Matrix Madness: Preparing Your Network for the NCAA Tournament

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What these challenges mean

According to a Harris Interactive poll, 64 percent of Americans watch online video while at work. As the games occur during business hours, employees are highly likely to stream games in order to follow their favorite team or to track their bracket picks. It is easy to imagine the impact that the 2014 tournament is having on businesses as the amount of workers streaming content spikes so dramatically during the month.

According to a survey by Modis, a global provider of IT staffing and recruiting services, two in five IT professionals report March Madness impacted their network in the past, with about a third reporting system slowdowns or complete crashes. If companies aren't prepared, business critical applications will be affected as they compete against YouTube and online video for limited resources. IT departments need to know how to guard against this.

According to a 2013 survey from Network World, application performance problems are a serious concern that needs to be addressed. The survey found that 73 percent of enterprises are losing productivity because of something easily avoided: poor application performance. Considering that these responses were during normal business conditions, anticipated spikes in network usage such as March Madness must be carefully addressed to ensure application performance remains intact.

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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