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Streaming media

Posted on 2008-10-01
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Last Modified: 2013-12-14
my boss asked me to lock down the network and find out why our applications were so slow. I did just that and found streaming media was one of the issues. Now the users are complaining and I need to have documentation why this is not a good idea to allow this on our network. Please help. I need to list security standpoints as well and bandwidth issues.
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Question by:shawkins331
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Expert Comment

by:DavidESL
ID: 22622362
primarirly if the use of streamed content is widespread in your organisation then your available bandwidth is going to be all but eaten up by the streaming users. Also I don't know what business sector you work in but surely if people are watching streamed video then they are not working :).

As far as security holes are concerned as long as your network is properly secured against external threats there should be no issues involved with streaming traffic as requests are initiated from within the network but  thats probably not what you wanted to hear.

security holes associated with streaming are usually found on the streaming server side such as certain servers requiring some UDP ports to be open for feedback in the form of RTCP reciever reports this have to be properly controlled by the firewalls to prevent UDP traffic from sources other than the Streaming client.
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by:shawkins331
ID: 22623525
We are a manfacturing company. We have a T1 line that is divided for 5 phone lines and 1 data line. I have explained that the issue with some of the apps running slow is beacuse of the bandwidth issue but i guess he wants to see proof in black and white. I have ran a network analyzer and have the graphs to show when the media is streaming and when its not. If you know of any links that I can find and print out to verify that point it would be greatly appericated.
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DavidESL earned 500 total points
ID: 22623723
below is a quote taken from a microsoft article describing the differences between Unicast and Multicast found at (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/291786)

"Unicast is a one-to one connection between the client and the server. Unicast uses IP delivery methods such as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which are session-based protocols. When a Windows Media Player client connects using unicast to a Windows Media server, that client has a direct relationship to the server. Each unicast client that connects to the server takes up additional bandwidth. For example, if you have 10 clients all playing 100-kilobits per second (Kbps) streams, those clients as a group are taking up 1,000 Kbps. If you have only one client playing the 100 Kbps stream, only 100 Kbps is being used. "

In this context it is describing the utilisation of bandwidth from a server side persepctive but it illustrates equally the impact of having multiple users in concurrent streaming sessions from multiple streaming servers into your network.

This explanation of the nature of unicast streaming and your own network analysis graphs should go a long way to explaining why streaming is clogging up your network.
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