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office 365 network bandwidth requirements

Microsoft Online Office 365 Network Bandwidth Requirements

Microsoft Online Services currently offers three online services: Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Office Live Meeting. Each of the services has its own bandwidth requirements.

There are many variables to consider when estimating network traffic. Some of these variables are:

  • The services your company has subscribed to
  • The number of client computers in use at one time
  • The type of task each client computer is performing
  • The performance of your Internet browser software
  • The capacity of the network connections and network segments associated with each client computer
  • Your company’s network topology and the capacity of the various pieces of network hardware

The following sections provide guidelines for estimating the bandwidth usage of each service. Detailed specifications are beyond the scope of this topic. For more detailed information about estimating the network traffic for each online service, see the links to other documentation in each of the following sections.

(Working on a migration? Leverage Agile IT for your Office 365 migration project.)

Exchange Online

The information below will help you estimate the Exchange Online network bandwidth your company needs to run the program.

The estimates in this section are based on the following assumptions:

  • The average message size is 50 kilobytes (KB).
  • Every message delivered is read.
  • Half of all incoming mail is deleted.
  • OWA clients log on and log off two times per day.
Note
Office Outlook 2007 log on and log off costs were not evaluated because company e-mail users generally stay logged on for days at a time.
The following table lists the message usage for light, medium, heavy and very heavy e-mail users. This information will be used later in this section to estimate network traffic.

Activity
Light Medium Heavy Very heavy
Messages sent per day 5 10 20 30
Messages received per day 20 40 80 120
Average message size 50 KB 50 KB 50 KB 50 KB
Messages read per day 20 40 80 120
Messages deleted per day 10 20 40 60
OWA log on and log off per day 2 2 2 2

The following table shows the amount of network traffic each type of user in each email client generates. All values are in kilobytes (KB) per day per user.

E-Mail Client Light Medium Heavy Very Heavy
Office Outlook 2007 1,300 KB/day/user 2,600 KB/day/user 5,200 KB/day/user 7,800 KB/day/user
OWA 6,190 KB/day/user 12,220 KB/day/user 24,270 KB/day/user 36,330 KB/day/user

To apply this information to your company, consider the following examples. Each example assumes the users are in the same time zone and they perform most of their work during the same eight hours of the day.

Example: If your company has 100 heavy Office Outlook 2007 users, here’s how to calculate the average network traffic, measured in bytes per second.Network bytes/sec = (100 heavy users × (5,200 KB/user ÷ day)) ÷ (8 hr/day × 3600 sec/hr) = 18.5 KB/secAssuming a daily peak of twice the average usage, your network connection would need to support approximately 37 KB/sec.

Example: If your company has 100 medium OWA users, here’s how to calculate the average network traffic, measured in bytes per second. Network bytes/sec = (100 medium users × (12,220 KB/user ÷ day)) ÷ (8 hr/day × 3600 sec/hr) = 42.4 KB/sec

Assuming a daily peak of twice the average usage, your network connection would need to support approximately 84.9 KB/sec.

For more capacity planning information, see White Paper: Outlook Anywhere Scalability with Outlook 2007, Outlook 2003, and Exchange 2007.

UPDATE: Support for Exchange 2007 ended on April 11, 2017. Learn what to do after Exchange 2007 end of life here.

SharePoint Online

The information below will help you estimate the SharePoint Online network bandwidth required for your company to run SharePoint Online. This information is based on the following assumptions:

  • An average interaction (page load) transfers approximately 100 KB.
  • A typical user generates about 36 interactions (page loads) per hour.
  • About 10 percent of a company’s users will be active at the same time.

To show how to apply this information to your company, consider the following example. This example assumes all users are in the same time zone and will perform most of their work during the same eight hours of the day.

Example: If your company has 1,000 SharePoint Online users, here’s how to calculate the average network traffic for each user, measured in bytes per second. Network bits per second = (100,000 bytes/load × 8 bits/byte × 36 loads/hr) ÷ 3600 seconds/hr = 8000 bits per second

A company with 1,000 users would have approximately 100 active users at any one time. Those 100 users would require approximately 100 x 8,000 bits per second or 800 kilobits per second of available network bandwidth. Assuming a daily peak of twice the average usage, your network connection would need to provide approximately 1.6 megabits per second of network bandwidth.

In addition to the bandwidth requirement, SharePoint Online requires a network latency of no greater than 250 milliseconds.

For more detailed information about capacity planning for SharePoint Online, see Plan for bandwidth requirements.

Office Live Meeting

The information in this section will help you estimate the network bandwidth needed to run Office Live Meeting.

Office Live Meeting offers two different clients:

  • Office Live Meeting Client (Windows-based client)
  • Office Live Meeting Web Access (Web-based client)

The following table lists the bandwidth requirements for each of the functions available in the Office Live Meeting Client. All values are in kilobytes per second (KBps) for one user.

Function Bandwidth required
Data transfer 56 KBps
Voice 80 KBps (50 KBps minimum)
Video 350 KBps (50 KBps minimum)
Office RoundTable 700 KBps (100 KBps minimum)
Note
The bandwidth requirements listed are cumulative. For example, if you want to use voice, video, and Office RoundTable, the minimum bandwidth would be 50 + 50 + 100 = 200 KBps per user.

Office Live Meeting Web Access (MWA) is an alternative for users of the Office Live Meeting service who cannot install or run the Windows-based meeting client. MWA is an applet-based program that runs on any of the Java runtime environments specified in the Microsoft Office Live Meeting (2007 version) system requirements.

MWA does not require installation of any files. However, initiating application sharing on Macintosh computers using MWA does require installation of an application-sharing component.

The minimum bandwidth recommendation for the MWA client is 56 KBps.

UPDATE: Microsoft will shut down Office Live Meeting on December 31, 2017, and replace the service with Skype Meeting Broadcast. The advantages of Skype Meeting Broadcast over Office Live Meeting include:

  • Enable up to 10,000 attendees in a Skype Broadcast
  • Supports iOS, Android and other mobile devices
  • Improve quality with HD video and video-based screen sharing
  • Enhanced audience engagement features

Get help migrating to Skype for Business (now Microsoft Teams) here.

Migration and Directory Synchronization Tools

The Migration Tools and Directory Synchronization Tool (Azure AD Connect) are installed on computers on your company network, behind a firewall or proxy server. These computers should have direct access to your company’s domain controllers and email servers. They will connect to Microsoft Online Services through your company’s firewall or proxy server.

Your company may use the Migration Tools to migrate mailbox content from your existing email environment to Exchange Online. Migration will impact your network only when actually performing the migrations. When migrating large numbers of mailboxes, you should perform the migrations in small batches to minimize the impact to your network bandwidth.

The Migration Tools console reports the total size of the mailboxes selected to migrate. When you know the number and the size of your existing mailboxes, you can determine the impact on your email servers and your network bandwidth. (For more information, check out Agile IT’s Office 365 email migration services. )

If your company establishes directory synchronization using Azure AD Connect, there will be a one-time impact on your network when all of your company’s user accounts and email-enabled contacts and groups are synchronized for the first time. This operation will use the available network bandwidth for the duration of the synchronization.

You can expect the first synchronization of 500 objects to take approximately 70 minutes. The first synchronization of 5,000 objects will take approximately 120 minutes. The actual time will be determined by the available bandwidth of your organization’s Internet connection.

After the first synchronization, the Azure AD Connect will synchronize changes every 30 minutes. The impact of this traffic is usually very small.

Estimate Azure AD Connect Synchronization Time

When you know how many mail-enabled objects that will be copied during the initial synchronization, refer to the table below to estimate of how long the initial synchronization may take. You can use this information to decide when to schedule your first directory synchronization.

Objects Estimated first synchronization Subsequent synchronizations
500 5 minutes 30 seconds
1,000 10 minutes 1 minute
5,000 45 minutes 5 minutes
15,000 2.5 hours 10 minutes
Note
The actual time will be influenced by the available bandwidth of your organization’s Internet connection.

We hope you found this helpful for calculating bandwidth requirements in these Microsoft Online services.

Looking for more help? Leverage us for your Office 365 Consulting needs.

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