It’s that time of year again – the release of iOS 10. Apple users around the globe are eagerly waiting the moment when they can hit “Install Now” and take advantage of all the compelling new features. While users rejoice in the new voicemail transcriptions, revamped Apple Music design and built-in facial recognition, IT teams are left with a potential massive network disruption.
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Many of our customers have asked us how they can best leverage Exinda’s capabilities to limit the impact of this serious spike in traffic and put a strategic control policy in place that will manage the increased network contention. Here are 3 possible methods:
1. Application Groups
If you’re using Application Groups as the basis of your control policies, it becomes very easy to ensure your network will not be overburdened by the increase in traffic as users go to “Settings > General > Software Update” on their devices.
Within the Application Group – Software Updates, you will find the signature for iOS Update traffic – Exinda’s classification database includes a Layer 7 based signature to accurately identify iOS Update traffic, so no worries!
There are a few approaches we can take, depending on your control strategy and policies already in place.
The most straightforward and beneficial, is to add a specific policy that manages all the update traffic types reflected by the Application Group – this will help ensure you are leveraging Exinda’s sophisticated classification techniques to manage the most widespread types of Software Update traffic typically downloaded across the WAN.
To add a policy using the Application Group, all you need to determine is how much bandwidth you would like to allocate to contain the Update traffic types. In this case, we’ll limit all iOS Update traffic to 2M aggregate, meaning all active software update downloads have to fair-share the 2M we are allocating. This gives you the ability to contain all update traffic, so it does not have any adverse effects on more latency-sensitive, critical applications using your network.
This approach is highly desirous for a couple of reasons. It will put a policy in place around all major software update downloads by the most utilized vendors that you probably will find on your networks. For example Adobe, Android, major anti-virus as well as Windows update traffic will be automagically managed through this single policy. Also, as we update layer 7 definitions for applications in this Application Group, they automatically get applied to the definitions referred to in the Software Update Group. You don’t need to worry about having the latest and greatest application signatures driving this important application usage policy.
2. Single Application Signatures
The second approach is very similar, but focuses specifically on iOS Update traffic only. Simply build the policy using a single application signature, rather than the Application Group.
If you have an existing policy for Software Updates, simply use a VC Policy Number lower than the Software Update Group policy to ensure it falls higher in the policy list on the Optimizer and gets enforced before hitting the more generic policy.
3. Dynamic Virtual Circuits
The third approach allows us to set a per download bps rate that each iOS update download is able to use – for this we create a Dynamic Virtual Circuit, tied to an Application Type in the filter settings. This Virtual Circuit allows each simultaneous download to use a dedicated 2M of bandwidth to complete each download transfer.
These are the three different options you can use to mitigate the effects of unpredictable external events potentially disrupting the performance of your key applications.
At least one of these strategies will help you get more value out of your Exinda deployment and ensure that future product updates don’t wreak havoc on your network.