For most modern businesses, the need for a fast internet connection cannot be overstated.
It is no less than a commodity that we all need, and it is one that we are more than willing to pay for. While households are free to get as much internet as they want, businesses, on the other hand, should get only what they need.
After all, the secret to making a decent profit lies in being able to minimize expenses without sacrificing quality, and by being able to maximize revenue.
A bandwidth monitoring tool is an essential part of any IT infrastructure. It is a tool that makes use of hardware probes and packet analyzers to offer accurate data on your network’s upload and download speeds.
John Kimball from Comparitech notes: “A bandwidth monitor will provide real-time insights into usage across your network so you can identify hogs on your network which could point to other issues such as a network intrusion.”
But that’s not all. While it may seem like a fairly simple tool, a bandwidth monitoring tool has many uses, many of which may even save your business money if you’re able to use it properly.
So, what exactly are a few of these uses?
Detect and Predict Server Bottlenecks
A slow network connection is bound to hinder business operations, especially for online retailers.
This can cause your website to load slowly, or worse, it can interfere with an ongoing transaction.
A bandwidth monitor is going to be able to pinpoint any bottlenecks in your server to allow the network administrator to solve the root cause of the problem at the soonest possible time.
This also means that your website is going to spend less time being offline and thus, you’re able to continue business operations.
After all, the longer your website is out of commission, the more money you’re losing because potential buyers are likely to click away and buy from somewhere else if your website isn’t available when they need it.
Furthermore, if you’ve been able to establish a pattern of what is normal network behaviour from that of a bogged down the system, you may even be able to predict when your network might slow down. This will allow network administrators to take preventive action if possible.
Determine Bandwidth and Hardware Needs
Another added benefit of getting bandwidth monitoring software is that you can accurately determine the load that your servers are able to handle and what the actual load is on your servers.
This allows you to allocate the necessary resources where they are needed and it also allows you to determine if you’re ready to expand as a business.
It’s going to be much easier to convince your boss to invest in better equipment if they’re presented with accurate reports instead of observation that “the internet feels sluggish.”
Determine Bandwidth Usage Per App and User
A bandwidth monitor is also going to provide you with insight into what apps and users might be bogging your system down.
This is important because this information allows you to pinpoint the source of the bottleneck in your system.
This can help you detect if you have any employees using your network for activities that are not work-related, or if they click carelessly through malware-laden sites.
Bandwidth monitoring software also helps you stay within the data limits set by your data plan and helps you avoid being charged for the excess of data that you consume.
By being able to monitor usage per app and user, it’s also going to be much easier to detect any unauthorized users or apps that attempt to gain access to your network.
This is crucial for businesses that hold sensitive data such as customer credit card information, Social Security numbers, and of course, your business’s trade secrets.
Monitor And Predict Traffic Trends
Websites experience different levels of traffic during different times of the day. By observing this, you’re going to be able to establish a pattern of behaviour that allows you to predict when traffic is going to spike and when it’s going to be at minimal levels.
This will help you determine how best to allocate your resources, you can take some servers offline if they aren’t really needed during those hours.
A bandwidth monitor can help you determine the optimal times for downtime so that any planned outage will impact a minimal amount of users.
A bandwidth monitoring tool may seem like a simple tool, but its utility is undeniable. It is one of the most basic tools to get if you have an infrastructure to maintain, and with good reason.
Being aware of how your network is performing in real-time and at different times gives business owners the information needed to make informed decisions.