COVID19, Your Network, and Bad User-Experience

As social isolation remains to be the best preventive measure so far against the spread of Coronavirus, more companies are putting a work-from-home policy and more towns are putting a shelter-at-home policy in place. This is causing an unanticipated load on existing network and application infrastructure as network traffic surges beyond planned capacity and servers cannot handle the load.

Simple collaboration applications are causing a terrible end-user-experience such as latency, lost packets, and dropped connections. The data center spine-leaf links, server IO links, WAN links, and server CPU and memory itself can be the bottleneck. 

The issue is worsening since schools are closing as well and kids are on gadgets watching YouTube or Netflix at the same time you are trying to have a meeting or work on deliverables. Simultaneous surge in consumer and business north-south traffic across the service providers access and core networks is making the situation even worse. 

Coronavirus Causing Network Traffic Surges

Vodafone, the world’s second largest mobile operator, said the coronavirus is causing traffic on its networks to surge by 50%. Spain’s top service providers Telefónica’s Movistar, Orange, Masmovil, and Euskaltel say they are “closely monitoring and reinforcing their networks”, as they experience a “traffic explosion”.

In general, traffic through IP networks has increased 40%, mobile use is up by 50% for voice services and 25% for data. In addition, traffic from instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp increased 5x. A similar pattern is emerging in the U.S. Cloudflare says Internet traffic jumped 20% last week and in hard-hit Seattle, Internet use was up 40%.

Business applications are also suffering or at great risk. According to Downdetector, stock sites like Ameritrade and E-Trade have been seeing spikes in outage reports this month as financial markets melt. Robinhood has been struggling in particular due to perpetual account malfunctions and has gone dark for up to an hour in recent weeks. VPN is another example. Normally, companies set up VPNs for remote and traveling workers only, rather than the entire workforce. An overloaded VPN can lead to slowdowns and packet loss.

If you are the IT NetOps or AppOps guy, your ticketing system is filling up with complaints and comments full of frustration. You, my friend, need a good network visibility system in place asap or you need to start polishing your resume, as it goes up the chain. A system that helps you spot the network bottlenecks and narrow down the issues fast, reducing mean-time-to-resolution, and closing tickets on a daily basis. 

How Network-Aware Application Performance Can Help

Luckily there are solutions like cPacket Networks. We provide network-aware application performance and security assurance across the full hybrid environment so you can have a business-ready view of your remote workers, branch offices, VPNs, data centers, or cloud VPCs on a daily basis and capture and analyze the data and troubleshoot remotely. 

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You benefit from cPacket’s NoC-level single-pane-of-glass analytics such as one-way latency, delay, gap analysis, jitter, micro-burst, to-talkers, TCP analysis, and a lot more. Baseline and setup thresholds and alerts reduce workload on you. Leveraging our machine-learning capabilities, you can intelligently narrow down the areas you need to pay attention to as prescriptive AIOps helps reduce your stress.

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Physical, Virtual, And Cloud-Native Visibility Across the Network

cPacket’s sophisticated, yet simple visibility solution is available in physical, virtual, and cloud-native form across branch offices, data centers, and multi-cloud networks. Its single-pane-of-glass analytics enables workflow portability across the hybrid environment.

We have a complete visibility stack including network TAPs, packet brokers, packet capture devices, flow export gateways, data correlation and analysis servers, and customizable dashboards – all capable of getting integrated into your existing service management system through APIs. 

cPacket solution enables IT teams to handle the current crises effectively. If you’re looking for a fully reliable, tightly integrated, and consistently simple network visibility solution right now, talk to cPacket or request a quick demo.

About The Author

Nadeem Zahid
Vice President Product Management & Marketing

Nadeem has spent more than 23 years in the IT industry in various leadership roles with companies like Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems, Brocade, Juniper Networks, Extreme Networks, LiveAction and tFinery. He is a prolific author with published books and articles on product management, networking and cloud.