Predicting Future Internet Capacity Needs Using Time Series Data

In the era of digital transformation, efficient management of internet bandwidth is crucial for both individuals and businesses. As we become increasingly reliant on the internet for our daily activities, predicting future internet capacity needs is no longer just desirable—it’s essential. This blog post will guide you through the process of consuming your internet bandwidth time series data from your network monitoring platform to predict your future capacity needs.

Understanding Your Bandwidth Usage

The first step in predicting future internet capacity needs is understanding your current usage. Most network monitoring platforms provide detailed time series data on internet bandwidth usage. This data typically includes information on the amount of data transmitted and received over your network at different times of the day, week, or month.

Collecting and Preparing Your Data

Before diving into predictions, ensure your data is collected and prepared appropriately. For our example, we’ll consider a dataset sampled every 5 minutes over a 30-day period.

Generate Sample Time Series Dataset

import pandas as pd
import numpy as np

# Constants
sampling_rate = 5  # in minutes
duration_days = 30
minutes_in_day = 24 * 60
total_samples = duration_days * (minutes_in_day // sampling_rate)

# Time series index
time_index = pd.date_range(start='2023-11-01', periods=total_samples, freq=f'{sampling_rate}T')

# Simulating bandwidth usage (in Mbps)
daytime_usage = np.random.normal(loc=50, scale=10, size=total_samples)
nighttime_usage = np.random.normal(loc=20, scale=5, size=total_samples)

usage_pattern = np.where((time_index.hour >= 8) & (time_index.hour <= 22), daytime_usage, nighttime_usage)

# Creating DataFrame
bandwidth_usage = pd.DataFrame({'Timestamp': time_index, 'Bandwidth_Mbps': usage_pattern})

Analyzing Usage Patterns

After gathering your data, the next step is to analyze it for patterns. This involves understanding when and how your bandwidth usage peaks and troughs. For instance, a typical pattern might show higher usage during business hours and lower usage at night.

Visualizing Bandwidth Usage

To better understand your data, it’s helpful to visualize it. We can plot the bandwidth usage over time and overlay the linear regression line to see the trend.

Bandwidth Usage with Linear Regression overlay

Sample Code for Visualizing Data with Linear Regression

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from sklearn.linear_model import LinearRegression

# Preparing the data for visualization
X = bandwidth_usage[['HourOfDay']]
y = bandwidth_usage['Bandwidth_Mbps']

# Creating and training the linear regression model
model = LinearRegression(), y)

# Predicting across the day
X_predict = np.array(range(24)).reshape(-1, 1)
y_predict = model.predict(X_predict)

# Plotting the data and the regression line
plt.figure(figsize=(10, 6))
plt.scatter(bandwidth_usage['HourOfDay'], bandwidth_usage['Bandwidth_Mbps'], alpha=0.3)
plt.plot(X_predict, y_predict, color='red', linewidth=2)
plt.title('Bandwidth Usage Over Time with Linear Regression Line')
plt.xlabel('Hour of Day')
plt.ylabel('Bandwidth Usage (Mbps)')

This graph provides a clear visualization of how bandwidth usage varies throughout the day and how the linear regression model fits this data.

Implementing a Predictive Model

To predict future needs, we can use statistical models like linear regression.

Sample Code for Capacity Prediction

from datetime import datetime
from sklearn.linear_model import LinearRegression
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split

# Preparing the data
bandwidth_usage['HourOfDay'] = bandwidth_usage['Timestamp'].dt.hour
X = bandwidth_usage[['HourOfDay']]
y = bandwidth_usage['Bandwidth_Mbps']

# Creating and training the model
model = LinearRegression(), y)

def predict_bandwidth_usage(future_date_str):
    # Convert the string to a datetime object
    future_date = datetime.strptime(future_date_str, '%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S')
    hour_of_day = future_date.hour
    # Predicting bandwidth usage for the given hour
    predicted_usage = model.predict([[hour_of_day]])
    return predicted_usage[0]

# Example Usage
predicted_usage = predict_bandwidth_usage("2024-03-01 15:00:00")
print(f"Predicted Bandwidth Usage: {predicted_usage} Mbps")

This function allows you to input a future date and time in the format ‘YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS’ and returns the predicted bandwidth usage for that specific time.

Using Your Model for Prediction

With the model in place, you can now use the predict_bandwidth_usage function to estimate your bandwidth needs for any future date and time. This predictive capability is invaluable for planning and ensuring that your network can handle anticipated loads.

Advantages and Limitations

The primary advantage of this approach is its simplicity and the ability to make quick predictions based on observable trends. However, it’s important to remember that linear regression may not capture more complex patterns in data. For more accurate predictions, consider advanced models like time series forecasting or machine learning algorithms that can account for a broader range of factors.


Predicting future internet capacity needs is a powerful way to optimize your network performance and prevent bottlenecks. By analyzing your current bandwidth usage data and applying a simple predictive model like linear regression, you can gain valuable insights into your future needs. Remember, the key to successful prediction lies in accurate data and a suitable model for your specific usage patterns.

As technology evolves, so do the methods for data analysis. Stay informed and consider exploring more sophisticated models as your understanding and data complexity grow. With these tools at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to meet your future internet capacity needs.