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# Calculate the bandwidth needed for my organization

Posted on 2010-01-12
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I'm working for an Academic institution with about 600 researchers, 2000 students and 1000 administrative personnel.

How can I calculate the bandwidth needed to ensure fast and reliable access to the internet?

I'm currently in the process of renewing the contract with our ISP, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Question by:avvweb
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Accepted Solution

icenick earned 334 total points
ID: 26295741
Dear avvweb,

Take a look at the following:

http://www.numion.com/calculators/

Hope it will help.
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Author Comment

ID: 26296557
Is good, but I need calculate the bandwidth needed for a number of users to access internet. I'm not hosting any application.
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Assisted Solution

Don Johnston earned 666 total points
ID: 26296680
Since you're renewing your contract, you've already got an internet link. The easiest thing to do is look at your usage on the existing circuit. If it's not hitting 100% utilization, then the existing service is fast enough. If it's significantly less, you can look at reducing the bandwidth.

Now if you're saturating the link, things get a little harder. Without knowing what type of utilization each user is generating, there's no accurate way to predict how much bandwidth you'll need. You could try and identify traffic for a couple of average users and monitor their usage. But if the link is already saturated, that will reduce their usage and through the whole formula off.

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Author Comment

ID: 26307667
Of course I am thinking in installing a huge link to the web to measure the real use of the internet. Nevertheless I am looking for a formula to calculate the needed bandwidth based on the number of users, total dialy bandwidth per user, pick hour, etc.

The problem that I have are not the variables because I have them. The problem is that the network usage is not linear but logarithmic (or something like that), I mean is not an arithmetic calculation (BandwithUser1+BandwidthUser2+Etc) because it has to consider the voids between requests.

Is there a way to calculate this?
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LVL 50

Assisted Solution

Don Johnston earned 666 total points
ID: 26308169
You can estimate it.

Let's say you have 100 users.   In a 60 second time period, they will peak at 1.5mbps for a total duration of appx. 15 seconds in that minute.   So 4 users would be able to drive 1.5mbps for a full 60 second period. Which means that (theoretically) you would need 25 x 1.5mbps (37.5mbps) to provide enough bandwidth for all 100 users.

The problem is that at any given time you may have more than 25 users generating traffic so you've still oversubscribed the link.

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Author Closing Comment

ID: 31676216
ok, I guess that I'll have to estimate it with try & error.
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