How to limit Work Folders client bandwidth

Stefano Gagliardi asked a question on how to limit the network traffic for Work Folders. I know Work Folders client doesn't do it, but there might be other controls at the network layer. Stefano being the network expert did find a solution, and I asked him to share it, so we can all learn from it.

Below is the blog post from Stefano, enjoy!

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Hi there!

This is Stefano Gagliardi, Windows and Azure Networking specialist from Europe, and big Work Folders fan!

I sync all my data from my laptop to my server in the office. I just love the way it keeps everything up to date without even having to worry about it! I need my files to be ready and accessible on my server within a short time, so I cannot wait for scheduled backups: Work Folders does a great job for me by synchronizing the data as soon as it is modified on my laptop, without any delay.

Since I have hundreds of Gigabytes of files, my problem is now the bandwidth that gets consumed in order to sync all the data over the network, especially when I work from home where my upload bandwidth is limited.

 

All the network resources are dedicated to the file synchronization, leaving little to no bandwidth for other applications.

There is a very simple solution to this problem: you can limit the bandwidth used by Work Folders in order to not saturate your network!

You will need to create a QoS Policy on your client with these steps:

  • Open gpedit.msc to access the Local Group Policy Editor
  • Expand Computer Configuration / Windows Settings
  • Right-click on Policy-Based QoS and Create a new Policy

  • Follow the Wizard by assigning the policy a name of your choice, and the Maximum Bandwidth that you want to allow the Work Folders service. You don’t need to specify a DSCP value.

  • On the Next page, Apply the policy to just applications named svchost.exe


  • On the Next page, specify the IP address of the Work Folders server.

 TIP: by configuring the Direct Access IPv6 address of the Work Folder server, you will apply the bandwidth limit only when connecting remotely via DA. This way, Syncronization inside the office LAN where more bandwidth is available will not be slowed down.

  • Finally, apply the policy only to TCP destination port 443

If you are a Windows expert, you might have noticed that we have applied the policy to a particular application, svchost.exe. As you know, this process is the container process for most of the builtin services of the operating system – including the Work Folders client service – so you may be worried that we are limiting the bandwidth for many other Windows activities. This is not a concern, because by applying the filter to only TCP 443 of the Work Folder server, we are sure that no other running service will be impacted.

What happens after applying the Policy is that the Work Folder service (green) now only pushes data up to a certain limit and i have bandwitdh left for other task that require low latency, like for example VoIP applications (blue)