With the 2016 UEFA European Championship kicking off in just a few day's time, businesses have to prepare for the potential issues that could accompany the tournament, such as live streaming of matches and added 'sick days.'
With the tournament approaching, industry professionals have offered their advice for businesses to ensuring Euro 2016 doesn’t become a red card for network performance.
Wieland Alge, VP & GM EMEA at Barracuda Networks:
"For those businesses that are not willing or able to offer more flexible working hours around the Euros tournament, they must give serious consideration as to how they will deal with the extra strain on the network from staff streaming the matches from their desks. IT teams need to be able to both prioritise mission critical services and manage bandwidth across a variety of other applications, such as the streaming sites for the tournament.
"By deploying application control at the perimeter of the network, IT administrators are able to configure access policies according to the needs of the network. For example, streaming pages may be allowed, but chat and games may be prohibited. Video conferencing might be allowed only for the executive group. VoIP and mission critical traffic might be prioritised while social media and YouTube is blocked.
"The ability to prioritise and manage in this manner is based upon a relatively new technology and it’s one of the primary differences between a firewall and a next-generation firewall. IT teams should be sure to have application control as a key player in their network management line up this summer!"
Michael Hack, SVP of EMEA Operations at Ipswich:
"Over 150 million viewers are expected to watch each game of UEFA Euro 2016 as it happens. With such high levels of interest, it seems likely that employees all over the world will be streaming the matches during work hours. This will consume a lot of wireless network bandwidth, putting stress on corporate networks and reducing the performance of business critical applications. A report by Cisco expected video streaming and IP broadcast of the 2012 World Cup to generate 4.3 exabytes of Internet traffic in Brazil alone – that’s nearly three times the country's monthly average.
"Planning for large scale media events is now a part of the IT puzzle. After the Euro 2016 tournament we’ll see Wimbledon, the Olympic Games and several other global sporting events, and the ability to anticipate bandwidth spikes that can harm core business functions needs to be second nature for IT teams."
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