Online video coverage of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games may flood corporate networks

July 24, 2008

3 Min Read

SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Blue Coat Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BCSI), the leader in WAN Application Delivery and Secure Web Gateway, issued an alert today aimed at Internet-connected enterprises and organizations: - Employees’ access to unprecedented amounts of online Olympics video - thousands of hours of coverage - may overwhelm corporate Internet connections and network links to branch offices. This development could prevent critical business applications and communication from moving through the enterprise, thus contributing to decreased productivity by employees accessing live and on-demand video.

In the United States, NBC, in conjunction with Microsoft, is expected to offer:

  • 2,200 hours of live video coverage to online viewers

  • At peak times, up to 20 simultaneous live streams of different Olympic events will be available

  • 3,000 hours of on-demand video content, including full event replays, highlights, features, interviews and more will be available

It is possible for anywhere from two to 14 employees watching Olympics coverage simultaneously could dominate a network gateway, impairing other internal business traffic from getting through.

Key concerns for enterprises and organizations in managing Olympic video content from the Web:

  • Ensuring that the company’s Internet gateway is fully available for business use of the Internet, rather than being overwhelmed by access to Olympics video

  • Preventing large amounts of video content to saturate Wide Area Network (WAN) links to branch offices from centralized Internet connections based in headquarters or data centers

  • Managing employee productivity, so that they are not spending a large amount of time watching the Olympics while at work

Blue Coat’s 3-Step Strategy in Tackling the Influx of Olympics Video:

  • Call a Huddle: Pull together your IT/HR managers to discuss the network problems your company may face during the Olympics and what issues you’ve had with streaming video in the past and the company’s policy for what constraints, if any, should be applied to employees’ access of online Olympics video.

  • Visualize your Race: Evaluate your corporate culture and existing network policies before choosing a solution that works best for your company and your network.

    *Gold Medal Tip - it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Some companies may want to block all streaming video across their network, while others may want to just block access to Olympic websites, or block video only during business hours.

  • Let the Games Begin: Notify management and employees well in advance of the change in policy, and begin executing the policy a day or two ahead of the games. Make sure there is a solution in place to effectively carry out the policy in an accurate, granular and flexible manner, surrounding exact content and employee use.

“Employees’ access of online video has been a growing a concern for many organizations, but the sheer magnitude of available Olympics coverage online poses a greater threat to the efficiency of corporate networks than anything in the past. Organizations around the world should brace for the demands of online video to the network so that business operations can continue unchanged and organizations can manage potential losses in productivity.”

“A company’s Internet gateways—it’s lifeline to the Internet—could be dominated by employees accessing online video coverage of the Olympic Games. Blue Coat has addressed this challenge by offering enterprises with multiple solutions to manage this demand.”
-Bethany Mayer, Senior VP, Worldwide Marketing of Blue Coat Systems

Blue Coat Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BCSI)

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