acceptable rate limiting speeds for users on shared network

Posted on 2006-06-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-03-17
In a enterprise environment, we provide support and high speed internet services to tenants and guests where most are sharing a t1 or similar dsl pipe. The routers support rate limiting to throttle down users to a particular up/down limit. I often find some users that are file sharing and utilizing a lot of bandwidth and want a good speed to rate them at. What can you reccomend as a good rate for
1 normal users and
2 problem users.

I would like them to still experience 'high speed' and not sure a good rate. There are upwards of anywhere from 10-100 users on at one time.  I guess I need a formula to calculate this based on number of users and bandwidth available.
What would cause a noticable performance hit by the users themselves? I would like a good rule of thumb for upstream/downstream cap for each user. I am unsure if a user is limited to 256k if that means they could be using that much of the pipe at any one time or if its more likely a burst speed and just a good measure to ensure they do not eat up all avaialble.

Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Question by:pixel3000
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Expert Comment

by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16856590
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This is the simplest traffic controll program for Windows:

This is serious software for the enterprise:

Overall I would say if your total throughput during peak time doesn't exceed 90% of the total bandwidth usage.  You would be OK

Author Comment

ID: 16857004
Thanks for the feedback.

Let me clarify the scene. I have existing routers that already have the abilty to do traffic shaping, so its not that I need a solution to provide this serivce I already have the ability. I can go in and say this user is limited to 256down 100up or more/less. I am trying to come up with a good 'ballpark' figure for what I want to limit each user to while maintaining a 'high speed' experience for them. I typically limit to 256down and 128up and think that is sufficient, but at the same time wondering if it should be lower for someoen who is say file sharing or doing bandwidth intensive applications that could potentially utilize the entire 256 which may be 1/4 of the total availabel bandwidth - where other users that may be jsut browsing could be limited to 256 and still get great speed but will not be using it continually that would cause an issue for other users. Is that how it works in practice?

I am looking for an upstream and downstream rate I can use as a baseline that provides high speed experience to multiple users, or a formula to determine this based on existing variables. And also some basic informatino about how bandwidth is actualy utilized by what a normal user would be doing vs a file sharer or infected node.
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Expert Comment

by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16857176
Perhaps you would like to survey the users and find out what applications they are using. For example if you have someone developing multimedia versus someone sending out memos.. the former will require more bandwith.  There really is no standard..but the rule of thumb is NOT to let your entire throughput reach 100%.

If you can segregate group A B C D ...etc..., figure a percentage of who uses what, and break that down from the entire bandwith - 10%, and use that as an allowance.
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Author Comment

ID: 16865998
The difficulty I face with that angle, is that I have no means of surveying the users or segreagating by group. The users are often guests using the internet as an ammenity and I can only see that utilization is high or this user or that user (known only by their mac address) is passing a lot of traffic and may be hogging bandwidth. I have the ability to limit them to any rate I want either overall or by each user I deem may need to be limited. I just don't know what rate would be effective but not a cause for slow access complaints from the user.

So are you saying 10% of the total available is a good rate to limit at? Example T1 connection - limit each user to 150kpbs? Wouldn't that be noticable ot the user?

I am thinking if I have 50 people on, and limit them each to 256 - wouldn't that mean essentially 5 people could eat up all the available? Or would that be say 5 file sharers or users downloading something at one time, while theoretically I could have dozens of users capped at 256 but not using 256 each only periodically when downloading or streaming/sharing?

If someone is eaating a lot of bandwidth, would limiting them to 256 be wise or better to go lower. How low would you stil 'feel' like high speed?
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Accepted Solution

Irwin Santos earned 1500 total points
ID: 16866783
"So are you saying 10% of the total available is a good rate to limit at?"

No.. max users totalling 90% of the given rate...the 10% is a buffer that you can play with, incase someone says it's too slow.

Also, not everyone will be using the bandwitch constantly at the same time..  What you could do is start even lower say at 50% of total bandwidth, and monitor usage, and tweak according.

Ultimately there are variables that you cannot control
- quantity of download
- number of users at a given time
- users that access at a single instance
- QOS from upstream provider

Starting at some minimum threshold, gives you that play to up the system throughput...(got 50% more play).

If someone outright complains...then give him/her more bandwidth.  That would be your indicator
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Expert Comment

by:Irwin Santos
ID: 17063567
cool. thank you!

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