Bandwidth

Bandwidth in the most general terms signifies the data entering and leaving a networked device. The term has come now to embody two different ideas; firstly, the data traffic that the device is currently using and secondly, the maximum available rate of data transfer to and from the device.

The bandwidth referred to in the shopping cart and most other places on by Memset is the maximum quantity of traffic that each server has access to. The two types of bandwidth offered by Memset represent different ways of accounting for the traffic that a server uses. Neither one is fundamentally better than another but rather they are suited to different requirements.

Metered and Unmetered Connections

The two types of bandwidth that Memset offers are Metered and Unmetered which are different ways of limiting the total amount of traffic a server can use. Metered bandwidth provides access to a higher number of Mega bits per second (Mbps) but limits the total number of Gigabytes of traffic transferred in month (both up and download are counted together). Unmetered bandwidth provides access to fewer Mega bits per second but the total amount of Gigabytes of traffic used in a month s not countered, that is to say it is not metered.

An easier way to conceptualise this difference between metered and unmetered bandwidth is to think of them as two different water connections.

Metered

The metered connection is best thought of as a larger diameter water pipe that is connected to a water tank that is refilled every month. This pipe can supply a greater number of gallons per minute than the unmetered connection but only ever has access to available water in the tank.

In computer terms, the maximum gallons per minute is the maximum available bandwidth in Mega bits per second or Mbps. The tank of water represents the Inclusive Monthly Transfer which is the amount of data that is available to your server. All the data that your server uses, both upload and download, is metered and deducted from this total.

The Inclusive Monthly Transfer is reset at the beginning of each calendar month. No unused data is rolled over to the next month.

If you exceeded your Inclusive Monthly Transfer allocation then the available bandwidth to your server will be reduced to 20Kbps and you will be immediately notified via email.

There exists an additional bank of data that your server can use that will roll over each month and will be used only when the Inclusive Monthly Transfer is exhausted. Please contact sales@Memset.com to obtain prices.

Memset will monitor your server's bandwidth usage and if we can forecast that you will exceed your Inclusive Monthly Transfer allocation before the end of the current month then we will email you to let you know and further arrangements can be made with the Sales team to ensure normal operation is maintained.

Unmetered

The unmetered connections is like a smaller pipe water pipe that is connected to a water mains. It can supply fewer gallons per minute but it can be used continuously all month without any worry of over use.

In computer terms the gallons per minutes is the amount of traffic in Mbps that the network connection can provide, this is smaller than the metered connection for the same price. However, this connection can be run at maximum throughput every second of the month without worrying about using too much, incurring any additional bills or having the connection reduced.

Which Bandwidth Type Should I Choose?

Neither bandwidth type is better than the other but rather they suite different bandwidth use cases.

Metered

The rule of thumb here is that if you use less than the Inclusive Monthly Transfer allocation then you should opt for this bandwidth option.

  • Low Traffic – If you are expecting only low amount of traffic on your server, such as a few thousand page impressions per day or a few hundred emails then you should opt for this connection type as pages will load faster.
  • Short Periods of High Use – If you expect your server to remain quite most of the time but occasionally have short periods of high traffic then you should choose Metered. An example of this would be a file store that is accessed infrequently but the files need to download rapidly.

Unmetered

  • High Traffic – If your server is experiencing continuous high volumes of traffic then you should choose the unmetered option and select a connection speed high enough to supply sufficient data to your needs.
  • Constant Traffic – The unmetered connection provides a higher level of continuous throughput so should be selected in this use scenario.
  • Worry Free – If you are unsure of exactly how much bandwidth will be used or the nature of the bandwidth then you should opt for Unmetered and review the bandwidth charts available in your Memset account to determine exactly which bandwidth type is best for you.

We know that choosing a bandwidth type and speed is difficult before your server is up and running. For that reason we have no problem swapping the bandwidth package and speed after the server has been ordered and setup. Just contact sales@Memset.com to discuss what will best suit your server's bandwidth profile and modify the bandwidth package to suit.

Monitoring Your Server's Bandwidth Use

Memset keeps a log of the amount bandwidth being used by all servers and makes this data available in the Memset control panel. In order to review a server's network usage you first need to log into your Memset account here:

https://www.memset.com/control/login/

Then click on the View All Services link and finally on the Bandwidth link next to the server you want to view the bandwidth usage for.

The bandwidth page displays all the available bandwidth data that we have for the server. We only measure total incoming and outgoing data amounts. No additional information regarding your server's bandwidth is measured or stored e.g. protocol, source/destination port, source/destination IP etc. Due to the quantity of data passing through our network the measurements are aggregated to five minutes averages. The information available in your account is all the data that we have.

Contention

A contention ratio is a measure of how widely a network connection is shared. For example, most home DSL/ADSL connections have a contention ratio of 50:1 which means that the 512Kbps is shared between 50 people. Normally, however, only 1 or 2 people are using the connection at the same time so the users still get close to 512Kbps.

Servers with unmetered bandwidth have varying degrees of connection sharing (2:1-10:1). There is always a guaranteed minimum, for example a server with a 5Mbps, 10:1 connection would be guaranteed a minimum of 0.5Mbps.

Last updated 29 March 2016, 09:13 GMT