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The Super Bowl, Adverts, and What This Means From an IT Standpoint

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The Super Bowl happened Sunday, February 3.

This week, employees everywhere will be sharing some of the famous (and infamous) Super Bowl adverts. From Volkswagen's 'The Force' to Old Spice's 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like', Super Bowl adverts were designed to be shared.

From an IT perspective, all this sharing is risky. I've talked about the dangers of big events before (see this post on The Olympics here in the UK), and a lot of the threats emerge again. Basically, during major global events, traffic flows across networks increase dramatically. The Super Bowl is a perfect example. Employees will look at videos while working in the office.

I've used the 'car and road' example before to explain what I mean when I say traffic is flowing across networks, so let's branch out. Let's use a sports appropriate one. If you're a business, and the playing field is your broadband network, then you only have so much space.

Let's say that applications are football players. Add more football players, and more, and more, and eventually you're going to run out of room for movement. The players won't be able to run. In the same way, sudden traffic from applications (like video) over your network can cause serious delays. This is particularly risky for your business critical apps - which, to keep with our example, might be your star quarterback.

Video and Unified Communications are two of the 'high consumers' in terms of bandwidth. They're like the really big players on the field. They take up a lot of space.

So what do you need to do? You've got to plan ahead. You need to have appropriate network management. You need to be able to see and control which applications (or players) are running where and when. It's either that or buy a bigger playing field, which is very expensive, and which you probably don't need anyway.