Keep the World Cup Off Your Network

Bruce Miller

For the past month, the world has had their eyes on the 21st installment of the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Soccer—or football—fan or not, our inherent urge to compete and win has turned casual citizens into overnight sports buffs as players from across the world bring us together through the game. With the tournament coming to an end, finals are nearing, and stakes are at an all-time high. No matter which team you are rooting for, don’t let the goals on the field distract your work team from your business goals. It is no secret that streaming services require a great deal of bandwidth, but is your network equipped to balance work with pleasure?

Thanks to our mobile devices latest bracket shifts, exclusive player interviews, and the games themselves are only clicks away. Unfortunately, we have seen many enthusiasts not being able to restrict their sports browsing to their free time. Rather they often distract themselves while at work or school, which intensifies Wi-Fi traffic. This then creates a problem for organizations, whether schools, government offices, enterprise businesses, and more. Save yourself the trouble by utilizing traffic control policies and save your network from suffering.

social media app on mobile device

You cannot regulate what you don’t know

The first step in controlling your network traffic is to know exactly what is on your network. Identify which applications are consuming your Wi-Fi bandwidth. Distinguish the applications crucial for your business from the non-critical and recreational. This list may change depending on the kind of business you are running.

Blocking applications isn’t the only answer

Access control lists on routers or firewalls are useful for blocking troublesome applications. This is not the only option, however. An alternative is to rate limit or throttle applications. With this, you will be able to restrict—without entirely cutting off—the amount of bandwidth consumed by the less critical applications. Cutting off streaming media may not be the ideal solution when your marketing department is trying to run a Facebook video campaign. Users on your network will be able to continue watching streaming content, without stealing all the bandwidth from business crucial applications.

Help out IT by scheduling automatic policies

At many organizations, application control requirements will often shift over the course of the day, or throughout the week. A business may want to block bandwidth-hogging apps such as Netflix or distractions such as Instagram. After prime business hours, you may decide to allow these applications, but limit the stream to 1 Mbps per user, so no one employee can hog all the bandwidth for themselves. A similar plan of attack can be very useful with the World Cup, or any major sporting event that becomes a distraction on your network. Automating policies with Riverbed Xirrus Application Control is easier than ever. By allowing IT to schedule different policies applied automatically eliminates the need for constant manual changes, making things so much simpler for the hardworking IT staff.

Riverbed Xirrus Application Control

Xirrus Application Control represents a great example of a Wi-Fi solution easily enabling precise traffic policies. Our solution allows you to enforce application control at the network’s edge—the point where client devices actually access the network. Additionally, Xirrus’ advanced engine recognizes over 1900 applications. This degree of specificity makes it possible to apply policies by application categories, such as streaming media, or at the level of individual applications, like Netflix or YouTube.

The World Cup will only be dominating your network every four years, but Xirrus technology can help optimize your network performance all year round. You might be familiar with Apple or Microsoft software updates, and many users do not realize that they have configured their devices to allow auto updates. Your network may experience a massive and unexplained spike in network usage as employee devices are working to download new software. Thankfully, application control policies can help your network avoid this scenario by restricting software updates during prime business hours.

Learn how Riverbed Xirrus can help you deliver predictable Wi-Fi performance through comprehensive application control. The World Cup may control the world, but it doesn’t have to dominate your network!

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