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Bandwidth throttling

, 2 Apr 2007
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Save bandwidth and get QoS with bandwidth throttling.

Screenshot - screen.jpg

Introduction

Hosting a website can be fun. But, when you offer big downloads or streaming media, you do not want a visitor to eat up the full bandwidth. Or, maybe, you want to offer a premium account from where users can download without limitation, and a free account where users cannot download faster than 50 kb/s. Here is where throttling comes in.

Bandwidth throttling helps provide quality of service (QoS) by limiting network congestion and server crashes. For example, you make sure a connection does not get more than an X number of bytes per second.

The purpose of this article is to show how to use bandwidth throttling, with a small helper class.

Using the code

Within the source code, you will find a class named ThrottledStream. This class is derived from the abstract Stream that can be found in the System.IO namespace. In the constructor, it accepts a base stream to throttle. Here is a small line of code that shows how to instantiate a ThrottledStream:

Stream throttledStream = new ThrottledStream(Response.OutputStream, 1024);

Now, everything you do with the throttledStream will be limited to 1024 bytes per second, and will be send to or read from the OutputStream that is a member of the Response property that exists within an ASP.NET page.

Because the ThrottledStream is derived from the abstract Stream class, it is easy to add throttling to an existing application or website. For example, when you have a process that sends file content over a Stream and you want to enable bandwidth throttling, you only have to change the initialization of the destination stream.

The old code can look like this:

Stream sourceStream;
Stream destinationStream;

try
{
    sourceStream = new FileStream(@"c:\myfile.bin", 
                       FileMode.Open, FileAccess.Read, FileShare.Read);
    destinationStream = new NetworkStream(mySocket, false);

    byte[] buffer = new byte[1024];
    int readCount = sourceStream.Read(buffer, 0, BufferSize);

    while (readCount > 0)
    {
        destinationStream.Write(buffer, 0, readCount);
        readCount = sourceStream.Read(buffer, 0, BufferSize);
    }
}
finally
{
    if (destinationStream != null)
    {
        destinationStream.Close();
    }
 
    if (sourceStream != null)
    {
        sourceStream.Close();
    }
}

Now, we can easily add throttling support to this process. We only need to change the initialization:

...

Stream originalDestinationStream = new NetworkStream(mySocket, false);
destinationStream = new ThrottledStream(originalDestinationStream, 51200);

...

By adding only one line of code, this full process is throttled to 50 kb/s (51200 b/s). Now, we go even a step further and add throttling that is based on a membership:

...

long bps;

switch( user.Membership )
{
    case MembershipLevel.Bronze:
        bps = 51200;
        break;

    case MembershipLevel.Silver:
        bps = 102400;
        break;

    case MembershipLevel.Gold:
        bps = 153600;
        break;

    case MembershipLevel.Platina:
        bps = ThrottledStream.Infinite;
        break;
}

Stream originalDestinationStream = new NetworkStream(mySocket, false);
destinationStream = new ThrottledStream(originalDestinationStream, bps);

...

Here, we have a situation where a Bronze membership will give you 50 kb/s, Silver 100 kb/s, Gold 150 kb/s, and Platina infinitive - no throttling.

Points of interest

Bandwidth throttling can improve the QoS of your server, and allows you to control the bandwidth for a specified connection. The helper class named ThrottledStream is very easy to use, and can be used in existing scenarios.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

P.J. van de Sande
Architect Sogyo
Netherlands Netherlands
Pieter Joost is a sr. IT consultant at Sogyo. He is recently awarded as Microsoft Visual C# MVP. He's active in the software development community as a speaker and boardmember of devnology.nl and dotned.nl

Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionBandwidth throttling in Task-based async methods? PinmemberAlex Zelid2-Apr-14 2:54 
QuestionMy vote of 5 PinmemberAndyInPembs12-Dec-12 0:00 
Still useful after all these years Smile | :)
Questioncreate socket PinmemberArash Zeinoddini21-Aug-12 11:44 
Questionupload throttled Pinmembernandobv10-Mar-12 15:10 
Generalhow to use ThrottledStream class Pinmemberas206em19-May-11 5:28 
QuestionHow throttle each connection TCP/UDP? Pinmemberegcf21-Nov-10 11:15 
GeneralProblems PinmemberMember 32674721-Sep-10 2:15 
GeneralBandwidth throttling Pinmemberbidel akbari10-Mar-10 11:07 
QuestionWhat with asp.net worker threadpool ? Pinmemberneoandrew7-Mar-10 14:10 
GeneralThanks ! PinmemberAhmed Charfeddine1-Jun-09 1:17 
GeneralIt works! Pinmemberdimitris.dpant8-May-09 14:41 
GeneralRe: It works! Pinmemberdimitris.dpant15-May-09 23:09 
GeneralRe: It works! PinmemberGoran___20-Aug-09 2:54 
QuestionCan I adjust the bit rate on the fly? Pinmemberebonnett29-Apr-09 6:22 
AnswerRe: Can I adjust the bit rate on the fly? Pinmemberst0icsmitty15-Dec-09 10:25 
GeneralRe: Can I adjust the bit rate on the fly? Yes... [modified] Pinmemberthomastmc5-Feb-10 4:04 
GeneralIdle for a while after creating ThrottledStream constructor PinmemberSchoonMan14-Oct-08 8:07 
GeneralNice and idea to an improvement. Pinmemberleandrobecker25-Jul-08 10:31 
GeneralError with StreamReader.ReadLine PinmemberMember 357214126-Jun-08 5:10 
GeneralA few changes to improve accuracy especially on a Read() Pinmemberdeepsquatter22-May-08 6:10 
GeneralExcellent Pinmemberroyal_roi25-Mar-08 10:07 
Questionwhen will you reset time and bytecount? Pinmembertim40830-Jan-08 18:21 
QuestionIs this really a throttling technique? PinmemberKelmen Wong27-Sep-07 23:20 
AnswerRe: Is this really a throttling technique? PinmemberP.J. van de Sande28-Sep-07 0:51 
GeneralGeneral throttling PinmemberBit-Smacker17-Aug-07 7:59 
Generalone small bug PinmemberFelixWatts15-Jul-07 12:16 
GeneralRe: one small bug - another one PinmemberAndrewSmith21-May-09 19:08 
GeneralThanks - I used it. PinmemberFelixWatts15-Jul-07 8:37 
QuestionI'm sorry to say the solution is NOT correct PinmemberSoldierQ9-Apr-07 23:02 
AnswerRe: I'm sorry to say the solution is NOT correct PinmemberP.J. van de Sande10-Apr-07 0:19 
GeneralRe: I'm sorry to say the solution is NOT correct PinmemberSoldierQ10-Apr-07 17:02 
GeneralRe: I'm sorry to say the solution is NOT correct PinmemberAndrewSmith21-May-09 19:12 
AnswerRe: I'm sorry to say the solution is NOT correct PinmemberPaul A. Howes10-Apr-07 5:40 
GeneralRe: I'm sorry to say the solution is NOT correct PinmemberP.J. van de Sande10-Apr-07 9:23 
General5 stars code Pinmemberntorrisi4-Apr-07 8:42 
GeneralRe: 5 stars code PinmemberP.J. van de Sande4-Apr-07 20:55 
QuestionClient Side? PinmemberNickHD3-Apr-07 17:07 
AnswerRe: Client Side? PinmemberP.J. van de Sande3-Apr-07 21:36 
GeneralRe: Client Side? PinmemberBit-Smacker17-Aug-07 7:43 
Generalhelpful article PinmemberChristiaan van Bergen2-Apr-07 21:25 
Generaluseful Pinmemberlxwde2-Apr-07 19:33 
GeneralRe: useful PinmemberP.J. van de Sande3-Apr-07 0:36 
GeneralInteresting, but.. Pinmembertkrafael_net2-Apr-07 11:03 
GeneralRe: Interesting, but.. Pinmemberreinux3-Apr-07 0:28 
GeneralRe: Interesting, but.. PinmemberP.J. van de Sande3-Apr-07 0:34 
GeneralRe: Interesting, but.. Pinmemberreinux3-Apr-07 0:47 
GeneralRe: Interesting, but.. PinmemberP.J. van de Sande3-Apr-07 1:49 
GeneralRe: Interesting, but.. Pinmemberreinux3-Apr-07 2:10 
GeneralRe: Interesting, but.. PinmemberYBS10-Apr-07 1:28 
GeneralRe: Interesting, but.. PinmemberP.J. van de Sande10-Apr-07 2:39 

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