A shared T1 was once immeasurably fast to most folks. Now, it’s less than half the bandwidth most of us have at home.
Are users complaining that their broadband hookup at home is faster? Well, guess what? A cable connection may be just what you need at work. Buying an asynchronous business-class cable circuit to coexist with a T1 can ease the Internet connection burden substantially. Source-routing at the network core directs regular Internet traffic from within the network to the cable connection while pushing higher-priority traffic through the T1 circuit, giving you the best of both worlds.
Traffic-shaping at the Internet circuit is definitely worthwhile, and many firewalls are integrating this capability, removing the need for more hardware. Blocking or limiting applications deemed “frivolous” at the firewall can help, and deploying a proxy server -- even a transparent proxy -- can also be beneficial, albeit a bit of a chore. Implementation of an AUP enforcement product such as Websense can also control unchecked Internet usage.
If your corporate Web site runs within your network, moving it to a colocation or managed-hosting facility might be a viable option to increase throughput of your Internet circuit. Colocation costs are dropping, and monthly rates on servers suitable to run most sites are quite reasonable. Removing that draw from your link may produce noticeable performance improvements. Of course, gathering metrics on your Web site’s used bandwidth is a must before you make any decisions.
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