Every year the widespread demand for Apple’s new operating system sneaks up on companies and higher education institutions alike, causing massive network disruption. Some college IT departments even send out emails pleading that users refrain from upgrading their devices on campus. While commuting students may be able to honor this request, those that live in the dorms depend on their ResNet for both academic and recreational usage.

READ ALSO: 5 Ways to Maximize Your Campus Bandwidth Investment 

Every IT environment is unique and every user has different needs, so a one size fits all solution for handling mass software updates won’t work for most networks. You need to pick a strategy that will work best for your network, no matter how complex it is. Here are 3 possible ways you can protect your network during iOS 9 release week:

1. Completely Block The Upgrade

For IT managers with limited bandwidth or for those who experienced lengthy outages during release week last year, your best choice might be blocking the upgrade altogether this time around. Before release week, simply create a policy using the Apple Software Updates application signature and set it to discard the traffic. This will ensure that no one is able to upgrade their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch on your watch.

2. Control The Amount Of Bandwidth iOS 9 Can Use

Even if you’d love nothing more than to block iOS 9 on your network, this might not be feasible given the needs of your users, particularly if you’re one of the many schools who have rolled out a 1:1 iPad program. To control the amount of bandwidth iOS 9 can use on your network, set a policy that guarantees minimum and maximum levels of bandwidth that can be consumed during this upgrade and give it a low priority so it does not take precedence over your key apps.

3. Cache The Upgrade

To let your users download iOS 9 to their hearts content without it wreaking utter havoc on your network, consider caching the upgrade at the network edge. Caching the upgrade will let you breathe a little easier as after the iOS 9 update has been downloaded on the network once, each subsequent download request will be served up locally and will not use too much of your bandwidth.

Maximize Your Campus Bandwidth Investment

Join our webinar on October 1st and learn how to reduce WAN spend and still guarantee strategic applications such as Learning Management Systems and online testing platforms perform reliably for students on and off campus. Register today.