YouTube's Ripple Effect: Page 2

Posted November 13, 2006

Sandra Gittlen

(Page 2 of 2)

To prevent everyone from accessing the streaming media at one time – which drains the network of bandwidth and other resources – Gonzales stores the downloaded clip for a short period of time on the company server.

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However, he concedes that remote offices do not have the same flexibility because the WAN pipe to their offices is more constrained.

Gonzales says the requirement for corporate users to request access to the video is a successful deterrent. “We don’t get a lot of requests for things that are just for fun,” he says. In fact, the request approach saves on bandwidth, servers and desktop resources.

Berger agrees with Gonzales that companies should explicitly cover the use of video in their acceptable use policies. “Acceptable use policies should always evolve to include current technology,” he says. But he adds that network monitoring tools that alert IT managers to use of those types of sites is also critical. “It doesn’t have to be used in a Big Brother way, but if I constantly monitor and meter my network, I can notice a spike,” he says.

Monitoring tools also allow IT managers to limit individual access to Internet sites. “Selective blocking means your CEO can access the site, but the production facility can’t,” Berger says.

He cautions IT managers not to jump to increase bandwidth if they notice a significant impact on their network. Instead, he recommends studying the traffic patterns and using network management tools to limit use during peak times.

Companies should also be careful not to ban the use of video-on-demand completely. “There are lots of practical uses for video-on-demand technology such as training. It can be a real business multiplier,” he says.

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