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办公室空了,家里人满了:新冠病毒会导致家庭网络崩溃吗?

办公室空了,家里人满了:新冠病毒会导致家庭网络崩溃吗?

SCOTT MORITZ、彭博社 2020年03月11日
网络流量更少地来自于网络连接能力强劲的办公室,更多地来自于居民区。

越来越多的人在家办公,避免感染新冠病毒,那么互联网会崩溃吗?短期看应该不会,但长期,将会有影响。

为了保护员工和遏止新冠病毒的传播,像推特和摩根大通等公司都让能在家办公的员工居家办公。总体来说,占美国人口29%的4200万美国劳动力,可以在家办公。除此之外,很多学校关闭,孩子们待在家,这更增加了家庭网络的压力。

“这一链条中的弱环,即系统可能过载的部分,将会是家庭的宽带网络,”高德纳公司的网络专家丽莎·皮尔斯说。“人们将在网上遭遇拥堵,就像高速公路,如果堵车了,时速可以从60英里降到20英里。”

安装低带宽和铜线连接上网的家庭和社区会首先受到影响。如果全家共享一个wifi信号同时上网,或者还开着联网的电视机和平板电脑,那么网速肯定会下降。

强大的网路支柱

据美国电话服务巨头AT&T和Verizon称,整体来说,覆盖全美的大型光纤网络将持续运作,在不同城市间输送互联网流量。

“作为一名工程师,我可以告诉你,在这种时候,我们的系统还是有能力让员工和客户正常上网的,” AT&T的首席执行官杰夫·麦克艾尔弗莱士说,AT&T监管着市话、无线和电视服务。“在客户需要工作的地方,我们可以提供网络供应,让客户持续产生效益。对这一点我很自豪,是我们做对的地方。”

电话公司对自家网络抱有信心是有道理的,部分原因是流量不一定有多大变化。变化的是模式,即网络流量更少地来自于网络连接能力强劲的办公室,更多地来自于居民区。提供家庭宽带的网络和电话公司,可能在多线路汇聚的网络节点上设置带宽瓶颈。

瑞康咨询的分析师罗杰·安特纳认为,网络上最堵的地方,或者说宽带占用最大的,将是流行的视频和社交服务,比如Netflix、Youtube、Facetime和Skype。

“视频已经占了所有网络流量的70%,”他说,“从你的视频会议,到孩子们观看的各种节目,如果大家都同时这么干,网络就会有问题。”

分散对网络的冲击

可能出现的问题包括网络连接断开、下载变慢或视频卡顿。下雪天人们都待在家时,也有类似的状况,这时候可以测试家庭宽带的上限。

它会随着地区和一天内时间段的不同而变化,要看流量模式。这不像一些我们经历过的单一性的事件,比如最近沃特·迪斯尼启动迪斯尼+频道导致的流量中断,或亚马逊会员日产生的小问题。

即便家庭网络的连接很强劲,也不是每家公司都能处理公司员工试图从公司外连入办公室网络带来的突然流量暴涨。

许多公司使用虚拟私人网络,即VPN,这是一种安全且专一的渠道,供远程用户进入办公室网络。

通常公司会为小部分远程工作的员工分配足够的网络资源用以处理日常事务,但大规模的上网转移将会造成临时性的问题。而网络专家说,增加VPN的空间,对有些公司来说可能需要数小时、数天甚至数周。

有准备就好一些。在过去十多年里,大公司都在开发应急计划和业务持续策略。信息技术部门开发出了清单或后援程序,员工也被告知,有的还参加了模拟应急状况演习,以测试在家或在临时办公室的远程连接状况。

皮尔斯说,“跟5年10年前相比,我们在网络上的准备要强得多了。”(财富中文网)

译者:宣峰

越来越多的人在家办公,避免感染新冠病毒,那么互联网会崩溃吗?短期看应该不会,但长期,将会有影响。

为了保护员工和遏止新冠病毒的传播,像推特和摩根大通等公司都让能在家办公的员工居家办公。总体来说,占美国人口29%的4200万美国劳动力,可以在家办公。除此之外,很多学校关闭,孩子们待在家,这更增加了家庭网络的压力。

“这一链条中的弱环,即系统可能过载的部分,将会是家庭的宽带网络,”高德纳公司的网络专家丽莎·皮尔斯说。“人们将在网上遭遇拥堵,就像高速公路,如果堵车了,时速可以从60英里降到20英里。”

安装低带宽和铜线连接上网的家庭和社区会首先受到影响。如果全家共享一个wifi信号同时上网,或者还开着联网的电视机和平板电脑,那么网速肯定会下降。

强大的网路支柱

据美国电话服务巨头AT&T和Verizon称,整体来说,覆盖全美的大型光纤网络将持续运作,在不同城市间输送互联网流量。

“作为一名工程师,我可以告诉你,在这种时候,我们的系统还是有能力让员工和客户正常上网的,” AT&T的首席执行官杰夫·麦克艾尔弗莱士说,AT&T监管着市话、无线和电视服务。“在客户需要工作的地方,我们可以提供网络供应,让客户持续产生效益。对这一点我很自豪,是我们做对的地方。”

电话公司对自家网络抱有信心是有道理的,部分原因是流量不一定有多大变化。变化的是模式,即网络流量更少地来自于网络连接能力强劲的办公室,更多地来自于居民区。提供家庭宽带的网络和电话公司,可能在多线路汇聚的网络节点上设置带宽瓶颈。

瑞康咨询的分析师罗杰·安特纳认为,网络上最堵的地方,或者说宽带占用最大的,将是流行的视频和社交服务,比如Netflix、Youtube、Facetime和Skype。

“视频已经占了所有网络流量的70%,”他说,“从你的视频会议,到孩子们观看的各种节目,如果大家都同时这么干,网络就会有问题。”

分散对网络的冲击

可能出现的问题包括网络连接断开、下载变慢或视频卡顿。下雪天人们都待在家时,也有类似的状况,这时候可以测试家庭宽带的上限。

它会随着地区和一天内时间段的不同而变化,要看流量模式。这不像一些我们经历过的单一性的事件,比如最近沃特·迪斯尼启动迪斯尼+频道导致的流量中断,或亚马逊会员日产生的小问题。

即便家庭网络的连接很强劲,也不是每家公司都能处理公司员工试图从公司外连入办公室网络带来的突然流量暴涨。

许多公司使用虚拟私人网络,即VPN,这是一种安全且专一的渠道,供远程用户进入办公室网络。

通常公司会为小部分远程工作的员工分配足够的网络资源用以处理日常事务,但大规模的上网转移将会造成临时性的问题。而网络专家说,增加VPN的空间,对有些公司来说可能需要数小时、数天甚至数周。

有准备就好一些。在过去十多年里,大公司都在开发应急计划和业务持续策略。信息技术部门开发出了清单或后援程序,员工也被告知,有的还参加了模拟应急状况演习,以测试在家或在临时办公室的远程连接状况。

皮尔斯说,“跟5年10年前相比,我们在网络上的准备要强得多了。”(财富中文网)

译者:宣峰

With more people working from home to avoid coronavirus, will the internet break? The short answer is probably not. The longer answer is that there will be disruptions.

To protect workers and help stem the spread of Covid-19, companies like Twitter and JPMorgan Chase are telling employees who can work from hometo stay home. In all, 42 million Americans, about 29% of the U.S. workforce, are able to work from home. And as schools close to keep kids out of harm’s way, the pressure on home networks will grow.

“The weak link in the chain, where the system could get overloaded, is going to be the home broadband network,” said Lisa Pierce, a network expert with Gartner. “People will hit congestion, just like a highway, where the speed goes from 60 miles an hour to 20.”

Residences and neighborhoods served by lower bandwidth cable and copper-wire connections will be among the first affected. Whole families sharing a single Wi-Fi signal, all logging in at once to work or firing up TVs and tablets to stay connected and entertained, should also expect delays.

Strong backbone

On the whole, the big networks of fiber-optic cable that crisscross the country will continue to operate, hauling internet traffic between cities, according to U.S. phone service giants AT&T and Verizon Communications.

“As an engineer, I will tell you that we will have the capacity in our system that employees and customers need access to, at times like this,” said Jeff McElfresh, chief executive officer of AT&T, which oversees landline, wireless and TV services. “We can provide the ability to work where customers need to work and help them continue to be productive. It’s something I’m proud of. This is something we do right.”

The phone companies’ underlying confidence in their networks is due, in part, to the fact that the volume of traffic won’t necessarily change. What will change are the patterns. Traffic will originate less from offices with powerful connections and more from residential areas. Cable and phone companies that provide home broadband might develop bottlenecks at network nodes where multiple lines converge.

Among the biggest network cloggers, or bandwidth hogs, will be popular video and social-media services, like Netflix, YouTube, Facetime and Skype, according to Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics.

“Video is already 70% of all network traffic,” he said. “The moment you add in videoconferencing to all the shows the kids are watching because schools are closed, it could be a problem if everyone is trying to get on at the same time.”

Diffuse impact

Problems are likely to range from dropped connections to slow downloads or loss of video feeds. These are familiar conditions in climates where snow days keep folks at home and can test the limits of home broadband capacity.

They’ll vary by region and time of day, depending on traffic patterns, unlike single events that we all experience, for example the disruptions caused by the recent launch of Walt Disney’s Disney+ or glitches on Amazon Prime Day.

Even if home connections are robust, not every company is ready to handle a sudden surge of employees trying to log in to the office network from outside.

Many employers use virtual private networks, or VPNs, as secure, dedicated channels for remote users to access the same network they normally have at work.

Typically businesses allocate enough network capacity to accommodate the everyday needs of a small number of employees working remotely, but a large-scale shift could cause temporary trouble. Adding VPN capacity could take hours or days or maybe even weeks for some companies, according to networking experts.

Preparation can help. For a decade or more, big employers have been developing contingency plans and business-continuity strategies. Information-technology departments have developed checklists or backup procedures and employees have been briefed, or even participated in mock emergencies, to test remote connections at home or in temporary offices.

“We’re in a far better place than we were five or 10 years ago, in terms of network preparedness,” Pierce said.

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