The sharing of large files is eating a significant amount of both upstream and downstream bandwidth, according to Sandvine, which has just released another of its occasional reports on global Internet traffic. Traditional P2P traffic is only part of the issue.
Recognizing the traffic patterns that constitute the phenomenon should help ISPs better manage their networks, Sandvine contends.
“The clear implication for service providers,” Sandvine says, “is that the real-time applications that are so critical to a subscriber’s Internet quality of experience must compete with immense amounts of non-real-time traffic used almost exclusively for transfers of large data files. With HD content becoming more pervasive, consumers’ appetite for data will only increase, and the competition for bandwidth resources will become even more intense.”
P2P networks remain popular but are inefficient, and so are beginning to give way to alternative file-sharing schemes. Sandvine reports that Internet users are finding it faster to download from file-sharing alternatives such as File Hosting/Online Storage Web services and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) tunnels.
|Alternatives to P2P||
“As these sites become more familiar to a wider range of subscribers, their contribution to global bandwidth consumption will only increase,” Sandvine predicts.
At the same time, some people continue to use newsgroups as a large file sharing mechanism.
All of this file-sharing traffic not only dominates upstream bandwidth usage, but it’s also a major component of downstream traffic.
Another pattern Sandvine detected is that increasing traffic is due less to subscriber growth than it is to existing subscribers increasing their usage of bandwidth-intensive applications – downloading entertainment, gaming, messaging, etc., especially during peak hours.
Sandvine supplies technology to identify and manage Internet traffic. It leverages its position as a supplier to dozens of major ISPs around the world to collect data and publish its findings.
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