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A web host I'm considering quotes their server connection speed for their basic package as '15Mb/s burstable.' They offer an upgrade to a more expensive package with a '35Mb/s burstable' speed.

I also understand that 10Mb/s connections seem to be common with shared hosting, that 100Mb/s are more common with dedicated hosting, and that some hosts advertise connection speeds of 1000Mb/s.

What difference does network connection speed make to website visitors and general site performance? More specifically:

  1. How can I evaluate what connection speed I'll need for a particular project?
  2. What sort of projects need large connection speeds, and what sort will be fine on smaller ones?
  3. What are the signs that I need to upgrade to a server with a faster connection speed?
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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted
  1. How can I evaluate what connection speed I'll need for a particular project?
    • You could estimate expected concurrent user count * expected traffic per user -- for a site with 200 KB pages and 100 users accessing simultaneously you will need at most 20 MB of bandwidth (of course you need to take into account that page processing also takes time and that very rarely do the 100 users request a page in the same momemt; but you get the idea
  2. What sort of projects need large connection speeds, and what sort will be fine on smaller ones?
    • I would say the more media content your server delivers the more bandwidth you'll need - although this is probably a scenario for CDN usage; apart from that a high user count will demand high bandwidth
  3. What are the signs that I need to upgrade to a server with a faster connection speed?
    • On Windows Server systems you can use the Performance Monitor: go to Add Counter -> Network Interface -> Bytes sent/sec and choose the network interface of your choice or simply <All instances>. This will give you the real numbers.
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Thanks for this answer, Oliver. Your answer to question three led me to mod_status, which offers requests and bytes served per second data for Apache. –  Nick Jul 29 '11 at 15:11
    
@Nick: Glad to hear that :-) And thanks for posting your comment so that Apache users will know where to look as well. –  Oliver Jul 29 '11 at 20:07
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I think this doesn't matter on small sites, but on very big sites with big traffic, there is more internet speed required. Because if you have 10Mb/s on big site with more than 10 000 users they will be "stored" in queue and they have to wait till queue is empty.

If you consider that normal user has about 16 Mb/s internet, he 'requires' almost 2x resources from your server than you have avaible. And I'm talking about one user, only

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