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Bandwidth and speed

What is the relation between bandwidth and speed?

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Many people would think they are the same and sometimes are used that way but in the case of NAS, the bandwidth is the actual number of user data that is transferred between the NAS device and the requesting computer. This measure is about real data transferred to the application and not including any of the overhead, retries, special information, etc.

The speed term is generally used in discussion about NAS in regard to the connection speed - the technology of the physical interface used that is generally Ethernet of some vintage. This is also called wire speed sometimes. This does not directly translate to bandwidth because of overhead, collisions on the network and other conditions.

This terminology is not used the same way in other storage technologies, however.

Randy Kerns
Evaluator Group, Inc.

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This was first published in April 2002

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