Peer-to-peer downloading, video streaming, and instant message applications consume network bandwidth and can impact productivity. Bandwidth control reduces network congestion by controlling communications, reducing unwanted traffic, and allowing critical traffic or services the appropriate bandwidth allocation. Bandwidth control gives all users fair access to resources and ensures better access to resources that are more central to the organization. Similar to policy rules, bandwidth control can limit traffic based on a source IP address, user or group, traffic type, and time of day.
Bandwidth control rules can be as general or specific as needed. The bandwidth control rules are compared against the incoming traffic in sequence. Because the first rule that matches the traffic is applied, the more specific rules must precede the more general ones. For example, a rule for a single application must precede a rule for all applications if all other traffic-related settings are the same. If the traffic does not match any of the rules, the traffic uses the remaining bandwidth.