The World Cup is Upon Us - But Are We Prepared?
June 09, 2014

Mike Heumann

Share this

It seems as if the Sochi Winter Olympics and March Madness happened just yesterday, but the month of June is here, and with it, one of the most highly anticipated sporting events of any four year period. It could be argued that the FIFA World Cup is the most popular sporting event in the world, and with a soccer powerhouse country like Brazil hosting the tournament this year - across 12 venues - sports fans are getting the eye drops ready so they can watch every moment of the action between June 12 and July 13. ESPN will present all 64 matches across three networks (ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC).


The results of a survey published by YuMe indicate that 63% of people will watch World Cup highlights on their computer, 23% on smartphones and 25% on tablets. This means apps from the major broadcast providers will be working overtime. Many of the matches will air during normal working hours throughout the US, and since many office workers don’t have access to a television at work, they will be using these other devices to stream the games instead.

Streaming video can be an enormous bandwidth hog and can occupy much more network resources than almost any other application. At a remote office location, even one person watching live video coverage can bring an entire LAN to a standstill. And it doesn’t take more than a handful of viewers at large sites to slow the network to a point where customers have difficulty accessing the company’s Web site or the quality of Internet-based telecommunications tools (like Skype) degrades. This problem has only been exacerbated by the influx of personal mobile devices into the enterprise, all of which are sucking up bandwidth from the corporate wireless network, which is generally more bandwidth constricted than the fixed-line Ethernet network.

While you don’t want to be the authoritarian IT pro who cuts off access, the amount of streaming that will be happening on your network is worth considering. Just as we said about the Olympics and March Madness, employees don’t always realize the impact they can have on network performance and how it could impact the entire company. The only way to analyze this traffic and be able to reroute it or add more capacity is to have full visibility into the network.

Here are some best practices for keeping a network running at peak capacity during an event like the World Cup:

- Baseline your networks BEFORE you need to start allocating bandwidth. If you know what your normal network needs are, you are in a better position to set Quality of Service (QoS) policies to guarantee bandwidth for your mission-critical applications. Most importantly, don’t be satisfied with simply knowing the average bandwidth required – look across a several-day baseline to see usage by hour, and pay close attention to if/when you have microburst activity (applications causing this will most likely be the ones impacted first if your network becomes saturated).

- Since it is likely that most “non-business web browsing” will happen on Bring your Own Devices (BYODs), which are nearly universally wireless, think about isolating your wireless network from your mission- critical network, and consider putting limits on the outside bandwidth served to that network.

- Monitor your network closely, and look for signs of issues proactively. High-resolution network visibility tools are critical to ensuring you will see problems before they impact your enterprise.

- Assume you will run into issues, and plan what your options are when they occur. If your playbook has already thought-out and documented options to deal with issues, it is far more likely that you can mitigate issues quickly.

Mike Heumann is Sr. Director, Marketing (Endace) for Emulex.

Share this

The Latest

February 06, 2023

This year 2023, at a macro level we are moving from an inflation economy to a recession and uncertain economy and the general theme is certainly going to be "Doing More with Less" and "Customer Experience is the King." Let us examine what trends and technologies will play a lending hand in these circumstances ...

February 02, 2023

As organizations continue to adapt to a post-pandemic surge in cloud-based productivity, the 2023 State of the Network report from Viavi Solutions details how end-user awareness remains critical and explores the benefits — and challenges — of cloud and off-premises network modernization initiatives ...

February 01, 2023

In the network engineering world, many teams have yet to realize the immense benefit real-time collaboration tools can bring to a successful automation strategy. By integrating a collaboration platform into a network automation strategy — and taking advantage of being able to share responses, files, videos and even links to applications and device statuses — network teams can leverage these tools to manage, monitor and update their networks in real time, and improve the ways in which they manage their networks ...

January 31, 2023

A recent study revealed only an alarming 5% of IT decision makers who report having complete visibility into employee adoption and usage of company-issued applications, demonstrating they are often unknowingly careless when it comes to software investments that can ultimately be costly in terms of time and resources ...

January 30, 2023

Everyone has visibility into their multi-cloud networking environment, but only some are happy with what they see. Unfortunately, this continues a trend. According to EMA's latest research, most network teams have some end-to-end visibility across their multi-cloud networks. Still, only 23.6% are fully satisfied with their multi-cloud network monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities ...

January 26, 2023

As enterprises work to implement or improve their observability practices, tool sprawl is a very real phenomenon ... Tool sprawl can and does happen all across the organization. In this post, though, we'll focus specifically on how and why observability efforts often result in tool sprawl, some of the possible negative consequences of that sprawl, and we'll offer some advice on how to reduce or even avoid sprawl ...

January 25, 2023

As companies generate more data across their network footprints, they need network observability tools to help find meaning in that data for better decision-making and problem solving. It seems many companies believe that adding more tools leads to better and faster insights ... And yet, observability tools aren't meeting many companies' needs. In fact, adding more tools introduces new challenges ...

January 24, 2023

Driven by the need to create scalable, faster, and more agile systems, businesses are adopting cloud native approaches. But cloud native environments also come with an explosion of data and complexity that makes it harder for businesses to detect and remediate issues before everything comes to a screeching halt. Observability, if done right, can make it easier to mitigate these challenges and remediate incidents before they become major customer-impacting problems ...

January 23, 2023

The spiraling cost of energy is forcing public cloud providers to raise their prices significantly. A recent report by Canalys predicted that public cloud prices will jump by around 20% in the US and more than 30% in Europe in 2023. These steep price increases will test the conventional wisdom that moving to the cloud is a cheap computing alternative ...

January 19, 2023

Despite strong interest over the past decade, the actual investment in DX has been recent. While 100% of enterprises are now engaged with DX in some way, most (77%) have begun their DX journey within the past two years. And most are early stage, with a fourth (24%) at the discussion stage and half (49%) currently transforming. Only 27% say they have finished their DX efforts ...