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Managing Network Activity

Updated: August 22, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 with SP1

Creating and maintaining a Web site involves using hardware, software, and network bandwidth to manage network traffic. Servers send out pages in response to requests. In order to issue a request, a browser first establishes a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connection with the server and then sends the request through the connection. Network traffic, as the term applies to Web servers, is the mixture of incoming requests and outgoing responses.

Network traffic typically occurs in bursts and clumps that are only partly predictable. For example, many intranet sites have activity peaks at the beginning and end of the day, and around lunchtime. However, the exact size of these peaks varies from day to day, and the actual traffic load changes from moment to moment. There is a direct relationship between the amount of traffic and the network bandwidth needed. Network bandwidth is the capacity of the transmission medium stated in bits per second (bps). On computer networks, greater bandwidth means faster data-transfer capability. The more visitors your site has and the larger the pages the site provides, the more network bandwidth your server requires.

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