An IT Manager’s Guide to Bandwidth Optimization

Without efficient bandwidth, any company comes to a halt. That's why optimization strategies are so crucial for making sure that bottlenecks and slowdowns can be minimized as much as possible. Here are eight quick tips for creating more optimization in your IT environment: Eliminate transfer of redundant data: Regularly doing deduplication can prevent redundant data from being routed across a WAN, usually by sending references to the data instead of the data itself. Reduce latency with application optimization: Improving application performance can have an effect on network latency, bolstering bandwidth availability. Sometimes, you can use a local WAN optimizer to help with simple tasks related to application latency and other optimization tactics. Prioritize traffic: Bandwidth is compared to a highway for good reason. The amount of data zooming in and out often resembles a busy traffic pattern, and no one wants to sit in rush hour all the time. Put traffic prioritization strategies into play to route data more effectively. For example, WAN acceleration devices can be useful for shaping traffic with better granularity than standard network devices. Set rate limits: All applications are not created equal. Some will need larger amounts of bandwidth to access applications and other resources on a consistent basis. Others may be taking the same amount of bandwidth to play games on their lunch break. Setting rate limits based on job functions and roles can be useful as a way to clear congestion and create more optimization. Get complete visibility: Without understanding everything that's happening across a network, including user activity, application usage, and network utilization, it's much more difficult to optimize bandwidth. With better visibility, IT will get a glimpse into which applications are taking up the most bandwidth, and can make decisions about whether to replace those with lower-bandwidth options or even eliminate them altogether. For example, automated data backup programs may be taking up significant bandwidth, without adding enough value to users, and can therefore be replaced with a more streamlined, effective solution. Ditch unused protocols: As applications get updated, their unused protocols often remain on the network, and continue to consume bandwidth even though they're unnecessary. By focusing on eliminating these protocols, IT can optimize bandwidth fairly quickly. Determine business-case usage: There are some applications, such as instant messaging platforms and collaboration technologies, that can slow bandwidth to a crawl. If these are considered mission critical to an organization, then IT will have to find another way to optimize the network. But sometimes, these applications are downloaded for personal use. Taking a look at what users truly need can go a long way toward eliminating the garbage apps that are taking bandwidth down. Check settings: As simple as it may sound, there are times when networks just aren't configured in the most optimal way. This is especially true if default settings are used, or if users are logging in and out continually. Checking to make sure setting are accurate can be helpful for keeping bandwidth more robust. For a more customized approach, consider setting up a comprehensive IT evaluation that can assess your bandwidth and other technology aspects, in order to align more closely with business goals. GET A COMPLIMENTARY ASSESSMENT