The World Cup kicks off in two days and trust me, the IT managers are concerned. The potential load on corporate networks is enormous and with an event of this magnitude it could possibly cause expensive downtime. With statistics like 54% of Britains are planning to watch the World Cup on company computers, you can see why it is important to pay attention to your company’s Internet Usage Policy now.

Jim Martin from ExpertReview.com wrote a blog that points out some of the scary statistics about corporate employees and network usage during the games.

“The survey of 2,000 workers also found that most people had given no thought to the possible consequences on their own workplace.”  The article then goes on to say, “IT networks. More than half those polled did not know whether their organization had any restrictions or guidelines in place to stop them accessing sites to watch the tournament.”

The doom and gloom continues with a report from SkyNews where Clodagh Murphy warns managers that during the event  it could take a longer time to download company information or, even worse, crash a system. With the geographical size of World Cup, not to mention the excitement of the final few games, you can see how this could be a digital catastrophe of 2012 proportions.

So what can you do?  The first step is to play by the rules. Go and find out the details of your company’s Internet Usage Policy. If you don’t have one, it is probably too late to effectively institute one now, BUT it would be a good time to start planning for next year. If you do have a policy, then send a friendly email reminding users of its existence and to respect the company’s bandwidth and fellow users.

The next step is to use a network monitoring tool like Scrutinizer. “Monitoring is truly the key,” describes Plixer’s own Network Admin, Tom Pore. He used Scrutinizer to help identify high use traffic for March Madness in his blog.

I would then set up a threshold, using the alerting capability of the Thresholds Filter. You will quickly see the advantage of foresight when user complaints start rolling in about network and application speed. “I know that your Internet connection is slow, it must be flustering. I just found the issue and have corrected it. You should be all set.” Preemptive answers like this instill confidence in your Admin skills and ensure peace and tranquility during these troubling times.

The last step is a piece of personal advice. The World Cup has a global presence; network usage is going to be high and it is going to affect your network. People love their teams and there is little chance you are  going to directly change their minds. Instead of risking an all out war, be friendly, be polite and use your tools to help curb the strain it is going to put on your network. Following Admin Zen steps like these can get you the help and support you might need in the future. If this doesn’t work or is not applicable to your environment then I suggest that you lock yourself in the server room, grab your headphones and play Metallica Guitar Hero as loud as possible. It is going to be a bumpy ride!

Jim D author pic

James Dougherty

I have worn many hats in my professional life. Support engineer, developer, network admin and manager are all points on my resume, but the one common thread with all of these jobs is that I enjoy working with people; that is what I do here at Plixer. I make sure that everyone understands our product and can get the most out of it. It's just simple 'no bull' support!

Let me know if you have any questions, I would be happy to help.

- Jimmy D

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