COVID-19 Network Effects
What is going on out there, on the networks deluged with changing traffic patterns, thanks to people who are suddenly working at home and spending time looking for more information about COVID-19? It depends on who you ask.
At first, the internet appeared to be weathering the changes quite well. As analyst Kurt Marko pointed out, carriers such as Verizon and Comcast were already prepared, thanks to years of supporting the nightly rush of consumers tuning in to streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.
But the stress fractures are appearing: ThousandEyes found that ISP and cloud service outages have risen 42% over the past six weeks, as traffic has spiked by 20% of Verizon’s networks and Vodafone by 50%.
And enterprise service providers have had to make some tweaks as their customers start dialing in from home. For example, Microsoft, to accommodate the increased loads on its Teams collaboration platform, had to adjust for “non-essential capabilities to help manage service quality,” reported SDxCentral. “These include how often it checks for user presence, the time between when it shows when users are typing, and video resolution."
The good news is that the changing network patterns COVID-19 has wrought is leading companies to rethink what makes for a resilient network. As Kasten CEO Niraj Tolia writes in a recent post for The New Stack: IT pros are starting to “look closely at the need to create a more bullet-proof, or at least ballistic-resistant, system for a mobile workforce — an infrastructure coupled with IT operations significantly more disaster-ready than ever before — one capable of accommodating the health and safety needs of employees while at the same time preserving business operations.”
What do you see going on out there on the world’s networks? Let us know and help us share your story.