iPhone 5 could mean sleepless nights for admins

The growing bandwidth implications for smart devices on corporate networks can cause headaches, says Mark Urban of Blue Coat Systems

Tags: Blue Coat Systems IncorporatedIPhone
  • E-Mail
iPhone 5 could mean sleepless nights for admins Mark Urban, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Blue Coat Systems, warns that BYOD is putting a growing load on corporate bandwidth.
By  Mark Urban Published  November 14, 2012

The launch of iPhone 5 may have caused excitement among consumers worldwide, but the growing bandwidth implications for smart devices on corporate networks can cause headaches, says Mark Urban of Blue Coat Systems.

The newly launched iPhone 5 has received an overwhelming response, selling over five million phones in the opening weekend alone. More and more smart devices have made their way into workplaces, resulting in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) tsunami. Turning back the wave is impossible for IT personnel.

These devices may be small, but they are creating major challenges for network administrators. The employees who bring them to work use them for business purposes, but they also use them for recreational purposes that impact network bandwidth and affect the performance of business applications. Consider, for example, that the iOS 6 update is 912.8MB. If several employees downloaded the update simultaneously, it would cause a rapid degradation of network bandwidth and the performance of critical applications.

Even for businesses that have policies to control access from employee-owned devices to the corporate network, outsourcing and extensive partnerships have forced companies to open their wireless network infrastructure to partners, suppliers and customers who visit their facilities. These guests are allowed to use corporate Wi-Fi network connections for both business and recreational purposes, compounding the impact to the network of app and video downloads or photo uploads. And while it may be on a separate LAN, all guest-generated traffic will intersect with internal business traffic at the Internet access point.

For network administrators to fully embrace BYOD initiatives without compromising the network, they need to be able to identify and control traffic at the flow level to prioritize those applications that are critical to the business and limit those that aren’t. They also need a solution that alleviates network congestion by caching things like iOS updates, mitigating the bandwidth impact created when multiple people download the same updates.

The iPhone 5 has put businesses on the defensive; it is a case where consumer IT is driving business, and businesses are trying to figure out what to do. Leading companies are utilizing iPads and iPhones to be more mobile and more flexible, but the majority of businesses are in reaction mode.

Our conservative estimate is that each device has the potential to contribute 15GB of traffic to the corporate network. That hits the bottom line for businesses and in some cases can mean a doubling of telecom service budgets and disruption to business processes.

Businesses need to balance the demand for access to the corporate network against the impact those devices have on the network. By being able to differentiate business applications and prioritize them, businesses can create the breathing room to embrace personal devices without breaking the bank.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code