Last night around 6pm Apple released iOS7, the latest operating system for iPhones and iPads to the world. Alongside the update came a new version of iTunes and lots of app updates to take advantage of iOS7. For Plusnet, this meant only one thing - Bandwidth. And *lots* of it! Read on to find out just what impact Apple's latest software offering had on our network and how we managed this traffic ...
How do you like them apples?
In the days before iOS7 was released we saw an increase in Apple software update traffic, presumably from the updated apps: Then last night we saw Apple traffic sky rocket, peaking at about 30% of the total traffic on the Plusnet network.
Akamai, one of the large content distribution networks, were reporting that global Internet traffic was at more than 113% of normal last night shortly after 6pm. It peaked later in the evening at 126% of normal! Other networks around the world were reporting similar increases.
Preparation is key
Anticipating very high demand for iOS7, we moved Apple Software updates from our Gold to our Silver traffic queues for most of our broadband products. This helped protect the experience of customers' streaming, browsing, VPN traffic and other applications in the Gold queue. With Wednesday night home to several football games on Sky and the release of Grand Theft Auto the day prior, we were already expecting a busy night even without iOS7. Moving iOS7 into Silver meant that customers who were downloading the update and trying to browse, stream or game at the same time didn't see their gaming affected by theirs or anyone else's iOS7 downloads. The download may have taken a little longer but we think that people would rather wait a tad longer for it to download than have it download at full speed and cause buffering when they're trying to catch up on The Great British Bake Off or watch Arsenal play. We may even have saved you some frustration, having read some of the reports from frustrated iOS users who had difficulties installing the update once downloaded The steps we took also helped protect customers' global experience. By moving Apple Software updates to the Silver queue, we ensured that iOS7 download traffic was also slowed slightly if any of our network links reached capacity. This ensured that customers' web browsing and streaming experience wasn't hindered by all of the iOS7 traffic. The graph below shows one link on our network which reached maximum capacity. Whilst this would have caused some customers' iOS7 updates to slow, they'd have seen normal speed and performance for anything still in the Gold queue. Without the traffic management we have in place, our customers could have seen all of their traffic slowing, buffering on video or increased latency for online gaming. We expect to see the level of traffic to continue to be high for several days as people download iOS7 and apps get updated for iOS7. Tomorrow sees the release of the new iPhones (5C and 5S) and there's already an iOS7 patch (iOS 7.0.1) available so more downloads expected. We can now start planning for iOS8 ... Did you manage to download iOS7 last night? How many app updates have you had and did you experience any problems? Let us know by leaving a comment below ...