By: Chandan Agarwal

Can the news trump your user experience?

On June 8, the Zscaler cloud saw a political double header that set records for bandwidth consumption on corporate networks around the globe. James Comey's testimony before the U.S. Senate, along with the elections in the UK, had users streaming news coverage throughout the day. For perspective, bandwidth usage on that day was five percent higher than it was during President Trump's inauguration and about 40 percent higher than the first day of March Madness.

Each month, we see at least one event that pushes our cloud to new heights in data processing volume. While such a surge would wreak havoc on appliance-based security, for Zscaler it is just a new peak in our cloud’s scalability journey.

Did the events of June 8 impact your business-critical cloud applications?

In addition to their impact on your security architecture, it’s important to know how surges affect the use and performance of your business-critical applications hosted in the cloud.

To find out, we performed a detailed analysis of the period from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM (PDT). During this period, traffic destined for the “News & Media” URL category increased 25 percent in transactions and a whopping 62 percent in bytes compared to the same time the previous week. During this two-hour period, traffic destined to some business applications like Salesforce, Gmail, DocuSign, and WebEx decreased. This decrease might have been attributable to the increase in employees watching the news — or it might have been due to contention in organizations’ Internet pipes.

During times of contention, streaming media like YouTube or, in this case, the news, supersedes the bandwidth needs of cloud-delivered applications, often bringing them to a grinding halt, along with the productivity of users and executives across the network. While you cannot control the nature or frequency of major news events, you can provide consistent, predictable, and prioritized bandwidth for your business-critical applications by subscribing to Zscaler Bandwidth Control services.

Zscaler Bandwidth Control uses advanced techniques like window shaping and bandwidth throttling, which enable you to prioritize business-critical applications without disrupting performance for other users. With Zscaler, for example, streaming video resolution is dynamically scaled down, which avoids packet dropping and provides a smooth user experience. Another Zscaler difference is the ability to avoid bandwidth congestion before the last mile, because throttling happens in the cloud, as opposed to throttling with appliance-based solutions inside your corporate network. With Zscaler Bandwidth Control, you can also enforce policies in the cloud to further reduce bottlenecks.

The next major event related to politics, sports, a natural disaster, or breaking news is right around the corner. Will you be ready?

If you already use the award-winning Zscaler Cloud Security Platform, contact your account team to find out how you can use one-click activation to start taking advantage of Zscaler Bandwidth Control services. Otherwise, contact Zscaler to request a demo and more information.

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