Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail
What is the impact on network performance as more users are added to the network? Will the connection that is planned for installation now for use by six users handle the addition of 10 more users over the next year? It is not always possible to estimate this accurately. Carriers and ISPs may have some formulas that predict needed bandwidth based on the numbers of users. The nature of Internet usage, dealership processes, and data communication protocols make it difficult to obtain meaningful predications. It is important to consider the maximum number of users that will be using the Internet at any one time (concurrent users). Also, consider whether fixed bandwidth is required. If variable bandwidth is acceptable, base requirements on the peak usage period in the dealership. Once the connection is in use, review its performance on a monthly basis using reports showing average and peak usage provided by the carrier.
Preliminary estimates indicate that dealers will initially need at least 128Kbps of bandwidth. As more applications become available, and as more employees in the dealership use the Internet, the bandwidth requirements will increase. These figures are generalizations based on a study of traffic between dealers and OEM’s only. Individual dealers may have a greater or a lesser need. Bandwidth will have to increase if a significant amount of traffic is present to and from other websites.
Installing a connection now that cannot have its bandwidth adjusted later may not be a wise move. Consider options for increasing and decreasing the bandwidth capability for the connection before ordering the connection. If the connection has little or no growth beyond the bandwidth estimate for the dealership, it probably is not the correct choice.