At Plusnet we keep an eye on upcoming sport, TV shows and other events which may have an effect on our network. Last year Apple released iOS 4 and this had a small effect on our traffic over a few days. To help cope with increased demand across our network we added over 2Gbps to our network this week, but this year’s iOS update had a much larger effect than last year’s in just one evening. The graph below shows traffic being sent to our customers over the last week from just one content distribution network, increasing in speed as the peaks grow in size downwards:
And, of course, what better to do whilst updating your iDevice than to download some new music?
We noticed most streaming traffic drop in comparison to the previous day, iPlayer lost over 700Mbps:
The down side of all this extra traffic is an increase in latency, or the time taken for data to move over our network. We classify this data into different streams, depending on how time-sensitive it is. Downloading iOS 5 was classified as ‘Gold’, the same as browsing web pages or sending email and five of our 29 end points on our newer WBC network experienced latency exceeding our tolerance for these services:
However, our network design means that time-critical traffic such as gaming and Skype are prioritised and so should not have suffered in the same time period:
Please ignore the peaks you see in this graph, they’re a result of artefacts within the measurement system as opposed to real latency readings.
We’ve asked in our Forums and internally if this had any effect on our customers’ experience so if you noticed any problems then please let us know.
Looking ahead, we expect the extra traffic to decrease over the next few days and then disappear into the background, following the pattern of iOS 4. After that, we have the Champions League on Tuesday with both Manchester United and Manchester City playing – that’s expected to be busy. The Formula 1 season is still ongoing, but with Sebastian Vettel having already wound up the World Championship, viewing figures are expected to decline.
Here at Plusnet we're always trying to use clever open source things to make our lives easier. Sometimes we write our own and make other people's lives easier too!
We're a Yorkshire-based provider selling broadband and phone services to homes and businesses throughout the UK. Winner of the ISPA 2010 'Best Consumer Customer Service ISP' Award, we're proud to offer the UK's best value standalone broadband.
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