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BLOG: Top 5 BYOD traffic disruptors for enterprise networks

Jon Andresen | Nov. 2, 2012
How businesses can control the impact of BYOD on the enterprise network.

Bring your own device (BYOD) adoption has increased 15-fold since 2009 with 1.02 billion BYOD devices expected by the end of the year. According to the recent Global Mobility Study conducted by IDG Research Services, 71 percent of employees report that they access the corporate network with their personally-owned smartphone. 

In a recent experiment, Blue Coat tracked the bandwidth burden of one employee with two iOS devices (an iPhone and iPad). For just those two weeks, the bandwidth impact on the corporate network was more than 39GB. Here are some fun numbers to chew on:



44 App Updates


iOS 6 Update


iCloud Synch



19 App Updates


iOS 6 Update


Rich Media Download: Six Magazine Issues


Video Download: Season 4 of Sons of Anarchy in HD


Video Download: Prometheus in HD


iCloud Synch




Data caps on cellular network and home broadband connections as well as app and software updates that require a wi-fi connection mean that a disproportionate amount of these activities take place on the corporate network. 

Blue Coat identified the top five bandwidth-consuming activities that disrupt the enterprise network:

  • OS Updates and Upgrades: Carriers require devices be connected to a computer or wi-fi network for OS downloads that are up to hundreds of megabytes in size. A single BYOD device can easily overwhelm network bandwidth with one click.
  • App Downloads: More than 1.2M applications are readily accessible from Apple iTunes and Google Play, and the typical BYOD owner downloads over 40 applications. Apps can range in size from a few megabytes to hundreds of megabytes.
  • Photo and Video Uploads: Anyone can capture a photo (1-3MB) or video (25 MB; 230MB for a minute) and quickly upload it to a sharing site. The same photos and videos can be just as easily downloaded by co-workers, creating a double bandwidth impact.
  • Video and Rich Media Downloads: HD videos average 3GB or more in sizes and a full season of a TV show, will consume even more. A typical YouTube video will consume 500Kbps, so a single user in a remote office with a T1 connection will consume 33 percent of the bandwidth for as long as the video lasts.
  • Backup to Cloud Storage: iCloud provides users with 5GB of free storage in the cloud to sync content across all devices. Incremental backups are performed daily and vary from a few kilobytes to as much as 20 megabytes depending on the amount of new data to sync.


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