Why Major Media Outlets May Suffer This Summer

Heading into this summer, based only on the things we know will happen, we are likely to see the most web-traffic-intensive summer and fall ever with one major sports or political event happening after the other: European Championship Football is taking place in France in June and July, the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro take place in August, and also during the summer, the US political party conventions, which officially name each party’s nominee, take place - to be followed later in the year by the US presidential election itself - probably one of the more dramatic ones in recent history.

The same events took place four years ago, but this time it's different. Our estimates predict that most media companies will have 15-20 times more internet traffic than when these same events took place in 2012. At least. To provide an idea of the scale – the 2012 London Olympics was the most-watched TV event in US television history with 219 million people watching. The point is, the world has changed in four years. Only a few weeks ago we saw a Varnish user in India use Varnish to stream a national cricket game and reached a peak of 780,000 transactions per second. That is approximately four times the web traffic American media saw during this year’s Super Bowl.

Most media companies are now preparing for this summer’s major events and are doing a great job. But some struggle. And in our world of Varnish and digital content delivery we still hear rumors that large media companies are still using open source Varnish 3, a six-year-old version that is no longer supported by the Varnish community. Varnish 3 was, and still is, a great product. But today there are better options to support the requirements of summer 2016 and beyond. And for a media company, a smooth, uninterrupted user experience during the sports (or political) events is business-critical.

Don’t misunderstand the argument, though. We believe that open source is a beautiful thing. For developers, users and businesses. Today there are millions of examples of how organizations have been able to scale and develop their businesses without scaling their budgets or infrastructure, by using state-of-the-art open source software. Quite a few of these companies become very active members of the open source community, contributing to innovation, either by taking part in projects by providing code or testing new features. Some are relatively passive users and get everything for free, which is great if their IT infrastructure is not business-critical for them. However, when your IT infrastructure and its performance is critical for your business you don’t want to run it on unsupported software. That is a huge risk that can potentially damage your business and your brand.

If you are one of the companies stuck on unsupported Varnish 3, please reach out to us. We are happy to not only help you to get back on track but also help ensure and safeguard performance when it really counts most.

Are you ready for Euro 2016? Is it time to learn about scaling up your streaming capacity and performance? Download our HTTP streaming white paper to learn more. 

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Photo (c) 2013 Vipin Baliga used under Creative Commons license.

Topics: web performance, Open Source, web scalability, HTTP streaming, web scaling, supported open source software, video streaming, media, Euro 2016

16/05/16 12:30 by Lars Larsson

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