Why the Harlem Shake Gives IT Admins Headaches
I just came back from maternity leave, so I haven’t yet been invited to a Harlem Shake party, but I know friends who have, and I – along with just about everyone else – has seen at least a couple Harlem Shake renditions on YouTube (News - Alert).
The Harlem Shake, of course, is the viral video sensation where someone dances to the Baauer-produced dance song while everyone else is oblivious to the dancing. The video cuts to the scene a few seconds later, however, and everyone is now dancing and in the crazy, Harlem Shake style.
Unlike “Gangnam Style,” an earlier YouTube craze, Harlem Shake has become a phenomenon largely because anyone can create a Harlem Shake video easily and upload it to YouTube. It is an interactive viral hit in addition to a funny video, unlike many other YouTube crazes.
While although fun, Harlem Shake does highlight the challenge that video plays on enterprise networks.
“These viral videos are a big headache for IT administrators,” noted David Attard on the GFI Software’s TalkTechToMe blog. “Everyone loves a good laugh and respite during work but when you have a few hundred employees watching Gangnam and Harlem clips throughout the day, you have a problem on your hands.”
That’s because even though a single YouTube view does not dramatically add to network congestion, multiplying the video by several employees changes the network impact considerably.
“The first hit on YouTube is a 5:30 compilation video of Harlem Shakes,” wrote Attard. “An average one minute of video stream from YouTube is approximately 10Mb of data. At one point, you have 25 employees who are watching it,” which Attard calculates comes out to 1,375MB in five minutes.
Using YouTube as a radio station paints an even direr picture of the negative effects of YouTube on a corporate network: If those 25 users have YouTube on as music for roughly five hours of their work day, they will have pulled roughly 75 GB across the network. Ouch.
So what’s to be done?
For Attard, the solution is leveraging GFI WebMonitor tool for intelligent bandwidth control.
“The introduction of a 100MB quota per day in our offices, using the standard functionality of GFI WebMonitor, reduced the bandwidth consumed by streaming media by 66 percent,” he noted.
In January, 131 GB of data was pulled across his company’s network from streaming media. After the quotas, however, that number was reduced to a comparatively lighter 45 GB.
“The great thing about quotas is that with reasonable usage of YouTube for office related purposes, an employee is unlikely to hit the quota in a day. If they do, an exception can be applied to give them a higher quota,” he wrote.
So as with most things, a little Harlem Shake is good in moderation. A lot? Not so much.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo
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