Tame Your Mobile Traffic for iOS 11 and Beyond
by September 18, 2017

Filed under: Industry Insights, Networking Technology

Apple’s latest OS—iOS 11—launches tomorrow. With half to two-thirds of device users running iOS 10, reflecting the huge base of iPhone users, this is no small event for corporate networks. Users bring their devices to work as a matter of course, whether they use them a little or a lot for actual work. So while users are eager for new features like drag-and-drop and smarter Siri, you and your IT team have to worry about what it will do to the wireless network.

Of course, the release date for a new Apple OS is just one day. Employees bring their iPhones and other mobile devices to work with them every day, and use them for all kinds of bandwidth-heavy activities, like VoIP calls, video streaming and more. For IT teams that have not relegated mobile traffic to a second network, the effect of all these phones accessing the corporate network is often performance problems for other applications. The last Apple update, iOS 10, slowed down our guest WiFi network as our colleagues downloaded the new software. Here’s how it looked:

Apple IoS update traffic

Top applications and protocols tracked with AppNeta monitoring during iOS 10 update

Conquer the iOS Update

So how can IT teams avoid overloaded networks with the iOS 11 update, and with mobile device traffic in general? Two things come to mind for us:

1. Segregate BYOD traffic to your guest network, like we do here at AppNeta. That’ll give you better control over that traffic, and you’ll know that more important applications (think Salesforce or Office 365) aren’t suffering. Even in this age of managing multiple networks, IT has more control than you might think. QoS enforcement also plays a big role in improved WiFi network performance. Your QoS strategy should include vigilance, using monitoring and alerting to make sure workloads are marked correctly.

2. Manage bandwidth and capacity in a way that works for you. Both bandwidth and capacity play a huge role in successful BYOD management. Measuring capacity, often an overlooked metric, shows you what’s actually available on a particular network path, and how much is used vs. how much is still available. Knowing this data can help you avoid spending money on unnecessary extra bandwidth.

We monitor to identify and categorize the top applications that are using capacity on any given network. The key there is that our monitoring tracks all apps. If the monitoring tool you’re using doesn’t include Apple’s updates, for example, you’d miss the cause of extra traffic entirely.

In general, the more visibility you have into your network and devices, the better. We’re well beyond BYOD acceptance now, and those devices shouldn’t be a blind spot for IT. Seeing which resources they’re using will make it a lot easier to give business-critical app users the performance they need.