What is bandwidth?
First of all, let us understand what bandwidth is all about. To be very precise, it is all about data**. More appropriately, it may be quantified as the amount of data transferred in time, routinely measured in bits per second. Earlier, data was sent via physical mediums such as postal services, albeit there are innumerable ways of transmitting and receiving data with a push of a button.
[** According to a statement issued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Tokyo on October 29, 2018, the price of 1 GB data is cheaper than a bottle of Cold Drink in India.]
However, since most organizations depend on the Internet to carry out business-critical operations, Internet speed makes all the difference between success and failure for them. In this connection, it may be well worth knowing that there are two different forms of bandwidth speed: Upload and Download, where Upload Speed relates to the speed at which data is transferred to its destination, while Download Speed relates to the rate at which data is received.
Along with speed, Bandwidth capacity is an equally relevant factor, for the simple reason that whenever you are configuring your infrastructure you must make sure that you can support the bandwidth you require. For example, think of an environment with multiple users where you need to determine what bandwidth to implement. Needles to say, you would require appropriate metrics and tools to demonstrate how much bandwidth you may require to run the operation satisfactorily. And the worst part of the whole story is that it is next to impossible to forecast present and future consumption of bandwidth for typical business houses. What’s more, you need a Bandwidth Analyzer that can detect, collect, monitor and analyze network bandwidth data and metrics. In other words, you need a Bandwidth Analyzer to do the job flawlessly.
Also known as bandwidth monitor, a bandwidth analyzer may be referred to as a part of network management software that usually operates at the network gateway, while recording each packet that goes in or out of the network. Generally, a bandwidth analyzer’s prime function involves providing the amount and the size of data that is downloaded or uploaded, along with the overall bandwidth used in the process.
In certain cases, an advanced-level bandwidth analyzer can get into the details of each network packet, while providing performance and security related data. What’s more, it often includes peak usage time, protocols, active systems, source/destination IP addresses of each packet. Additionally, it can remind the network administrator as and when a bandwidth use threshold has been reached, while informing the administrator in regard to application/use/system-specific bandwidth use particulars.
While scrutinizing the bandwidth is more or less limited to focusing on internet traffic, bandwidth monitoring involves a lot more issues. For instance, it can let you monitor bandwidth speed/capacity, check network traffic between devices, as well as general web application traffic. However, the biggest benefit that it provides comes from the fact that it lets you understand the bandwidth being utilized, so that you may be reasonably ensured that users are getting the best possible performance from your network. In short, it is most useful for ISPs that are located in not too urban areas.