Food for thought
The other day, I went to the café to grab my lunch and notice something that got me thinking of an IT problem we’re going to see more and more.
I’m not a soccer sport fan but of course I am aware of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ event that is happening.
Anyways, I saw a guy watching a live stream of the game between Iran and Nigeria on his mobile device and it got me thinking “I wonder how much bandwidth this thing is taking?”
All major sports event like the Superbowl, World Cup, NBA Finals, PGA tour, Olympics, etc. are streaming LIVE games and many people around the globe are watching the World Cup during business hours as its always 9 to 5 somewhere.
So now we have employees at the branch that are watching internet streaming video on your corporate network and eating away your expensive MPLS bandwidth. Bandwidth that is meant to be used for important business and SaaS applications. I bet you see where I am going with that and why it is a problem. You could try banning employees from watching the World Cup at work – but then you end up with increased sick days and a decreased workforce, rather than employees who take small breaks to catch up on a match.
The solution is called Cisco Intelligent WAN or IWAN for short, it is basically turning on some IOS features in the ISR and solve it once and for all. How? Easy, an ISR-AX license bundle.
The ISR comes equipped with very cool features to solve this problem such as PfR and AVC. Using these IOS features for the ISR you can gain visibility and control over the traffic that is allowed in your network. Traffic that is not allowed or you don’t want can be blocked.
As you don’t want all of your employees to take a “sick day” on important game days, you probably don’t want to block these streams but just offload non-critical traffic from your expensive MPLS line to an internet line that is more cost effective to the organization.
With PfR you will be able to leverage the Internet backup line that you have at the branch for streaming traffic and offload the MPLS line.
The result is happier employees that can watch the games with less delay as the traffic is not carried over to the data center. You also get happier IT support teams that don’t get those calls from the employees who are actually trying to work on those bandwidth consuming corporate apps.
That’s what I call a Win/Win situation!
Good luck to all the teams!
Great blog! Very insightful. Loved the World Cup linkage. Real problems, real solutions…that’s Cisco.
Thank you 🙂
I am Glad you liked it
Soccer? I guess you mean football.
the name depends on the country you are coming from 🙂
That is very nice solution …
And the cool things about it is that it works, TODAY!! 🙂
To benefit from the AVC part of the IWAN solution, you don’t even need multiple links from your remote location. With AVC, you can define a custom application signature for the streaming website. In the US, that’s http://espn.go.com/watchespn; other countries will have comparable links. Then you can monitor how much of your network traffic is World Cup video.
But many organizations would actually like to DO something rather than just watch their networks get overrun, whether by watching big sporting events or software storms like new iOS updates via iTunes or Android updates via Google Play. With AVC, they can define per-application QoS policies, so they can limit how much bandwidth these applications can consume, and prioritize them lower than applications that are important to the organization’s mission.
Thank you for the insight, AVC is a great IOS feature that require a separate blog 🙂
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