As IT organizations strive for the perfect balance between network capacity, user experience, and cost, bandwidth must be considered as higher bandwidth will result in higher data transfer speed and better performance. When available bandwidth is exceeded by user requirements during high traffic periods, networks will slow down, negatively affecting performance and the user experience. The challenge for most organizations these days is determining how much bandwidth is needed and when. This can be especially difficult since bandwidth requirements now seen with evolving remote and hybrid work models continue to grow and no longer conform to old predictable patterns.
Private Networks and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs – which allow users to send and receive data across public networks as if they were directly connected to a private network) often experience large fluctuations in traffic. During peak usage times, bandwidth may ideally need to be increased to reduce latency and allow for a better flow of data between the endpoints. This, in turn, can significantly improve application and system performance. Preparation, planning, and flexibility are key to meeting the needs of new and often unpredictable bandwidth usage demands.
As a result, more and more enterprises are moving toward a burstable bandwidth strategy as a cost-effective way to ensure their data transfer needs are met.
Estimating bandwidth needs
Enterprise IT departments spend a great deal of time trying to optimize their bandwidth requirements and purchases, and with good reason. If a company purchases too little bandwidth, data transfer speeds will be very slow, which will negatively affect the user experience of the company’s employees and customers. If they purchase too much bandwidth, network connectivity resources can sit idle and the company will overspend relative to their needs.
One of the biggest challenges with evaluating bandwidth is that it is difficult to analyze and estimate regular traffic patterns and bandwidth usage while ensuring enough bandwidth for peak periods. Enterprises need to look closely at what works best for their business by carefully analyzing their traffic patterns.
The solution: Burstable bandwidth
Burstable bandwidth is a means by which the bandwidth offered by a service provider can be increased to address peak periods of usage. By increasing the capacity available to address that usage, network users – or the enterprises that support them – don’t need to sign up for a continuous and more expensive higher level of service than is needed most of the time.
Burstable bandwidth is a very flexible and cost-effective solution to scale bandwidth as needed and ensure optimal connectivity without experiencing performance or latency issues. In essence, it allows for the unpredictability of bandwidth requirements. Bursting is an operationally efficient option as compared to fixed bandwidth solutions since it allows a user to commit to an “average” Committed Information Rate (CIR) but also accommodates periodic higher speed bandwidth bursts when needed.
Burstable bandwidth provides an assist
To employ burstable bandwidth, an enterprise must first choose a base bandwidth (CIR) that meets their current average network traffic requirements but can also easily scale as requirements change over time. This will set a baseline for the data transfer rate that their network can handle. Then, a burstable bandwidth is set that will use available network capacity up to the port speed of the provided service to deliver more bandwidth during peak times.
When implementing burstable bandwidth, or any connectivity, enterprises should choose a fiber network service provider that can offer solutions that can successfully support their organization’s bandwidth needs with the necessary bandwidth scalability.
Simply put, Enterprises need bandwidth solutions that are flexible and customizable to meet their rapidly growing and somewhat unpredictable connectivity needs. Burstable bandwidth is a cost-effective, scalable bandwidth solution that allows organizations to get and pay for what they need when they need it.