Is the Internet broken!?

We knew it was coming.

In fact, emails were being exchanged, bracing ourselves for what was about to occur. Then, sure enough, 1:00pm struck and “the Internet stopped working” . . . at least that’s what I overheard others in the building claiming. What happened?

Unless you live in a cave, you’re aware that Apple released iOS 7 for their mobile devices yesterday. Certainly the owners of the 51,000+ iOS devices on campus knew this. The moment it was released, the amount of traffic leaving the university (bound for the Internet) increased significantly. After the first 15 minute burst, we began to think that was the worst of it. Then 3:45pm came and boom! EVERYONE wanted the latest Apple goodness.

In order to show you how this looks from our perspective, let me give you a baseline. As of this post, the university has roughly 5Gbps of Internet bandwidth from our provider, OARnet. You can see a week ago on last Wednesday, utilization plateaus right around this cap.

Fast forward a week and you can easily see just how much of an impact Apple’s software release had on campus.

Clear as day, right? To be clear, the Internet did not “break”. There was just massive contention for the shared amount of bandwidth we have at the university. The same thing occurred last year with iOS 6, and similar events occurred during last year’s BigTen basketball tournament. It’s no different than everyone jumping onto I-71 at the beginning of a holiday weekend; there’s only so much room on the road.

So to all my colleagues, fellow Apple users, and disgruntled Tweeters out there, this is why “the Internet broke”. I’m sorry getting iOS 7 took longer than you desired. Download it today . . . it just took me 3 minutes! 🙂

2 thoughts on “Is the Internet broken!?

  1. Excellent observation, wade.199. Yes, we do. However, Apple is not Akamai’s only customer. I have anecdotally heard that since yesterday’s usage saturated their cacheing service, the Akamai cache for iOS 7 was released as to prevent continued service degradation to other customers. Perhaps that is a better explanation of the 3:45pm bump . . .

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