April 26, 2019 Albany Zeno

One key area of concern that I am noticing when vetting and designing a customer’s solution is the lack of attention that is given to the bandwidth that is ACTUALLY needed to transmit their data, run their apps, etc. Often times the estimated bandwidth needed is severely underestimated and being miscalculated with speed or “throughput” estimates vs. bandwidth needs. Think of it this way, when you are sitting in a 6 lane traffic jam on the highway going 10 miles per hour in a car that can do over 100 miles per hour, the problem is not the car, the problem, at this particular time, is the number of lanes that is being utilized, or blocked at the peak time in which most people are trying to use it. The cars ability to go 100+ miles per hour in this scenario is the speed; whereas the highway and lanes in which the car travels on is the bandwidth. So, when thinking of a solution, are you ok with traffic jams during peak times that can result in Jitter, Latency, Packet Loss etc., or would you determine if an 8-lane highway is more suitable?

When planning on how much bandwidth is enough, you would need to take into account the number of users, number of devices, size of your office or home, intended usage, current/future network MAXIMUM capabilities of throughput, in addition to deciding which is most important – figuring which device will deliver the data the cheapest (per unit or per mbps) or getting my data there efficiently. Check and compare manufacturers throughput allowance when designing your network. The most expensive or most well-known brand is not always the best performing.

Security parameters or protocols will eat into your speed, much like if the car you are driving on an open freeway has car washes on said freeway every 5 miles and you MUST go through them. Your time from A to B would be delayed.

Normal digital footprint for speed in the data ecosystem is about 12-19 Mbps per user and if you are working with 4K streaming it jumps to 25-39 Mbps per user. Factor in your peak times with usage estimates and see where you fall within. Additional things to think about, as you transition to more AI and Automation, how will that consume your network capabilities.

There are many different highway types, i.e. Wi-Fi, WLAN, LAN, 4G, 5G, WAN, SD WAN, etc. Each type has a limit based on the manufacturer throughput allowance (going 35 miles per hour vs. 70 miles per hour)

Here are the speeds you can expect*

Internet Connection Bandwidth
56 kbit/s Modem / Dialup
1.5 Mbit/s ADSL Lite
1.544 Mbit/s T1/DS1
2.048 Mbit/s E1 / E-Carrier
4 Mbit/s ADSL1
10 Mbit/s Ethernet
11 Mbit/s Wireless 802.11b
24 Mbit/s ADSL+
44.736 Mbit/s T3/DS3
54 Mbit/s Wireless 802.11g
100 Mbit/s Fast Ethernet
155 Mbit/s OC3
490 Mbit/s 5G 3.5 GHz
600 Mbit/s Wireless 802.11n
1 Gbit/s Gigabit Ethernet
1.3 Gbit/s Wireless 802.11ac
1.4 Gbit/s 5G 28 GHz
2.5 Gbit/s OC48
5 Gbit/s USB 3.0
7 Gbit/s Wireless 802.11ad
9.6 Gbit/s OC192
10 Gbit/s 10 Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.1
40 Gbit/s Thunderbolt 3
100 Gbit/s 100 Gigabit Ethernet

*speeds are only peak speed recordings; you will never achieve these numbers during normal use due to overhead and other network factors.

April 9, 2019 Albany Zeno

Do you remember sitting in your kindergarten class looking at the evolution of man poster where the being on the left is small and hunched over and over time it begins to gradually straighten out?  Today, the silhouette resembles the bars on your wireless device, and it made me think of my graveyard of old devices I have accumulated through the years. I had a pager and a rolodex and a roll of quarters to use for the nearby payphone – or the other one across the street, or the other one on the next corner – just in case there was a line. At one point, there was a need for such devices. We adapted, even if the cost of a Walkman was too high, we waited for the CD Player to come out and purchased the Walkman on sale. Our lifestyle demanded that things become more convenient and the ability to consume become seamless. Today, we are beginning to see the combination of 2 highly consumable products – Wireless and Computer/IT. At home, I still have a Laptop – but in my pocket I have a device that has the compute power of my laptop almost rendering my laptop useless. The tablet is the club that konks  the PC on its head for good – if you are not a gamer (who is the lifeline of this product).

Just take a look at how we consumed music; single-45, 8 track, cassette tape, cd, mp3, mpeG4, mp5, cloud subscripted service – iTunes/Spotify/Pandora. I went from a portable device that held 8 songs to 18,000 songs and if I’m connected to the cloud, potentially any song I wish to hear is at my disposal. So I ask myself, this cant be the final stop – can it? If not, then what – Personal Cloud/Custom Cloud Connect… no way – Yes way! API’s are already available for many applications to connect to. Some, already have personal servers were content is shared publicly and depending on your interests such as gaming, music, TV shows, movies, etc. you can customize and host a platform that you can access anytime virtually anywhere – for free or very low cost.  Raspberry Pi has made it easy and affordable to make this happen and may be the next device that gets added to the technological evolution chart, but it requires something new on our end to make it work for your specific needs – Programming.

Programming is becoming less intimidating as users can go to sites like YouTube to get step by step instructions to build your own network or add an existing applications like Kodi or Terrarium to a streaming device that you can plug in and connect to Wi-Fi.

As users become more frustrated and feel taken advantage of as new devices with new features roll out without the availability to upgrade the old device, people will look to customize on their own and making it easy for a user to customize will be the next evolution point for the future.

  • What is the Raspberry Pi? A credit card-sized computer that costs as little as $5, which spawned a community of millions of amateur developers and hardware hackers.
  • What does the Raspberry Pi do? A lot. Despite its low-cost, the Pi can be run as no-frills PC, a pocketable coding computer, a hub for homemade hardware and more.
  • Why does the Raspberry Pi matter? The Pi is a great machine for stoking interest in programming among schoolchildren worldwide and helping create the next generation of developers.