With the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic, several states declaring a state of emergency, and countries around the world enacting mandatory wide-scale quarantines, the nature of our lives has changed. For many businesses, the number one concern is the health and well-being of their employees, customers, students, and rightly so. To help stem the spread of the virus, companies that are able to do so are encouraging employees to work remotely, schools are moving to online, and major events where people gather are being canceled.
While the world reacts to the current health crisis, many consumers, employees and students are asking if businesses are prepared for wide-scale telecommuting and increased internet streaming and usage, both now and in the event of other similar disruptions caused by other unforeseen events. One network operations company cited a 200 percent increase in video conferencing during North American and Asian working hours. There has also been a significant spike in the number of downloads for business and education apps. Typically, there are less than 10 million educational app downloads a week. This week saw close to 30 million, and business apps jumped from an average of 4 million to just under 15 million.
Pandemics are not the only incidents that can create disruption in normal business operations. Major construction projects, weather events, and transportation strikes, for instance, can force telecommuting and school cancelations, creating increased demand for network availability. Even those who can not work remotely may find themselves spending more time at home as they limit their social interactions in order to reduce the spread of the virus. More time at home also leads to a spike in video and media streaming as people look to digital resources for news and entertainment. Even planned events, such as large sporting events or the release of a highly anticipated video game, can cause surges in internet traffic that create network congestion.
Remote work has been commonplace for many companies with office-based workforces, so many are accustomed to using online collaboration and communication tools. Even large, legacy corporations that do not embrace remote work trends tend to have offices worldwide, so connectivity is a priority. As a result, companies have built resilient networks that can handle an increase in workload and traffic. This is table stakes IT management, and most well-known brands are ready for the onslaught of remote sessions.
We are confident that businesses are ready for these events because many of the companies that enable distributed work, reliable streaming and the online news sources people turn to for information, rely on NS1 to help them create this resiliency. These modern companies and forward-looking brands, which provide everything from collaboration tools to globally accessible SaaS versions of their products, have either undergone a structural evolution or have taken steps to build resiliency into every layer of infrastructure from the start to ensure their businesses are ready for the unexpected.
Because DNS is the first stop for all application and internet traffic, implementing redundancy at this layer is critical to maintaining uptime and seamless performance. This requires the deployment of always-on secondary DNS with separate infrastructure and automated failover. That way, if the primary DNS fails, the redundant or secondary system DNS can pick up the load and queries won’t go unanswered causing disruption. Organizations can also automate their DNS management processes to reduce manual errors. This also allows for intelligent, real-time decision-making within the networking infrastructure itself avoiding congestion and preventing system overload. And finally, organizations that leverage a resilient, anycast network can be sure that DNS requests are dynamically diverted to an available server when there are global connectivity issues.
The world has certainly felt an impact from this pandemic, but organizations worldwide are doing what they can to protect employees while continuing to serve customers. Innovations like cloud-based applications and tools have made it possible for those fortunate enough to work in certain sectors, and have reliable access to the internet, to connect and continue working, learning, and streaming news and content, and underneath it all, DNS is there to keep systems online and operating seamlessly.