5 Best Practices for Network Bandwidth Management
Preparation is key to keeping networks running smoothly despite March Madness live streaming
March 17, 2014
Brad Hale
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Even non-sports fans can get swept up in March Madness mania – creating brackets, participating in office pools and reigniting old college rivalries can be a fun way to get through the last dregs of winter and liven up the office environment.

However, when it comes to live streaming games on company-owned devices, on the company network and/or during office hours, end users can wreak havoc on the network.

Jump to Bandwidth Risk Assessment infographic below

So how can IT pros prepare for March Madness (and other popular live streaming events)? We've compiled five tips to help keep networks running smoothly:

1. Educate

Sometimes it takes a gentle nudge to remind end users that live streaming non-work related content on company property during work hours isn't the best use of their time or the company's resources.

We created a handy decision-making flowchart that you can share to help employees draw the ultimate conclusion: during March Madness, mind your bandwidth!

2. Monitor Your Current Traffic Profile

There are numerous hardware and software tools that allow you to monitor, profile and baseline your current network traffic to identify when and how bandwidth is being consumed, as well as by whom and by what applications.

Further, many tools will give you the ability to map bandwidth usage and its impact on your applications.

3. Establish Traffic Management or Quality of Service (QoS) Policies

Various network traffic management tools allow you to establish and monitor QoS policies to ensure that business-critical traffic, such as voice over IP (VOIP) or Web access to cloud-based applications, takes priority over nonessential traffic.

4. Optimize WAN Capacity or WAN Links

Purchasing additional bandwidth is not the only way to increase your WAN capacity. WAN acceleration will effectively increase or optimize the usage of your WAN. Or if you utilize multiple WAN links, you can direct your business-critical traffic across one link while sending the less essential traffic across another.

5. Back Up Your Network Configurations

Just in case your network does go down, you need to ensure that you have backed up your device configurations so you can quickly revert back to a known good configuration.

By following these five tips, you can prevent fouling out on network uptime and turn bandwidth management during March Madness into a slam dunk!

ABOUT Brad Hale

Brad Hale joined SolarWinds in 2009 and is the Product Marketing Principal for network management products, bringing over 20 years of product management, product marketing, business development and strategy experience in the software, systems, and semiconductor industries. Hale holds an MBA from Butler University and a BS in Computer Engineering from Purdue University.

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