Network usage creep can occur without your business noticing it as it carries on its daily operations. But bandwidth usage can continue to climb without anyone being alerted that the system has an issue – until the network grinds to a halt. As companies have embraced hybrid working since the pandemic, the number of online meetings has soared – as has the use of bandwidth for VOIP calls, media sharing, cloud, and other services.
Even though bandwidth required for a VOIP call is low at around 100kbps up and down, once your company has scaled these calls up across your organization, the amount of bandwidth needed can become an issue – especially if your staff is also using other services across the network such as cloud-based services such as OneDrive or Google Drive.
However, here are five things to consider if you want to reduce the amount of money you spend each month on network usage at your business – and keep the network in peak performing mode.
Check for unmanaged topology changes
As networks grow and hardware is added over time, poorly functioning switches or routers are added to the system piece by piece as upgrades are carried out or failing components are replaced. If a component in a network starts to fail, latency or latency variations such as jitter can often significantly slow down an entire network. Checking that all networks’ components are delivering their expected throughput means that the overall performance of the network is not impacted, and your hardware costs are well managed.
Consider adjusting your bandwidth speed
If you are a small business with a limited number of staff, consider how much bandwidth you need to keep the business going and minimise bandwidth delays. Do you need gigabit broadband if you hardly use it? You want to make it easier for your teams to work from home so you need to make sure you have the infrastructure you need to ensure that access to all corporate resources is as seamless as if the employee was actually working in the office.
Monitor bandwidth usage
If your bandwidth usage suddenly jumps, this could be due to a variety of factors. It might be due to new versions of software causing an increase in network resources. Software updates – if implemented en masse, could significantly slow down a network – as could bad actors who have managed to inject malware into the system . Using network monitors will allow admins to look at your network health and quickly identify bottlenecks in the system.
Throttle resource hungry apps
Delivering quality of service across the network is key to keeping Line of Business (LoB) apps performing as expected – without any down time. Bandwidth analysers can identify which specific apps are using the most bandwidth on the network, and if this amount of traffic is not expected, administrators can take steps to throttle bandwidth for any rogue application or service to ensure continued quality of service for other apps.
Consider a software productivity suite
The issue is not always about speed. It could be about resource conflicts across the network as apps muscle in on the bandwidth you have. Productivity suites use less bandwidth that a disparate array of software tools by different vendors which compete for bandwidth. Productivity suites written by a single vendor uses a set of shared services that can reduce the bandwidth load on the system resulting in efficiency and performance gains.
Of course, no amount of bandwidth will deliver a top-class service if the connection is not high quality, stable and has latency issues – no matter how much it costs. Although some of the considerations might not be the most obvious ways to reduce your monthly bills, it is worth checking that your network, hardware and apps are in tip-top condition and are operating as expected. Tweaking small issues now could lead to a considerable cost saving for your business in the long run.