New operating system spikes usage on I-Light

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Apple’s new iOS7 release on September 18 resulted in a tremendous spike in data flowing through the I-Light network.

The I-Light engineering team noticed a 175% increase in Indiana GigaPOP usage – rising very quickly from an average of 20 GB up to 35 GB – around 1:15pm on the 18th, shortly after Apple released their new software update.

I-Light is the high-speed fiber optic network that connects Indiana member colleges and universities to state, national, and international research and education communities.

“We were surprised at the level of the increase,” said I-Light Network Architect Jason Lomonaco. “It happened almost immediately. The whole higher education community was affected, not just in our own state.”

This isn’t the first time I-Light has experienced a surge in usage. Lomonaco said Microsoft Service Pack updates show an increase, along with an annual spike during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament each March. The spikes can be helpful for I-Light member schools and universities.

“This has helped universities see where they have bandwidth limitations,” said I-Light Manager of Services and Support Caroline Weilhamer. “This forces the organizations to address them.”

The only noticeable affect for users would have come at organizations on wireless networks, which ran a little slower. The network itself is designed to handle these kinds of surges, Lomonaco noted.