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We have a video file of sie 140MB. The video file is a Windows Media Video File. A link to this video file is to be published on our intranet. When all of my business users click on the link approximately at the same time, I would like to know what exactly happens (yes, I understand that the video will play :-))

  1. Will a copy be downloaded to each of the local client PC's. If yes, will it affect my LAN and Server on which the video is hosted?


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Answers are yes and yes. You, really, can only play a video file if it is downloaded to your local computer in some way. If you did not setup streaming (like e.g. Youtube did), it will be firstly fully downloaded to your local computer and only then played.

Now about LAN. Throughput of standard 100Mbit duplex LAN is 10 Mb/s in each direction. If your server will be connected to router with same interface, it will only spread 1Mb/s to 10 clients and so on. Really, you can hardly play it on more than 5 machines this way.

If you have a gigabit intranet (you unlikely do, cabling and especially switches are quite expensive), you can multiply everything by 10.

The server won't be probably affected if it is not too ancient; I have a Pentium III as NAS at home, and it is more than enough to read a file from disk and send via HTTP or Samba.

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Thanks for the detailed analysis! – Kanini Jan 21 '10 at 12:01
dual slot-1 p-3's, baby! wooooo!! – quack quixote Jan 21 '10 at 12:14
Not really, it's some custom VIA motherboard taken from mediacenter (?) with SiS 630 chipset. And it's passive cooled: Works for two years at least, and also: – whitequark Jan 21 '10 at 12:42
My four-port gigabit switches cost $40 each, and they get full gigabit throughput on regular Cat5 Ethernet cable. It's not as expensive as you make it out to be. – ceejayoz Jan 21 '10 at 13:37
First, he probably needs not a four-port switch but a bit more 'corporative' one. Second, I live in Russia and prices are a bit bigger, e.g. 3Com 24-port switch costs about 120000 roubles; this is about $4000, and OP lives in India. And also you has probably meant cat5e. – whitequark Jan 21 '10 at 13:54

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