Tuesday, 21 February 2012

What are you all downloading!

I do not usually post any specific figures on usage and links to BT and so on, but I am quite surprised on this one.

On BT 21CN we have an (expensive) commit level. We generally try to upgrade by 10Mb/s or 20Mb/s or so every now and then as usage increases. We are trying not to be the bottleneck. So if usage is hitting the limit, even if only briefly in the evening, we order more capacity to BT.

This is something we are doing a couple of times a month.

This month we went for a big jump - from 500Mb/s to 600Mb/s of 21CN. We have 20CN and BE on top of that - hence upgrades to the network to allow over a gigabit. It is mainly due to the network upgrades I have felt happy to push things this far now.

That was a huge and very expensive upgrade - 20% more capacity because, some evenings, usage was hitting limits, a bit, maybe. It is hard to pin down as our stats are screwed up this month and last month by juggling lines between the LNSs.

Still, we are a small ISP and and extra 100Mb/s of WBC is not cheap, but we really do aim not to be the bottleneck, and if that is what we are telling you, we need to put my money where our mouth is and bite the bullet and have the bandwidth.

Previously the incremental upgrades work well for a couple of weeks with no limits being trashed for a bit. I figured such a big step would really get us to zero dropped packets...

To my amazement, over the last few days, you are just grazed the limit at 600Mb/s. Not damping down the speeds of lines generally, but just hitting the limit.

I am shocked, and probably going to have to up the limit again by a big amount.

It really is quite a lot of extra usage. No - not planning on any more price increases just yet, honest. But still! just what the hell are you all downloading?!

Once this major upgrade work is all sorted I am really keen to be on zero packet loss for the links to BT for 21CN at least. 20CN is rarely an issue as we move people off it on an ongoing basis, and BE is not capped anyway.

Fun game this!

P.S. We started broadband services with 2Mb/s to BT and UUNET over 10 years ago now.

P.P.S Sorry, adding to my post - adding specific figures confuses the hell out of people. There is a huge difference between back-haul bandwidth and individual line speeds. An FTTH doing 100Mb/s can make a huge difference. What we are looking at is the sum of the small averages and statistics, so if this makes no sense to you - don't worry - you are not alone... :-)

19 comments:

  1. Probably the Raspberry Pi root filesystem :-)

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  2. One thing - it was not a patch on the IOS5 upgrades - that was a huge one-off event. This seems more of a trend.

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  3. Out of interest, is the upward curve getting steeper, or is it increasing fairly linearly?

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  4. I don't know about everyone else but we're watching a lot more YouTube and iPlayer since getting FTTC

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  5. Funnily enough the Raspberry Pi filesystem release was what I first thought of too :)

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  6. Netflix USA for me. It's rate adaptive, and quickly hits about 9Mb/s in HD.

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  7. Wild guess based on habits here - more of the "high def" iPlayer and that seems to amount to about 1-1.2GB/hour compared to standard def that's around 380-400MB/hour.

    I'm not one of your customers though, so you can't blame me :)

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  8. Wild guess based on habits here - more of the "high def" iPlayer and that seems to amount to about 1-1.2GB/hour compared to standard def that's around 380-400MB/hour.

    I'm not one of your customers though, so you can't blame me :)

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  9. I tend to watch more youtube (on XBMC) and iplayer, however, as the Basingstoke backhaul is shockingly bad, at 6-7PM chances of watching iPlayer in HD are slim... if the Backhaul in basingstoke was a little better I'd probably be streaming movies / video's / etc fairly consistently... :) the backaul is a problem when I apparently have ~40mb/s, and can't watch iplayer when everyone gets home from work! oh well.... I guess you're probably getting through a lot more because of the number of FTTC lines that are going in, people that were maxing out lines that were only capable of 4-5mb/s probably went un-noticed, but now they have 10 times that suddenly it gets noticed a bit more

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  10. Not sweating, or complaining, honest, just surprised.

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  11. my guess is more netflix with its uk release in january they have started pushing it more and more with the adverts. We use AA at home and we will probably be upping our units since we got netflix we have gone over them a bit

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  12. probably netflix. since we got netflix we have gone over our units with you so will likely up it. usually we just go over at christmas and school holidays but we will probably be going over more now.

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  13. I suppose the good news is that with your sensible charging model of charging for actual download as opposed to "all you can eat internet" there is at least some form of direct return from customers for the additional investment you are making in the BT capacity without it being seen as just upping your prices as other ISP's will have to do if this is a general trend across the board.

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  14. I'm going for Netflix. Lots of people are trying their free trial. I know I have been.
    I'm sure I saw something that said NF accounts for 30%* of US internet traffic these days.

    As always, stats may not be correct.

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  15. I'm going for the Netflix UK launch. I suspect lots of people are trying the 30day free trial - I know I have been. I think I read somewhere that NF traffic accounts for 30%* of US Net traffic.

    *Obviously like all stats, this was probably made up on the spot.

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  16. What time of day/week are we maxing out your links?

    Are you going to make off-peak more expensive and peak rate cheaper again?

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  17. We had a similar 'burst' of activity. During the second day of LINX (which appears to be the same day that you wrote this!)

    Usually when this has happened in the past, it's also been the day that Microsoft Update has appeared in the corners of all the office computers, performing its monthly whinge. And Tuesday was no different, at least for my laptop. Although "patch tuesday" is supposedly a week earlier this month.

    I should probably look at the Netflow data for that day to confirm my hypothesis... :)

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  18. I go with Jasons comment, FTTC has been great, I dont bother keeping copies of software or Linux ISO's any more I just down load the latest. No more leaving the PC running overnight. On the down side it also means the kids instead of just running W.O.W. and MSN there will also be a couple of chat lines, streaming a movie and and.

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