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How To Prep Your WAN For March Madness
March Madness is nearly upon us, and now is the time for the fans to come out and support their favorite teams while crafting what they hope is the perfect bracket. Working toward a victory takes considerable time and research – unlike fantasy football which spans nearly an entire season, March Madness takes place in just under a month. This means the pressure is on for those seeking to create a perfect – yet, nearly statistically impossible – bracket.
“The odds of creating a perfect bracket are one in 9.2 quintillion.”
In an ideal world, this research and game streaming would take place outside the office and during employees’ free time. However, this is often not the case. This year, there are nine games scheduled on weekdays, meaning your corporate WAN could be dealing with considerably more traffic than usual coming up.
March Madness by the numbers
This year, March Madness kicks off with the First Four beginning Tuesday, March 15th. The final game is played on April 4, making for nearly a whole month of stress-induced super fandom. Here’s a few other statistics about this time of year:
- Overall, 68 teams compete for the top spot.
- Fans spent 664 million hours watching the 2014 tournament, either on live TV or through streaming platforms, according to Fortune.
- Fans also lost a total of $1.2 billion betting on the tournament in 2014.
- The odds of creating a perfect bracket are one in 9.2 quintillion.
From these numbers, it’s clear to see not only the hype that surrounds this tournament, but the pressure it puts on networks everywhere.
To police or not?
Supervisors can either attempt to police the use of the enterprise WAN, seeking to prevent any activity that isn’t associated with the business, or prepare their network for the flood of NCAA-related traffic.
For many enterprise leaders, it makes more sense to choose the latter plan. The time it would take to effectively monitor all paths across the network or peek over workers’ shoulders to catch a glimpse of the game on their screens simply isn’t worth it. This is time that could be spent on mission-critical activities. However, steps must be taken to ensure that these pursuits of fandom aren’t taking support away from critical applications and essential business processes.
SD-WAN for the win
This is where the robust capabilities and visibility offered by an SD-WAN solution can help enterprises succeed. Having SD-WAN technology in place during this time of year is a win-win: Not only is support guaranteed for essential enterprise activities and applications, but employees can still leverage the WAN for their March Madness pursuits, when appropriate.
But, how is this possible? An SD-WAN solution enables the network to make proactive choices about how to treat each individual data packet, taking into consideration real-time infrastructure conditions. In this way, the WAN can select the highest quality path for data packets associated with critical applications like VoIP. At the same time, the technology ensures that live streams of games don’t take support away from important corporate activities.
This year, don’t make your supervisors be the basketball police. Deploy an SD-WAN to prepare your network for March Madness, while boosting the performance of your most critical applications. Watch this hands-on Product Demo to see our THINKING WAN in action, or contact Talari today for a custom demonstration to find out more.