Matrix Madness: Preparing Your Network for the NCAA Tournament

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Network madness

According to Turner Sports, through the first four weeks of last year's tournament, there were 45 million video streams – a 158 percent increase over the figures reported at the same time in 2012. Additionally, a record 12.6 million hours of live-streaming video were watched in 2013, a 201 percent increase from the same point in 2012. One would expect those figures to continue to rise in 2014, which will in turn lead to an inevitable increase in the strain on corporate networks.

Streaming on mobile devices through the company's network is also increasing in popularity, further drawing resources from business critical applications. Over the course of the 2013 tournament, viewers watched games via their mobile devices at an increasing rate, the number rising from a 43 percent share of the overall audience on March 21 to a 68 percent share on March 31.

Every March, college basketball enthusiasts around the country rejoice for the NCAA's annual tournament pitting the nation's best 68 teams against each other. CBS broadcasts the month-long, single-elimination tournament online and each year sets a new record for live-streaming – mostly from office employees during the workday. For companies and IT managers, however, March Madness is not a reason to rejoice, but instead for rancor, as they are forced to cope with a decline in workplace productivity and severe strains on the network.

The bandwidth capabilities of company networks will be pressured as many dedicated fans stream the tournament from their office computers throughout the week. U.S. businesses anticipate a spike in demand for network resources during March Madness; data centers, wide and local area networks must prepare, lest they risk the performance of business critical applications. David White, president of Americas for Ipanema Technologies, takes a closer look at what businesses can do to prepare for March Madness.


Related Topics : Blade Servers, Business Integration, Ethernet, LAN, Network Protocols

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