Are you one of those people that setup your Cloud Gaming system perfectly, but you still notice lag or blurriness while streaming? You might be suffering from Bandwidth Allocation. So what is it, and can you do anything about it?
What exactly is Bandwidth Allocation? In a simple sense, it’s when a server reduces your available bandwidth. It’s another way of saying that they are reducing your streaming speed. Bandwidth Allocation is usually the result of a server system trying run things smoothly for a group of users.
Here’s an example of how it happens. You start Gaming and you’re one of the only people using your data center. All of a sudden more people join the server, and the limits of the server’s internet connection are reached (or you start getting close to their load threshold). Because of this the server may reduce everyone’s available bandwidth. It’s a way of ensuring a smooth experience (while also allowing additional people to join the server).
But things aren’t smooth!
We just said that servers do this as a way of ensuring a smooth experience for their users. So why would it push you below reasonable streaming levels? Why are you getting blurriness and lag?
This issue will typically only affect gamers on Cloud Systems that aren’t specifically designed for Cloud Gaming. Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure are good examples of this. While these services can be used for Cloud Gaming, it’s not officially one of their products. They are more focused on Enterprise use-cases like machine learning and heavy rendering. These supported situations don’t require a ton of bandwidth (usually just enough to run a RDP streaming client).
Cloud Gaming is a special and unique thing. It requires more bandwidth than just about anything else that you can do on the internet. Services that do officially support Cloud Gaming may also use a form of Bandwidth Allocation, but their thresholds are usually a lot different. When they reduce bandwidth, it typically won’t drop below reasonable streaming levels.
Can you do anything about it?
The bottom line is that you don’t control the bandwidth that is available to you on a server. It’s completely up to the discretion of the Cloud Service Provider. Now you are welcome to contact them and request higher levels of bandwidth. There’s a chance that doing so could work out for you. However the reverse could also end up happening.
Because services like Azure and Google Cloud don’t officially support Cloud Gaming, they could just as easily decide that they’d rather not deal with it on their network. Instead of increasing your bandwidth, they could instead take measures to block Cloud Gaming clients. It really could go either way, and there is an element of risk in asking them to step outside of their scope for their product.
If you do decide to request more bandwidth, it would help to have a history of being a paying customer. If you’re on a free trial (such as in the case of Google Cloud), then you’re really not giving the Provider any incentive to make changes for you. They are more likely to be open to working with you when you’re providing some form of value to them and their service.
Keep in mind that Bandwidth Allocation is most commonly an issue with services that don’t specifically support Cloud Gaming. If you’re experiencing it, then you might consider switching to a service that does officially support Cloud Gaming. It’s one way to make sure that you’ll get proper support for what you’re trying to do.
Have you experienced Bandwidth Allocation? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments!
Josh is a long-time Gamer and Technology Guru. He is known for his writing and troubleshooting skills. Josh can solve just about any problem, and is especially good at getting to the bottom of technology challenges. He has a background in Networking and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree. When he’s not gaming, Josh can be found blogging, testing new tech, and interacting with Flickstiq’s social media following. He lives in Ohio with his wife and children.