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Alternative approach to email traffic analysis
From Figure 2-15, we know that users are currently accessing the on-premises Exchange
server with OWA and ActiveSync from outside our network. This is putting a load on our
Internet gateway to the tune of 55 percent of our available bandwidth. Our on-premises
Exchange is primarily serving up information to these devices, so to be more specific, 55
percent of our 3.74 Mbps (2.06 Mbps) is used to serve up OWA and ActiveSync requests.
That leaves only 1.683 Mbps available for everything else.
By moving to Office 365 Exchange Online, we would free up 2.06 Mbps of OWA and
ActiveSync traffic that we no longer need to provide.
However, there will be an increase in the amount of traffic on the download bandwidth
because internal users need to access Office 365 to get email, whereas previously they
would access only the on-premises Exchange server. We determined that is a 25 percent
increase in the amount of traffic. Let us assume that internally the organization has
allocated, through QoS, that is 10 Mbps dedicated to all email traffic. That is a 2.5 Mbps (25
percent of 10 Mbps) increase in load on the download connection. Because we have 20.86
Mbps down, this increase does not look like it will be a significant impact.
In reality, there will also be an increase in the outgoing connection (up) because internal
users are also sending emails, and they need to send them through to Office 365 Exchange
Online. This is an example where if we do the due diligence to gather that information, we
can more accurately determine whether this increase will offset the savings of 2.06 Mbps
we saved from offloading OWA and ActiveSync traffic.
Alternative approach to email traffic analysis
Let us consider a scenario where you do not have the ability to collect granular traffic
information about your network environment. It is still important for us to come up with a
strategy to intelligently estimate the network requirements needed to support email through
Office 365 Exchange Online. It is not a good strategy to “make a wild guess.” Nor is it
fiscally prudent to over-provision bandwidth so that network capacity will never be a factor,
although the latter strategy can guarantee user experience will not be impacted.
For a scenario where you need to make an intelligent estimate of the network traffic
requirements for email, you will have to at least know your users’ behavior. We will
introduce the concept of profiling your users and then applying behavior data to come up with
an intelligent estimate.
You can download a very comprehensive Excel workbook to help you with estimating the
amount of client email traffic.
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