Bandwidth Usage in Windows Intune

We’ve often been asked about bandwidth requirements for Windows Intune.  Below is an excerpt from the recently updated Windows Intune FAQ that describes in detail how the service uses bandwidth.

The average bandwidth usage for each client computer that is managed by Windows Intune depends on the following variables:
  • Whether the client computer is newly enrolled in Windows Intune and has had no updates applied.
  • The operating system that is running on the client computer.
  • The types of applications that are installed on the client computer.
  • Whether the current day is security-patch Tuesday. On security-patch Tuesday, Microsoft releases new updates. On those days, bandwidth usage can be greater than usual.
  • Whether the network configuration includes a caching web proxy server. For example, a caching web proxy server can be a Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway server or a Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) server. A caching proxy server can significantly reduce outgoing Internet bandwidth requirements.

For example, a client computer that is running Windows 7 and that is managed by Windows Intune might use the following projected bandwidth:

  • Average Endpoint-protection signature update downloads: approximately 2.30 MB per day
  • Average other update downloads: approximately 2.70 MB binary per day
  • Total average projected bandwidth per day: approximately 5 MB

These averages are based on the following assumptions:

  • Very large updates, such as the Windows 7 Service Pack 1, are not factored into this estimate.
  • The client computer is regularly and currently patched.
  • The initial enrollment process traffic of the client computer into Windows Intune is not included in the estimate.
  • This estimate is based on the default selection of update products and classifications for Windows Intune. If you change the default selection, the bandwidth usage can vary.

You should separately plan for peak traffic days such as security-patch Tuesdays. A newly enrolled or deployed computer will generally require more initial bandwidth as updates are downloaded and installed.

A caching web proxy server (such as Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway caches HTTP and updates binary download requests from Windows Intune to managed client computers. By avoiding duplicate downloads, a caching web proxy server can reduce the consumed Internet bandwidth.

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