I know I’ve touched on this before thanks to WSUS Senior Support Engineer Ellis George, but throttling downloads continues to be a popular discussion topic so I thought I’d add to it a little using some tips from Joe Tindale, also a Senior Support Escalation Engineer for WSUS. If you want to avoid all those calls from irate users wondering why their WAN link is crawling then you’ll want to read over this:
Sometimes when very large update packages (e.g. Windows XP SP3) are approved you may discover that your WAN and/or LAN links become saturated by clients all attempting to download the package at the same time. So how do you keep your users happy yet still roll out the update? The answer is to throttle the download and there are a couple different ways to do this. The first, and the one most likely to provide immediate relief, is to use an IIS configuration to throttle download performance.
To limit bandwidth on a specific Web site (on Windows Server 2003)
1. Open IIS Manager (click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information (IIS) Manager).
2. Navigate to the Web Sites node under the local computer, select the specific Web site, right-click the node, and then click Properties.
3. Select the Performance tab.
4. Under Bandwidth throttling, select Limit the total network bandwidth available for all Web sites on this server, and then specify the maximum bandwidth in kilobytes per second (the default is 1024). You cannot specify a bandwidth lower than 1024
kilobytes per second.
5. Click OK.
Another option is to use BITS to throttle the download. This is a client side setting so group policy will have to be refreshed in order for this setting to be seen.
To set BITS bandwidth limitations
1. Start the Group Policy Object Editor (click Start, click Run, and then type gpedit.msc).
2. Expand Computer Configuration, then Administrative Templates, then Network, then Background Intelligent Transfer Service.
3. Open the Maximum network bandwidth that BITS uses (BITS 2.0) or Maximum network bandwidth for BITS background transfers (BITS 3.0) setting.
4. Set the transfer rate in kilobits per second that you want BITS to use (the default is 10).
5. Set the times at which you want to limit the bandwidth (the default is 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.).
6. Set the limitations to be used outside of the designated time (the default is Use all available unused bandwidth, but you may select another limitation).
7. Click OK.
J.C. Hornbeck | Manageability Knowledge Engineer