What is Bandwidth Splitter for?
The majority of modern organisations have the Internet channel accessed generally via proxy servers that act as gateways between the local network and Internet. One of the most widely used proxy servers for the Windows platform is Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server. It performs both the functions of a caching proxy server and a NAT driver. ISA Server is managed with a set of rules that ensure security and authenticity of Internet access. However, its features are often not enough to fully control Internet traffic and ensure comfort of work for users. One of the most important problems is to proportionally distribute and control the per-user traffic in accordance with practical needs.
The problem of overloaded Internet channels is very common. Downloading big files (such as video, music and software), sending and receiving letters with large attachments and using P2P networks lead to very irrational use of the Internet channel. This may result into a situation that at particular moments (and sometimes even constantly) the quality of the service is far from ideal, and tasks of real importance that need Internet to be fulfilled get insufficient speed and quality. Overloaded channels are usually characterised in terms of long delays, data transfer errors and connection failures.
A similar problem occurs in case you pay your Internet service provider not for the dedicated channel, but for the traffic. In this case the problem of limiting individual users' traffic amount is more important, and it would make sense to have means of quoting the traffic for certain periods of time (per day, week or month) for individual users not to allow them to increase the provider's bill amount.
Certainly, it optimal to be able to impose limits both for the bandwidth and the traffic amount allocated to users.
|The usual situation: users struggle for traffic because bandwidth is not managed (click to enlarge figure)|
Microsoft ISA Server does not have built-in means of traffic control. All that you are generally able to do is to compile a report based on ISA Server logs and see that some users (knowingly or unintentionally) have used too much traffic, which hampered the work of the rest of users. Thus you learn about the irrational use of traffic only after it happens and have no ways to affect the situation. You can only restrict or deny access of such users, but this is not always possible or rational.
Bandwidth Rules in ISA Server 2000 cannot be used to successfully restrict bandwidth usage. Try allocating bandwidth to your users if you have not done so before, and you will surely understand that these rules can hardly affect anything. That is mainly the reason why these rules were removed from ISA Server 2004.
Bandwidth Splitter solves problems of this kind by allowing the administrator to control the bandwidth and the traffic amount used by individual users and hosts. Thus you can set specific bandwidth and traffic restrictions for any user and any workstation or server. It is also possible to set up such limitations for whole groups of users or hosts. Bandwidth Splitter supplements ISA Server with features allowing to restrict not only who, where and using what protocols can go, but also the speed and the traffic amount of that.
Bandwidth Splitter deeply integrates into ISA Server. It does not replace it or disarrange its work, but adds more very important and necessary functions at the same time. This integration allows using Bandwidth Splitter not only to limit the bandwidth for individual IP addresses, but as well for users and groups of users (authenticated by AD accounts) regardless of which computers they use to access the network.
|Bandwidth Splitter as a tool of distributing bandwidth (click to enlarge figure)|
With Bandwidth Splitter you will get the following benefits: