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Zoom breaks all records - again

Zoom consumption continues to rise beyond all predictions.
25/01/2021 09:01
Foto: Colourbox.

When the Corona repatriations in the spring of 2020 became a reality, online meetings and teaching became everyday for many.

And that development is very evident in the number of meeting hours in the version of Zoom that DeiC offers to universities and institutions.

In the spring of 2020, consumption increased by a factor of 100 compared to before the crisis. It was a sudden increase that the national research network (forskningsnettet) had never seen before on any service.

"We thought it was completely unique and that we would never experience such a strain again. Fortunately, by using the infrastructure to the maximum and supplementing with servers at AWS in Stockholm, we were able to meet the pressure, ”says Martin Bech, head of research networks and services, and he continues:

“When the autumn semester began, however, consumption increased by another 50 percent, and we understood that all the activities and all the people who could use Zoom at all, also made it a fixed and integral part of teaching, meetings, seminars and exams. ”

Once again, the infrastructure kept up with the pressure - still with the help of AWS.

An expansion of the internal infrastructure, based on the Nordic research networks, was also prepared, and between Christmas and New Year, new server zones were put into operation.

New jump in 2021

However, there was another surprise, as consumption from the beginning of 2021 took another leap upwards, as can be seen in the figure below. 

Graf over forbrug

"After more than 30 years of Internet services, I thought I had experienced most things, but I must say that the increase in Zoom consumption is beyond anything we have seen before," says Martin Bech.

This time, the infrastructure held - almost. Some firewalls have been overloaded with poor quality as a result of the meetings served through these firewalls.

It should now be solved by adjusting the parameters of the algorithms that distribute the traffic. As an additional security measure, we have also postponed the settlement of the AWS-based server zone.

"However, it is still the ambition to discontinue AWS, as it is a somewhat more expensive solution than using own servers, but the main priority is of course that the service can serve everyone in a proper way," says Martin Bech.

NORDUnet, which hosts the solution, is currently working on creating a new server zone so that an attempt can soon be made to run without AWS.

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