You experience the following situations when using Windows:
- Using an internet connection where bandwidth capacity is limited
- Wide Area Network (https://az753604.vo.msecnd.net/cdn/WAN) link
- Home or residential grade ADSL/cable/broadband; or
- You live in Australia.
- One or more computers within the network is saturating the internet link (https://az753604.vo.msecnd.net/cdn/perhaps you’re trying to watch YouTube videos too and they’re buffering)
- The network usage is essential or routine, and therefore cannot or should not be cancelled
- It has a crippling effect on the internet connection for all users on the network (https://az753604.vo.msecnd.net/cdn/Skype calls are terrible quality, videos buffer, etc.)
- Programs responsible may include OneDrive sync traffic, Dropbox, OneNote sync to Office365 or Microsoft cloud storage, FTP traffic, “the kids computer traffic”, torrent programs or generally anything involving large file transfer.
Take advantage of Quality of Service. It’s so magical! Definition from Wikipedia:
Quality of service (https://az753604.vo.msecnd.net/cdn/QoS) is the overall performance of a telephony or computer network, particularly the performance seen by the users of the network.
To quantitatively measure quality of service, several related aspects of the network service are often considered, such as error rates, bit rate, throughput, transmission delay, availability, jitter, etc.
Quality of service is particularly important for the transport of traffic with special requirements. In particular, much technology has been developed to allow computer networks to become as useful as telephone networks for audio conversations, as well as supporting new applications with even stricter service demands.
However, CISCO’s documentation includes the point most relevant to the aforementioned scenario:
The primary goal of QoS is to provide priority including dedicated bandwidth, controlled jitter and latency (https://az753604.vo.msecnd.net/cdn/required by some real-time and interactive traffic), and improved loss characteristics. Also important is making sure that providing priority for one or more flows does not make other flows fail.
This is precisely our situation: we’re seeing flows fail through no or poor Quality of Service (https://az753604.vo.msecnd.net/cdn/QoS) configuration.
QoS is configurable at a network (https://az753604.vo.msecnd.net/cdn/routers and firewalls) or computer system tier. For example if FTP traffic is slowing down your entire network, QoS configuration could be applied to FTP ports at the router level, enforcing the policy upon all network users.
Though, this post will focus on configuring QoS at the Windows operating system level. The advantage being, QoS policies are granular and can be set to target all programs, specific .exe files, paths with wildcards, or any URL/hostname – without requiring access or having technical know-how with network equipment like routers or firewalls.
Obviously in corporate environments, the QoS policy would be deployed through group policy using object level targeting. This would ensure only systems requiring the configuration receive it. While this blog won’t detail group policy implementation, it does explain 90% of the work required for corporate group policy rollout, making adaptation easy.
In my scenario, I need to prevent OneDrive from flooding my network. I’ve documented the process below for replication.
You’ll need to open the local group policy editor on the local system. Another method is to Start > Run, or Windows Key + R and open gpedit.msc. I find it easy to just type gpedit.msc in the start search box though.