How to calculate the necessary network bandwidth for SharePoint Online

In my work with Microsoft Partner I often get a lot of questions regarding network bandwidth requirements for SharePoint Online. And this is legit from my point of view, since it is important to plan carefully plan ahead if we want to have a smooth SharePoint Online experience. That’s why I would like to share with you some fundamentals on how I usually help in calculating such bandwidth requirements.

So based on calculated averages, it seems that one single interaction (page load) with SharePoint Online generates approximately 100 KB of traffic. Of course, this is an average and the value could be different based on customizations and so on. But we could take this as a starting point. 

Further, a standard users generates in average 36 interactions pro hour. Also, around 10 percent of your users will be in average active on SharePoint at any time. Assuming that an organization has 1000 users, we can proceed to do some basic maths.

Network bits per second = (100,000 bytes/load × 8 bits/byte × 36 loads/hr) ÷ 3,600 seconds/hr = 8,000 bits per second

If 10% percent of the users are active at any time on SharePoint Online. This means that these users will generate 100 x 8000 bits per second, or 800 kilobits per second. This would be the needed network bandwidth for 100 users at the same time.

However, we have to also take peaks into considerations. We could consider that at peak times, the load will be doubled. In this case it is safe to say that the needed network bandwidth for SharePoint Online in an organization with 1000 users would be 1.6 Megabits per second.

This calculations are very broad with most of the values being rounded, but I think that this gives a valid way to calculate the network bandwidth needed for SharePoint Online.

If you have other opinions or calculation methods, please feel free to comment on this blog post.


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