Tag Archives | Bandwidth Issues
CA Network Flow Analysis

12 Things That Could be Clogging Your Network

To celebrate December 12, 2012 (yes, 12-12-12) here are 12 things that could be impacting the performance of your network and the critical applications they support:

  1. YouTube: Yes, cat videos are fun. However, if too many employees are streaming too much video, your network is going to slow to a crawl.
  2. Blackberry 7 Messenger Wi-Fi calls: RIM’s latest Blackberry Messenger update supports Wi-Fi-based calling. That’s great for saving cell minutes, but could add load to the network.
  3. Skype: Microsoft is retiring its Windows Live Messenger communication app in favor of Skype. While instant message traffic should breeze across the network without issue, Skype does make it easy to do voice and video calling, possibly adding to the burden on the network.
  4. Apple FaceTime: Do your employees love their iPhones? If so, they might be using FaceTime to communicate with colleagues and friends over your Wi-Fi. Enough people start using it and your bandwidth could suffer.
  5. Pandora: It’s the holiday season and I love to listen to the Pandora “Christmas Radio” station. Thankfully, I work at home so I am not clogging the office network (and I don’t stream it over the VPN.)

More after the jump.

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Video communication easier for users, a problem for IT

Video conferencing vendor Polycom this week announced a new extension to its RealPresence service that allows third-party services to connect into conferences. The new CloudAxis addition lets users instant message with people using GoogleTalk, Facebook and Skype, though not yet include video from those services. Polycom is also offering a browser-based plugin to connect to a video call, eliminating the need in some cases for a hardware endpoint. The goal is to make conferencing easier to setup and more pervasive. That’s good news for end users and potentially bad news for IT.

One-way streaming video is already flooding networks and consuming massive amounts of bandwidth. Now, multiple vendors – including Polycom – are making it far easier to conduct two-way video conferences across the network without involving the IT staff. Consumer services like Skype and Apple FaceTime already make it easy to have a video conference with another party, but those require both parties to be on the same service. That could be changing for the better as we seem to be quickly heading down the path of having multiple clients being able to connect into a multi-party call.

Why is this bad for IT? It’s potentially more added strain on the network as two-way video starts consuming bandwidth. And, since it’s far easier for employees to setup on their own, it’s going to be harder for IT to limit roll out of such services.

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Cisco VNI Global Growth Forecast

Infrastructures are Converging: The case for agility

You know why you need to effectively manage your infrastructure. It’s a competitive world, and to succeed, you need to meet soaring customer expectations for anytime-anywhere multimedia services with high standards of availability and performance. Everything from an online trade to a restaurant search is an experience and that experience is your face to the world.

So how can you make that experience a positive one?  You know your infrastructure is converging and, if anything, that only adds more complexity. Without a converged infrastructure management solution that covers the spectrum of technologies, traffic and application complexity you are managing, you will be deluged with data and left on your own to find the impact points that are hitting your performance, service levels and bottom line. Consider what today’s converged infrastructures entail.

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What happens to the WAN in the cloud?

Cloud computing represents such a shift in the high-tech industry that it will affect how IT domains operate, manage and deliver services – including local and wide-area networks. Recent attention is being paid to the network operations teams and applications traversing WANs as more companies consider moving services into the cloud, and according to industry watchers, the focus on WANs is warranted.

In a recent white paper, Ipanema Technologies detailed its approach to WAN governance and cloud computing. The paper also offers insight into the challenges enterprise IT organizations could face when implementing cloud computing. According to the published report, the trend is clear and enterprise IT departments are embracing cloud computing. And these same IT departments must also face the challenges cloud computing will represent to current operations. The network will be tasked to ensure applications are delivered to local, wide-area and mobile users – regardless of if they are on-premise or in the cloud.

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What’s missing in WAN optimization? Granular application-level visibility

Network managers must not only ensure the local area is performing up to par supporting business applications, but they must also optimize the end-user experience over the wide area. But recent research suggests the current raft of technologies available don’t offer network managers the capabilities they need to keep their WAN optimization practices on pace with emerging technologies.

“IT organizations have more applications running over the WAN, which are challenging high-speed links and making it more difficult to monitor and manage application performance without visibility into network traffic,” says Bojan Simic, principal analyst at TRAC Research. “WAN optimization has become a feature of application acceleration technologies, but today the visibility component is more important as IT organizations report that managing interactive traffic over the WAN has become a significant challenge.”

Simic, who co-authored the report “WAN Acceleration Can’t Do it All” with TRAC Research Editor Tom Karol, says IT organizations expressed the need to gain application-level visibility in WAN optimization products. According to a survey of more than 350 IT organizations conducted between July and September 2010 by TRAC Research, the top challenges for managing application delivery over the WAN are as follows.

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Using QoS to Prioritize Traffic

As enterprise networks become more sensitive to the type of traffic that’s flowing, mission-critical applications such as voice and video have to be protected from things like surfing the Web. The way to do this is through classes of service. In this video, Mike Magri, Director of Industry Solutions for NetQoS/CA, walks us through how [...]

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The 3G woes of AT&T

At the UBS 37th annual Global Media and Communications Conference, Ralph de la Vega at AT&T mentioned that AT&T’s been having cellular data network problems because of heavy users – touting out the usual “80/20 rule” bandwidth hog rule (in this case, that 3% of users use 40% of the data) the company’s representative, Ralph [...]

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When Bandwidth Hogs Fly

We’ve mentioned a lot about data caps, and why they’re not effective methods for controlling congestion, though they’re often sold as such to unwitting consumers. And we’ve done the analysis that shows that the effective speed of a capped plan can be slower than uncapped dialup – at least, when you average it all out. [...]

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WhereFi, WhenFi, and WiFi.

Sergey Claus and his helpers, (known collectively as Google Inc.), are planning to give out a few presents to travelers until after the new year – free WiFi at 47 airports. Which has me wondering – why isn’t WiFi free at all airports, all the time?  I understand that there’s certainly profit to be made [...]

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Ars Technica vs. Nemertes Research

In May of this year, Nemertes Research president Johna Till Johnson wrote in Network World that “The Internet Sky Really Is Falling.” The next day, we came out with a story about that column, in our much more irreverent style, entitled “That’s great, it starts with an earthquake: Is the Internet dying?” In that article, [...]

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Fast* Broadband

*delivered really slowly. The Washington Post has an article on a phenomenon that we’re all familiar with – that advertised broadband speeds don’t always match up to the actual performance that the end-user actually receives. Actual broadband speeds lag advertised speeds by as much as 50% to 80%. So more than half the time, and [...]

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Essay: Ruminations on The Cheaptop

Network World reports that Wal-Mart is going to be selling an AMD-Sempron 2.1GHz powered laptop with 3GB of RAM for less than $300. It’s a bit more powerful than what we think of as a “netbook” – which can go for as little as $238. We’ve talked about how netbook ownership has gone hand-in-hand with [...]

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