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.

The Problem:

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?

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 Results:

Rething your WAN

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!


Ido Glazer

No Longer with Cisco