicago Medical Center. He is the founder and president of Loveland, Colo.-based West Gate Networks, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and data center build outs. The author of two Cisco certification study guides published by Sybex, he is a regular contributor to multiple enterprise IT related websites and trade journals with insights into rapidly changing developments in the IT industry.

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