How Much Bandwidth does a Data Center Need?

Bandwidth – also known as IP (Internet Protocol), Connectivity or Internet Access is the module that allows a dedicated/ collocated server to access the Internet. If IT equipment is not housed in a data center, then the purchase bandwidth is in the form of a DSL or T-1 line to office. It is then connected to a data center or any other similar facility where it achieves access to the internet. There is a disparity of bandwidth depending on the business need. Choosing is a tricky task as there are many variations in the bandwidth.

Bandwidth in simple words can be explained with equation to the amount of traffic that is allowed between the web site and the rest of the internet. Bandwidth amount is determined by network connections. Network connections, are both internal to the data center and external to the internet. Most web hosting companies will estimate bandwidth by the month and set the limits in view of that.

Data Centers and Server Collocation Providers normally sell bandwidth alongside their products. Bandwidth of providers is uniquely designed to serve the needs of a definite type of company, a certain size venture or certain product streak. For example, Flash sites take up a ton of bandwidth and so do large video/audio files and file downloads. So you can see there is no guaranteed way of finding out how much bandwidth you need, especially if your site has not been up for a while.With time, conditions change. So, users can find that there are slither inefficiencies that come from scraping things together here and there.

To choose the appropriate bandwidth for data center, it is important to understand the quality of them. The bandwidth basically comprises of three features. They are:

1. Quality of Upstream Bandwidth i.e., the quality of data center’s internet: Just like a customer buys bandwidth for a collocated server, a data center buys wholesale bandwidth from a provider. Data centers are large patrons of bandwidth. Their networks share in the overall network of systems that finally comprise the internet or the World Wide Web. Data centers that have numerous uplinks use a protocol called BGP (Border Gateway Protocol).BGP network is called AS or Autonomous System. An AS is inter-networked between its upstream providers and the individual servers (customers) served by the data center. The upstream providers to which data centers hook up are usually large carrier-grade conveniences. These upstream providers are graded based on a tier system. The tier ranking system has a dual meaning. One being the technical definition and the other its marketing definition. The technical definition of a Tier 1, 2, or 3 network is quite different than the marketing definition.

SolutionPro’s upstream providers are a merge of tier 1 and 2 bandwidth providers. A data center has upstream providers that can deliver eminent routes to the internet, uphold uptime guarantees and afford room for expansion. Many a time, tier 1 providers do provide those types of connections but most tier 2 providers have these characteristics as well.

2. The quantity of a Data Center’s Uplinks:Several data centers have compound uplinks to minimize downtime for their clients. These uplinks should be configured to work together.

3. The Type of concurrent Uplinks:A data center can configure simultaneous uplinks numerous ways, depending on its expenditure structure, technical resources and capacity.
Data center consolidation is being looked into keenly by companies today. Fewer locations with fewer servers, larger servers and virtualization are all practices that eventually lead to the same or even better performance at a reduced cost.

It the cost and the availability of bandwidth that supports consolidation efforts. This is particularly true if only the data centers are being consolidated, but other operations continue at geographically varied locations. There has to some way to get data from place to place. That task used to fall with the site LAN, but now you’ll need a WAN connection.

Bandwidth has variations, and may not need as much bandwidth required for LAN. Users at each location need access, obviously, but the heavy processing may be local to the data center with just data entry and results going across the WAN. There is a need to establish the bandwidth requirement and then check availability and pricing of bandwidth options.

One cannot really tell how much bandwidth is actually required for the data center before the site is on- the- go. If the site has been running for a while, then common bandwidth algorithm is as follows:

Avg. page views x Avg. page size x Avg. visitors (daily) x days in a month (30)
The calculation vaguely gives an idea of how much bandwidth is actually required. The following is an approximate estimation which gives a blurred idea in any case.
• Small basic site (minimal downloads/media/etc) with minimal to mid range traffic – 5-10GB
• Medium sized site with lots of traffic with really good traffic– 10-40GB
• Large websites with lots of downloads/media and tons of traffic– 40-100GB+

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