Shark Tank: Doin' the bandwidth boogie

Ever since you fixed my PC, my radio doesn't work, remote user complains to IT pilot fish. Your radio? fish asks. 'The one on my screen with all the buttons -- it's called Real or something.' Hmm, wonders fish, could her streaming radio be related to our sluggish response time lately on that line?

          Network manager is fed up with a co-worker who's wasting bandwidth by using Morpheus to download music files. But instead of confronting the offender, he configures the firewall to block Morpheus.com. Pilot fish mentions this to the offender, who laughs. "He just managed to shut down the annoying pop-up ads," offender says. "But the searches and downloads still work great. I should thank him for improving the way Morpheus runs on the network!"

          Beefed up

          Project manager pilot fish pushes for a separate ISDN network for this streaming media project, but IT boss says no -- use the existing WAN. That lasts until a router fails during a speech by the CIO, killing the CEO's ability to see it. Next day, boss has new orders for fish: "Make the network fully redundant -- including a separate ISDN network."

          Kicked off

          You need to fix your network, database developer tells sysadmin pilot fish. "It must be broke, because users keep losing connections to the database." After a little work with a network analyser, fish discovers that the database server just stops responding every so often. And a little further snooping reveals why: This huge database is stopping to reindex itself every time a user logs into it.

          Tuned in

          Ever since you fixed my PC, my radio doesn't work, remote user complains to IT pilot fish. Your radio? fish asks. "The one on my screen with all the buttons -- it's called Real or something." Hmm, wonders fish, could her streaming radio stations be related to our sluggish response time lately on that line?

          Clued out

          After top management demands an end to wasted bandwidth, IT manager pilot fish fields questions from not entirely clued-in users about what things are bandwidth-intensive: "They asked about streaming Net radio," he says. "And streaming movie trailers. And online banking. And audio CDs played through the internal drives . . ."

          Logged off

          Pilot fish tweaks and tunes, adds capacity and blocks porn sites, but users still complain that Internet response time is slow. When he starts blocking pay-to-surf and chat sites, things improve -- but help desk gets complaints from users having web trouble. They won't identify the problem sites, but fish checks the logs: "Seems most of the ones with problems could no longer play games at work."

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