The World Cup has been over for more than a week, but the effects of it are still being felt around the business world. Productivity undoubtedly decreased for many businesses, as a recent Ipswitch survey collected by WhatsUp Gold’s World Cup Network Traffic Calculator revealed an average increase of 81% in bandwidth usage during the tournament with over 1,200 responses.

Many European nations saw increases in bandwidth in excess of 90%, including Spain with 95%, the Netherlands with 97%, and the UK with 95%. At the same time, South Africa had to cope with network bandwidth maxing out at 100%. These results greatly exceeded many network managers’ predictions. Even the US experienced bandwidth use up to 77% of capacity during important matches.

Unfortunately, what cannot be quantified is the lost business experienced by many due to compromised operations because of the increase in network traffic. The repercussions of such surges almost resulted in the collapse the UK web-based streaming provider ITV. Because all games were streaming online, numerous businesses encountered network disruption and issues with connectivity as employees around the world followed the World Cup games from their desktop. These issues included constrained WAN connectivity and heightened security risks like viruses, Spyware and other Malware attacks, as more and more people were visiting untrusted sites rather than official broadcasts.

While this kind of network disruption is never ideal, it is fortunate that the World Cup took place during the non-peak business months of the summer. However, the unexpected increase in bandwidth across-the-board exposes the vulnerability that exists year-round for many networks.

A tool like the WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor can insulate your network from vulnerability, by tracking and alerting you to any unexpected spikes in bandwidth use by users, hosts, and applications and allowing you to resolve congestion to ensure critical business applications get the bandwidth they need.

Learn more about WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor or try it free for 30 days

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The name of the tournament speaks a lot to just how huge the World Cup is in the scheme of worldwide sporting events. The hype and anticipation around the tournament has been steadily growing since the groups were selected back in December. It has received coverage everywhere from local newspapers to Videos and commercials have gone viral in a matter of hours as they are played over and over again on Youtube. And now here we are,  less than 24 hours away from kick-off.

It’s no surprise that a tournament of this magnitude, that only comes around every four years, were to receive so much hype. Here at Ipswitch, though, we were more concerned with the effect the World Cup was going to have on the performance of networks in regards to companies’ bandwidth consumption jumping as tournament games are streamed live during work hours.

It was our hunch that companies could expect a spike in their bandwidth usage do to live streaming of World Cup games, specifically in Europe and other countries with competing teams. We tested our theory with the creation of our Network Traffic Calculator, and after weeks of collecting data from uses of the calculator, we are happy to report that our expectations are right in line with those of network managers. We collected over 1000 responses through the calculator, and some of our key findings were as follows:

  • Bandwidth use is expected to increase by 38.85% in participating World Cup Nations to 86.89% during matches
  • In Europe the figure is expected to double, from 40.25% current average bandwidth use, to 78.67% during key match times
  • In the UK, despite the culture for some businesses to close during England matches, bandwidth use is still expected to increase by 30.79% to 71.85% of total capacity.
  • In host nation South Africa, IT Managers are bracing themselves for network bandwidth to be completely maxed out to 100% from a base average of 58% during a typical working day.
  • Despite not being typically thought of as a football watching nation, the US is somewhat surprisingly expecting bandwidth use to rise to over 80% during some key matches
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Network Managers, as you know, don’t typically have a lot of down time on a day-to-day basis.

It seems there’s always some network or user issue popping up (and in most cases it’s more than one issue at a time) so you find yourself running around trying to keep the network running and the users happy.

Monitoring and maintaining your network traffic and bandwidth utilization used to be an overlooked aspect of your job, deemed less important. But the rapid evolution of technology has changed the makeup of networks everywhere and has forced network managers to include Flow analysis and monitoring in their network management strategies.

Not only will including this in your strategy allow you to maintain control and ensure of the peak performance of your network’s bandwidth, it will also ensure your network is not at risk of viruses, malware attacks or any other malicious behavior.

A proper Flow monitoring tool delivers peace of mind, allowing you to have confidence that your network is secure and your bandwidth is not being consumed with such capabilities as:

  • Support for Popular Flow Formats: The ability to monitor NetFlow, sFlow and JFlow, with support for switches and routers from vendors such as Cisco, Extreme, Juniper, HP and more
  • Visibility into Network Bandwidth Utilization:Complete, real-time visibility into QoS and exactly how your network bandwidth is being used to ensure optimal network performance
  • Comprehensive Reporting:Collection of NetFlow, sFlow and JFlow records and conversion into useful reports which track real-time usage as well as historical trends
  • Threshold Based Alerting: Receiving alerts in real-time when configured thresholds are exceeded allow you to proactively troubleshoot and resolve performance bottlenecks and eliminate malicious behavior

WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor is a network traffic analysis solution that offers all of these benefits, allowing you to focus on other business-critical projects while giving you the peace of mind that your network is constantly performing at its peak. Don’t just take my word for it, though. Here is Claudio Robles, one of our WhatsUp Gold experts, offering more insight into the benefits of Flow Monitor.

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