Data Carrying Capacity

Data Carrying Capacity
Different physical media support the transfer of bits at different speeds. Data transfer can be measured in three ways:
Bandwidth
Throughput
Goodput

Bandwidth
The capacity of a medium to carry data is described as the raw data bandwidth of the media. Digital bandwidth measures the amount of information that can flow from one place to another in a given amount of time. Bandwidth is typically measured in kilobits per second (kbps) or megabits per second (Mbps).

The practical bandwidth of a network is determined by a combination of factors: the properties of the physical media and the technologies chosen for signaling and detecting network signals.

Physical media properties, current technologies, and the laws of physics all play a role in determining available bandwidth.

Throughput
Throughput is the measure of the transfer of bits across the media over a given period of time. Due to a number of factors, throughput usually does not match the specified bandwidth in Physical layer implementations such as Ethernet.

Many factors influence throughput. Among these factors are the amount of traffic, the type of traffic, and the number of network devices encountered on the network being measured. In a multi-access topology such as Ethernet, nodes are competing for media access and its use. Therefore, the throughput of each node is degraded as usage of the media increases.

In an internetwork or network with multiple segments, throughput cannot be faster than the slowest link of the path from source to destination. Even if all or most of the segments have high bandwidth, it will only take one segment in the path with low throughput to create a bottleneck to the throughput of the entire network.

Goodput
A third measurement has been created to measure the transfer of usable data. That measure is known as goodput. Goodput is the measure of usable data transferred over a given period of time, and is therefore the measure that is of most interest to network users.
As shown in the figure, goodput measures the effective transfer of user data between Application layer entities, such as between a source web server process and a destination web browser device.

Unlike throughput, which measures the transfer of bits and not the transfer of usable data, goodput accounts for bits devoted to protocol overhead. Goodput is throughput minus traffic overhead for establishing sessions, acknowledgements, and encapsulation.

As an example, consider two hosts on a LAN transferring a file. The bandwidth of the LAN is 100 Mbps. Due to the sharing and media overhead the through put between the computers is only 60 Mbps. With the overhead of the encapsulation process of the TCP/IP stack, the actual rate of the data received by the destination computer, goodput, is only 40Mbps.

Data Carrying Capacity
Data Carrying Capacity
Data Carrying Capacity

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