The NCAA Men’s basketball tournament is upon us which means that many folks responsible for corporate WANs will get complaints about branch slowness and application performance – due to streaming of tournament games.
I’ve been known to watch a few of these games myself and although neither of my teams (Maryland and George Mason) are in it this season, this time of year always wreaks havoc on corporate WANs and network managers. The relative good news is that there are a couple approaches to dealing with this issue, ranging from cheap/simple to more advanced, including
- rudimentary router/switch configuration (rate-limiting and QOS)
- security-centric solutions (SWG, Firewalls)
- WAN optimization (i.e., Riverbed, Silver Peak, Cisco, and Ipanema) and
- more advanced network traffic management /shaping solutions (from companies like Exinda, Blue Coat, Cymphonix and Procera).
The general rule of thumb is that you get what you pay for but that even the basic stuff (i.e., cheap/simple) affords some level of relief for these issues. And if you’re looking for a deeper dive into the topic, check out this published Gartner research, How to Control Recreational Internet Traffic in Enterprise Networks.
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