Apple’s new iPad could cause corporate network crunch or something

“The new Apple iPad, which sports a higher-resolution screen, a 1080p HD camera and LTE network capability, will likely entice millions of buyers — but it could bog down corporate networks and give IT managers headaches,” Matt Hamblen reports for Computerworld.

“Here’s a scenario that could give network managers pause: iPad owners looking to avoid downloading high-definition videos or movies over LTE (to avoid steep data costs) may instead do so over Wi-Fi at work,” Hamblen reports. “And another: What happens when those with Wi-Fi-only iPads all decide to download iOS or application updates at the same time?”

Hamblen reports, “The Wi-Fi download burden on corporate networks could be severe, experts said. That’s especially true for a company’s branch office, where perhaps 20 to 100 workers are sharing the capacity of a typical T-1 line functioning at 1.544Mbps, experts said. Even a few users simultaneously downloading apps and videos on their new iPads could eat up bandwidth capacity in a smaller office, delaying other vital data transmissions, said Ed O’Connell, senior product manager for WAN optimization products at Blue Coat Systems.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If a bunch of iPads bring your network to a crawl, then you need to fire your resident IT doofus and get somebody in there who knows WTF they’re doing – along with real connectivity (100 workers on a single T1 line, seriously?), modern Wi-Fi gear, etc. Likely that’s precisely what Ed O’Connell, senior product manager for WAN optimization products at Blue Coat Systems, would like you to do, too.


  1. This should not be a problem, when you consider that Android & Windows tablets are going toovertake the market in the next three years, right? 2015, right?!?

  2. Our problem isn’t Internet bandwidth (we have 1.25 Gbps aggregated over three carriers); rather, it’s RF spectrum and signal quality. We have over 40K users over 37 sites (school system) and we’ve had a 50% increase in active devices (80% in unique 24-hour devices) after Christmas…but when WiFi support was rolled out a few years ago, the signal quality was measured to the standard for laptops – handheld devices weren’t prolific enough to warrant a design for their need for a stronger signal.

    Enter the ubiquitous iOS device ecosystem and their need for a better signal, and our WiFi design is no longer adequate. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a huge proponent of the devices and want to do everything we can to support them…but the reality of today’s economic environment are such that it’s difficult – if not impossible – to get the community to agree to spend more money on beefing up the WiFi environment.

    So, MDN, be careful to not paint with too broad a brush with your take. Some places might want to fully support the devices, but can’t due to funding issues.

    1. While there’s validity to your comment, the article was about downloading Hi definition movies and whatnot.

      Most companies have internet policies and can enforce them. Limiting throughput for streaming movies can really help to allay any fears of a network crunch. Seriously, most people’s “work” use of tablet computers is pretty low-bandwidth.

      While RF Spectrum may be an issue, the focus of the article and the take wasn’t anything to do with RF.

  3. > Even a few users simultaneously downloading apps and videos on their new iPads could eat up bandwidth capacity in a smaller office…

    How moronic… Downloading stuff was not invented by iPad. You can even do it on a Windows PC.

    1. The real story here is everybody tacitly admitting that shiftless, irresponsible, pilfering American workers are siphoning gobs of bandwidth, buckets of bits, and coulombs of electrons, all on the company’s dime, while firehosing the corporate networks with personal stuff…instead of getting any actual, productive work done. What hath Jobs wrought?

    2. Also, if these iPad are property of some corporation – a passcode restricting (set on each device or with Apple Configurator) for downloading or other wishes the company wants to restrict – SHOULD be regarded as a benefit not the opposite.

  4. This statement is accurate, a bunch of iPad’s could brIng down a typical network. IT has created such a mess with Microsoft that such level of activity or productivity would crash it. The typical IT is not prepared for users to actually use the Internet. Prepare for the Great Internet Meltdown! LOL!! Thx Apple 😀

    1. don’t inject logic.
      worker productivity drops when they are allowed to do crap like this. you are at work to work…. break time, lunch time thats fine. if you are getting paid to work.. you’d better be working.
      Where I work you can’t have a phone out period when you are working.

    2. Where have you been for the past 15 years? Obviously there are two types of connections: (1) Business, where technicians might be uploading software to a remote system or downloading job-specific training materials or resources, or (2) Personal, where people (who are waiting on the phone for some off-shore person to get on the line) download all sorts of stuff from ebooks to games, from porn to movies, whatever. Some wag said a decade ago that porn is the driving force behind technology, starting with VHS machines and stuff you could get from BBSs, through high-end Cisco equipment, to today’s mobile devices. Truth.

  5. Just INCREDIBLE!!!
    I didn’t know that the iPad was capable of downloading videos that NO OTHER COMPUTER is able to download.
    And that APPS updated were bigger than MICROSOFT WINDOWS AND OFFICE UPDATES.
    This is just amazing of this so called ANALyst has never see a computer before.

    1. INCREDIBLE, but pretty much true, if you believe that 2000×1500 resolution is important to the video.

      If no one cares about retina display, then, no, the influence of the iPad should not be earth-shattering.

      On the other hand….

    2. That’s right. HD videos have not ever been on laptops. They won’t work on Android, either.

      No one has broadband at home, and the precious few who do would NEVER let stuff download overnight. EVER.

  6. T1? You’re kidding, right?

    Every business I know from very small to medium sized gets their Internet from the cable company. In my area they have various plans at various rates, but they start @ 7 Mbit/sec, going up towards 70 Mbits/sec.

    1. Most around here get it from the phone companies. All Fiber.

      Unless by cable, you mean the companies that is laying fiber channel and not the one that provides a TV signal.

  7. MDN serious fail on your part. It’s people like this editor that make apple fans look like idiots. I worked in an apple store with 180 employees and a T1 line, with over 400 devices connected wirelessly in the store. Our network certainly crashed on a regular basis, but even a company like Apple didn’t want to pay for a better network in one of their busiest NJ stores.

  8. Steve, I’d really wish you would stop referring to IT pros as doofuses. I find it both offensive and annoying. Kind of a dick move on your part.

    There are those of us that support Apple networks. You still need people to manage/monitor/implement and secure business networks, whether they are Apple, Linux or Mac.

    I’ve switched over half our company from PCs to Macs. I switched Blackberries to iPhones. I’ve introduced a fleet of iPads.

    Truth is, a lot of companies can’t afford to spend $5K per month on faster internet at the office for 60 or 80 people. If a bunch of those people update software while others are downloading HD videos, then it could be a problem. Having said that, I can’t see everyone doing it right at the same time. But if they did, it will bog the system down.

    1. Not to mention many of businesses have asked their I.T. deptartments to take the brunt of cuts over the past decade. They won’t allow more bandwidth do to cost. They move services to the “cloud” to save money and put even more load on the internet connection since local servers are gone. I live in this world daily. Oh sure – we can optimize the T1s with caching appliances and QOS – WTF ever. Only so much you can squeeze through that pipe.

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