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Bandwidth Recommendation

Hi all,

I'm a bit confused.  I work at a corp office and have a branch location.  My internet connection is 2mbps.  My branch office is 9mbps(down)/768(up).  

We have a DES/MD5 vpn connection between our offices.  Branch uses BEFVP41 V2 Linksys router.  I am using a VPN concentrator at the corp office.

My question is, when I do a throughput test from my PC to a server in the branch, I only get 680kbps (around 85kBps)  Is this enough bandwidth for RDP, Outlook, file shares, DNS, etc?

There are 5 users in the branch and 1 server.

Please help - I'm not sure if I need more throughput on my Linksys in the branch.

Thanks,
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jsctechy
Asked:
jsctechy
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1 Solution
 
OriNetworksCommented:
Are users experiencing a slow network or timeout errors? This should actually be ok but I would recommend monitoring your link traffic closely and changing the RDP connection to Modem (56Kbps)
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jsctechyAuthor Commented:
They're complaining that their OUTLOOK isn't receiving emails in "real time".  They have to click on a message, or change folders for the new messages to display.  They don't need to click send/receive.  They got all new computers and are experiencing this problem.  Maybe even Office updates might help.  

How much bandwidth would you recommend between the offices?
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yegs2000Commented:
Well the connection speed you told us is not terrible, however it can be improved. If its a business, I would recommend trying to bump that up if possible. So from my understanding if you are connected from the brance office to the main office if you try to download a file that is located at the main office it will only transfer at the fastest your main office can upload (768kbps) remember this number is the theoretical max and you will NEVER actually obtain this speed. Best recommendation would be to talk to your ISP and see if you can get this bumped at all.

Always make sure you get the latest updates and what not for office and windows.

RDP should run fine over that link, however as OriNetworks said it may be best to turn down the speed settings so it runs a bit smoother/faster.

Outlook shouldn't have an issue running at that speed. I'm assuming you are using Exchange server correct?

Other than that, that is plenty bandwidth for RDP (assuming there are not 20 users using RDP) and DNS. For sharing files it's going to be slow... Small files like word docs and what not will be fine, but if you are transferring files greater than 1MB it's going to take a while and it will be inefficient.

Best,
-Yegs
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jsctechyAuthor Commented:
Hi
Yes, they connect to Microsoft Exchange for email.  It's 5 users.  They each get a lot of email, since it is a staffing organization.  

I will test today with the office.  I'll have them power down all PCs in the office and turn on one at a time and test before turning on the next.

Maybe some office updates are needed.
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yegs2000Commented:
I am not sure of the exact options, but I know Exchange server has some methods of working on what it considers a "slower network link."

This may be something to investigate in outlook's account settings or advanced options.


How much other traffic flows through the network? Also you may want to ensure that the internet does NOT go through the main office. If each location has its own connection, then ONLY traffic destined to the main office show go through the VPN tunnel. Internet bound traffic to websites etc, should go out  to your ISP.

A good way to diagnose if this is the case is to go to ipchicken.com which will tell you your IP address. It should NOT be the same IP that would be given to you at your main site.

Let me know how you make out then.
-Yegs
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MesthaCommented:
The behaviour you are seeing with Outlook has nothing to do with bandwidth.
The cause of that is something is blocking the traffic. Outlook works on a push basis. Exchange sends a packet to Outlook to tell it something has changed. If that packet is blocked, then Outlook never looks. When you click on another folder then Outlook refreshes that folder view and also collects any email.

So while things can get slow, it shouldn't actually affect the performance of Outlook.

Simon.
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jsctechyAuthor Commented:
I checked IPCHICKEN - getting correct branch IP (from their server).

Mestha-
What would need to be unblocked?  They just have the standard windows firewall installed.  It is pulled from a GPO - which the entire organization gets- no one else has issues....
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lanboyoCommented:
Is there any network translation going on?  The dreaded outlook udp packet problem is annoying. If the IP of the end station is somehow different or has multiple IP addresses the server sometimes does not know where to send the packet.  If you can run a sniffer on a workstation running outlook at the remote site and on the exchange server, you can send that user an email and see if the packet is the same on both sides...
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jsctechyAuthor Commented:
There is no translation that I am aware of.

We are on different IP subnets, but have always been.  This is just a recent issue that has started.  All new computers for this branch.  
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OriNetworksCommented:
It sounds like the only thing that is sounding slow it outlook. Do you have all of the latest service packs and how is performance on the exchange server? Maybe run exchange best practices analyzer and look at perfmon on the server.
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jsctechyAuthor Commented:
Exchange server-
CPU = 20.5 percent

Mem - 1.67 used - available 2gb
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yegs2000Commented:
That's a lot of memory used. I would invest in a bit more, not saying thats your problem, just offering a tip. 2GB is pretty low for a server, especially a mail server. Even more so, the cost of memory is very cheap anymore, so maybe try doubling that as a precautionary measure.

-Yegs
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OriNetworksCommented:
What about the disk? One of the default counters is Avg Disk Queue Length. Is that line maxing out on the graph frequently? Disk seems to be the most common bottleneck for exchange servers.
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lanboyoCommented:
Perhaps the pc firewall rules are different and are somehow rejecting the foreign UDP packet. It is an oddity, the server will send the UDP packet completely outside of the pc initiated data connection.

Perhaps this was added to the original pc image by a user checkbox or admin rule that the new pcs have not received.

If old workstations work and new ones don't at the remote site this is what I would check out.
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MesthaCommented:
Exchange is designed to use as much RAM as it wants to - so using 90% of the RAM on a system is normal expected behaviour.

Storage on the other hand is a key bottleneck for all Exchange servers. That can make or break Exchange. However it wouldn't cause this problem - even if the server was on its knees performance wise, the clients would still get their update packets.

Simon.
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OriNetworksCommented:
Mestha, I dont think anyone has established the clients arent getting the actual update packets. Maybe the server is just too busy to deliver the updated information or has too many connections and cant respond in a timely manner.
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MesthaCommented:
If the problem was with the server, it would affect all users. The indication in this question is that it is only the users on the remote connection with the problem.

Simon.
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OriNetworksCommented:
Regardless, the question was is the throughput acceptable for the branch office. As discussed, the answer is yes it is acceptable. The issues with Outlook sound independent of throughput.
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