Sys Admins Get Ready for Super Bowl Monday
January 29, 2015

Aaron Kelly

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The Super Bowl may be the sports highlight of the year in the United States – an unofficial holiday of sorts – but it’s also big business for the advertising world. The average advertisement cost for the 2015 game is expected to be approximately $4 million per 30 second slot with more than 50 commercials set to air. While the game is the headline event, there is considerable attention paid to the advertisements that will run throughout. So what does this have to do with system administrators or your corporate network? A great deal more than you might think.

Just as Cyber Monday has become the busiest day for online shopping, the Monday after the Super Bowl has become one of the most bandwidth heavy days for corporate networks as a result of employees watching commercials on news outlets and social media platforms. All of which are made readily available through publications and video hosting sites such as YouTube.

The question of who won the game often becomes secondary to the question of who won the advertising wars because judging the advertisements has become a popular media segment for national publications. Major online media sites will post links to the advertisements and ask viewers to watch and rate what they thought were the best of the best. This is a win-win situation for everyone; the advertisements get more exposure and the media outlets keep viewers on the site for longer periods of time boosting their rankings. However, this is far from a best case scenario for the corporate network’s performance and the critical business applications that run on it.

Imagine half of the employees in your organization are watching a YouTube video at the same time. Now multiply that out across approximately 50 advertisements or 25 minutes of streaming. Sounds like a great deal of bandwidth will be absorbed and network performance will suffer. This doesn’t even take into account the lost productivity of employees watching commercials rather than performing their job functions.

So as we head into the big weekend, what can sys admins do to prevent a bandwidth slowdown come Monday morning and avoid a Super Bowl hangover of a completely different variety?

First, get it on record today that the practice of streaming video is frowned upon within the organization as it adversely affects the ability of workers to do their job effectively by slowing network and application performance.

Next, have a plan in place that permits blocking of YouTube and other video hosting sites for employees whose job does not depend on these sites.

Last, if experience tells you that your organization is one that is obsessed with the Super Monday phenomenon, make it fun. Create a viewing area in a central location where advertisements are being streamed from only one source, rather than through every individual work station.

Whether you have a rooting interest or not in the Super Bowl game, it’s always a time for fun and celebration. The advertisements that debut during the game are the most eagerly anticipated and most scrutinized of the entire year. Careers in the advertising world have been made or destroyed based on the public’s reaction to the spot. As a sys admin, your career is dependent upon making sure the network and its applications function at a high-level so that business gets done and customers are satisfied. Make sure come Monday that you are making the right call for your organization.

Aaron Kelly is Product Management Executive at Ipswitch.

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