How to Calculate Bandwidth Needs: Part 1

We recently conducted a live Google Hangout where we discussed:

  • How to calculate your bandwidth needs
  • What to look for on your contracts with your voice and data carrier suppliers
  • The world of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
  • How to assess your technology policies

This is part one of the transcript from our discussion. We hope you join us for a future Team One Solutions webinar.

Paul Svec: Okay. All right. Just very quickly, a brief overview of Team One Solutions. We thank everybody for joining us this morning. We are a Bay Area Voice and Data Integrator. I’ve been around for about 12 years and we’ve got a few hundred customers, mostly in the Bay Area, but some larger accounts that’s spread across the country.

The focus of today’s first webinar in this series is going to be business bandwidth and we’re going to discuss five ways to calculate how much of that bandwidth your company needs.

A brief bit of background on myself. I’ve been in the industry too long, about 40 years or so, ever since the Carterfone decision. I served several roles in management and company ownership, cofounded this company in 2002 with Jeff Bell and Brandon Svec and we have designed our company to be a full service Voice and Data Integrator. We resell product, we install it, we maintain it. We help design networks, both for voice and data and we also resell carrier services. Jeff, why don’t you spend just a minute or two and tell us a bit about your background as well?

Jeff Bell: Sure. Thanks, Paul. I first got in the business back in 1985. I’ve worked in a number of organizations, cable contractor, project management for them. I’ve done the installation of actually, PBX itself. Became a business owner in 1993. Sold that to the largest telecom rollup in the industry, a company called Exponets[SP]. Was the VP/GM for three years there, on my contract and then, when that was done, wanted to get back into a little smaller, not an enterprise size company and so in 2002, Paul and I, and Brandon, founded Team One Solutions.

Paul: Okay. Thanks, Jeff. All right. Let’s get right into the meat of the presentation.

All right. Reviewing your current usage, obviously, it’s hard to figure out where you want to go if you don’t know where you’re at. The kinds of usage we’re going to talk about are both voice and data. With voice, it’s kind of easy. You look at your phone bill to see how many lines you’ve got, what kind of lines, if you’ve got T1 service, understanding you’ve got 23 voice channels, if you got analog lines, they should be itemized for you. Data usage of may be a bit tougher on to determine if you got a DSL circuit that’s asynchronous. Meaning, a different amount of bandwidth from up and down, but it’s doable and you do need to know what that is. That may be what you have, but how much do you need?

We talk about the difference between aggregate versus peak usage. Aggregate usage is very simply let’s say you have eight analog lines, you know that for sure. Peak usage, however, is how many lines do you actually need, speaking in voice for the moment. If you have eight lines, and you’ve got all of them in use, and a customer tries to reach you on the ninth line, he’s not going to get you, he’ll get busy a signal, so it’s important to know what your peak usage is, not just your aggregate needs, okay?

Now, on the data side, same thing. A bit tougher, but there are tools that will allow you to know how much of your aggregate bandwidth that you’ve contracted for you are actually using and perhaps how much more you might need.

Current network architecture, Jeff, why don’t you run us through what we’re talking about when we say current network architecture?

Jeff: Absolutely, Paul. There’s kind of two sides to the network architecture, there’s the data side and the voice side. We’ll start with the data side first. Kind of look at what’s on your LAN. You’re going to have data switches and those may or may not be power over ethernet enabled. You’re going to have a firewall. You’re going to have a router. Most likely, you’re going to have access points. All those have usually a throughput limitation on them. The other component on the network architecture side is really what kind of cabling you have. Basically, if you’re going to look at doing any kind of 10100 speeds, you’re going to need CAT5 or better but when you start talking about getting a gigabit running Voice over IP applications, you should be looking at CAT5 or CAT6 on the data side.

Then, when you think about doing voice, okay? It may just be a T1 interface or something like that but a lot of people are doing Voice over IP now, which actually puts more data onto your current network. If you’re thinking about it, that’s one of the things you need to understand is, what will that additional bandwidth requirement going through your network for Voice over IP calls do? That’s kind of the whole network architecture, the areas you need to be looking at.

Paul: Okay. Thanks, Jeff. Before I go any further, Dave and all the other participants on this, if you’ve got any particular areas that you want us to focus on, or if you’ve got any particular questions, please let us know. These webinars are designed for you, not just for us to hear ourselves talk.

That’s part 1 of the Team One Solutions webinar on how to calculate your bandwidth needs. We went over a review of what Team One Solutions does and how we help our customers with their bandwidth needs. In part 2, we take a look at the contracts voice and data providers use and what you should look for. 

Posted in Bandwidth, Cloud Services, Data Networking

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