The Impact of Streaming the World Cup..

I love the fact that we can all watch the world cup live from where ever we are – home, work, car, even walking down the street. As far as I know this is the first world cup to do this and it is truly amazing. But what is the impact of all of this streaming Video? On my mobile phone I don’t worry about it too much, as I have a good Cell and Data plan. At home – no problem. But when at least half the people at work are streaming it to their laptop/desktop there is an impact and it may not be a good one. I have already seen a significant impact to our Internet Bandwidth usage – as of today one of our main browsing links has increased in average usage by 50%. Luckily we keep a close eye on this kind of stuff and provided it does not impact our business usage, it is allowed to go on unfettered.

There are many tools available to help monitor and block this type of traffic if you wish to do so.  One of these products is called Websense, a leading provider of Web Security Software and a product we both use and sell. We use it primarily for the monitoring, but in some cases have blocked traffic that we consider a security risk – Bit Torrents for example.

Our own eView portal is also used for the traffic monitoring, not so much from a user standpoint but from an overall Bandwidth usage perspective. The example below shows the spike for the first Monday of the world cup… The green on the right is HTTP.

This gives me a quick view as to the impact and as I drill down to the day (June 14th) I am able to track hourly and further track by the minute usage.

Together these tools can tell me everything I need to know about our network usage down to the protocol, minute, user and site. Without these tools I would be blind and if there was an impact it would be hard to track down, short of walking through the office and looking to see who is streaming the game.

Some organizations choose to block streaming traffic altogether and in very large organizations Internet Bandwidth is limited and must be controlled, but the world cup is an event that should be accessible by everyone.  I would hope these organizations recognize this and provide some access to its employees. We all have work to do, but a good game of footy should not be missed by anyone who appreciates it.

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