Posted on Wed 12 December 2018

The Difference Between Peak and Sustained Usage

We’ve had a nominal gigabit fiber connection for more than a year now. Let’s take a look at how much of it we’ve been using.

Luckily, my firewall keeps track for me.

$ vnstat -m -i eth3
month | rx | tx | total | avg. rate
Jan ‘18 476.82 GiB 26.09 GiB 502.91 GiB 1.58 Mbit/s
Feb ‘18 430.73 GiB 30.39 GiB 461.12 GiB 1.60 Mbit/s
Mar ‘18 382.38 GiB 17.60 GiB 399.99 GiB 1.25 Mbit/s
Apr ‘18 452.32 GiB 17.65 GiB 469.97 GiB 1.52 Mbit/s
May ‘18 455.75 GiB 34.72 GiB 490.47 GiB 1.54 Mbit/s
Jun ‘18 522.26 GiB 17.81 GiB 540.07 GiB 1.75 Mbit/s
Jul ‘18 748.34 GiB 144.52 GiB 892.86 GiB 2.80 Mbit/s
Aug ‘18 814.23 GiB 165.32 GiB 979.55 GiB 3.07 Mbit/s
Sep ‘18 631.82 GiB 131.18 GiB 762.99 GiB 2.47 Mbit/s
Oct ‘18 526.85 GiB 79.50 GiB 606.35 GiB 1.90 Mbit/s
Nov ‘18 483.52 GiB 44.77 GiB 528.29 GiB 1.71 Mbit/s
Dec ‘18 258.28 GiB 34.11 GiB 292.39 GiB 2.39 Mbit/s
estimated | 674.82 GiB | 89.12 GiB | 763.94 GiB | —-

Yes, out of a nominal 1000Mbit/s and a measurable peak 970Mbit/s, we use a sustained… 2. Sometimes 3.

That is, if you smeared our usage out across all 24 hours of each day, that’s what we use. I assure you that we would not be happy if we got a 5Mbit/s line. Instantaneous demand is a real thing.


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