Streaming Sites Cause Headaches for System Administrators

Video platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo are the biggest culprits when it comes to bandwidth hoarding on wireless networks, according to an Ipswitch study.

bandwidth hoarding

Almost one in four (24 percent) system administrators are dealing with streaming platforms like Pandora and Spotify, which are wreaking havoc with application performance problems, according to Ipswitch’s second annual survey of more than 250 systems administrations from across the United States.

The survey revealed one in two system administrators find video platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo are the biggest culprits when it comes to bandwidth hoarding on wireless IT networks.

"These personal activities are not only network bandwidth killers that negatively impact application performance, but they are also threats to IT security," Ennio Carboni, executive vice president for customer solutions at Ipswitch, told eWEEK. "I have seen system administrators get frustrated by social and streaming media because they can’t block or restrict access as many workers need to use them in order to do their jobs, and frankly the rest should be able to check their Facebook pages during their lunch breaks."

More than 42 percent would like more appreciation for his or her hard work from colleagues they work hard to support all year, up 5 percent over last year’s survey, and more than one-third (36 percent) want users to reboot their machines before asking for help, up 3 percent over last year.

More than one-third (36 percent) of SysAdmins simply want the recognition of having a tough job—a sentiment that has nearly doubled since last year’s survey.

"What I think frustrates them is the level of carelessness that many users exhibit in the use of their device and how they express expectations that IT should be able to magically restore their work when issues arise," Carboni said. "At the end of the day, I think system administrators are not looking for a ‘thank you’ as much as they are looking for co-workers to show common courtesy as it relates to IT and to follow the rules and protocols that have been outlined for them."

Nearly one in six (17 percent) spend a whopping 60-80 percent of their time dealing with frustrations on their networks, and half of all SysAdmins surveyed said they spend between 40-60 percent of their time reacting to network or user problems, an increase of more than 10 percent from last year.

Twelve percent admitted they get blurry eyed by shadow IT and just want to know what applications users have downloaded on their work laptops, while 10 percent of respondents said they are frustrated with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs and want employees to share what personal devices they have synced to their company’s wireless network.

On the more fanciful side, about one-third (34 percent) said they would like x-ray vision to figure out the source of a problem on a network, up 6 percent from last year.

"Every day new devices and applications are launched and are becoming too numerous to track. Admins today are dealing with a more global workforce and complicated infrastructures," Carboni said. "Workers are conditioned to working a certain way and want the same capabilities in the office that they have at home. I predict the system admin job will become more complicated and sophisticated moving forward. This is all the more reason to make sure that the IT folks who support our businesses know their work is truly appreciated."