Server Bandwidth – what does it all mean?

14th November, 2007 by

If anyone wondered just exactly what speed and amount of data allowance/traffic or bandwidth they are going to get on their dedicated server, then hopefully this will explain some of the offerings out there and what they mean (and what UK2 offers of course!).

Unlimited vs Unmetered vs Limits

You can be forgiven for being confused as sometimes it can seem like companies deliberately make this difficult to understand what exactly the limits are, and there are a few pitfalls you can get trapped by. Apart from the ‘unlimited’ bandwidth offers, which no-one really takes seriously (as it’s physically impossible!), it seems there are two distinct camps when it comes stating traffic limits and bandwidth;

The all you can eat brigade

There’s a few things to be considered when you see you’re being offered unmetered bandwidth;

  1. The connection may be limited by speed at either the switch or somewhere else in the network
  2. The speed can be limited (somewhat) by the amount of servers connected to the switch
  3. The speed can be limited at the server port
  4. You could be subject to a fair usage or acceptable usage policy that throttles you after a certain amount of usage or worse still, cuts you off. Quite often companies who offer unmetered bandwidth have a clause in their fair or acceptable usage policy (check the small print!) which either states a limit on bandwidth, or sometimes just states there is a limit without saying exactly what it is! (sounds crazy I know but a very major company offers this!!)

Call a spade a spade?

The other camp offers clear limits but you should still consider the first three potential pitfalls;

  1. The connection may be limited by speed at either the switch or somewhere else in the network
  2. The speed can be limited (somewhat) by the amount of servers connected to the switch
  3. The speed can be limited at the server port

So you do need to be careful about what companies are advertising and what they are actually offering 😉 . It’s always prudent to quiz whoever you are considering purchasing a dedicated server from as much as possible, if there are any hazy answers, or they can’t answer you then it could be suspicious!

So what does UK2 offer?

Well I am the sales manager so it would be weird for me not to shout about what we offer 🙂 . We currently have four different bandwidth options;

  1. Standard bandwidth is a 100Mbit port (full duplex) on the server which is connected into a Gbit (gigabit) switch (with on average 18 servers connected to each) with a whopping 10,000GB limit for data transfer in a month.
  2. Unmetered 10Mbit bandwidth is a dedicated, unshared 10Mbit full duplex connection.
  3. Unmetered 100Mbit is a dedicated, unshared 100Mbit full duplex connection
  4. Unmetered Gigabit (1000Mbit) is a dedicated, unshared 1000Mbit full duplex connection

Reflected in the price for the unmetered bandwidth offerings is the fact that there is no fair usage policy and no throttling, you really can achieve the full speeds 24/7 (and in fact even on the standard option we recently had one customer pushing 96Mbit+ for 12 hours on several servers located on the same switch, so you can achieve close to the full 100Mbit continuously even on our standard bandwidth option).

We also have completely Gigabit switches all the way through our network and core from the switches the servers are connected to, to the core routers – so there are no hidden ‘bottlenecks’ to slow your server down.

Never believe a salesman?

Well ‘the proof is in the pudding’ as they say and I’m confident we can beat anyone else out there! So if you want to try us out I’m happy to offer discounts for anyone wanting to migrate their servers to us or try a test server – just mention this post and submit a ticket to my team here and we’ll see what we can offer.

Not sure of your bits and bytes? (kb, KB, Mb, MB etc.) have a read of this wiki article that should hopefully make it clearer

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