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The Effects of The Covid-19 Virus on IT

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The COVID-19 (AKA Coronavirus) has resulted in a global pandemic with cities in lockdown and national governments being placed in crisis mode. As employees in many industries are faced with the challenge of working remotely from home, how will our IT infrastructure be able to adapt to the data flow demand? Reports have suggested that Microsoft Teams for example has suffered some issues as a result of the overflow of workload carried by the online collaboration tool and the backend that support it, so how will the backbone of the cloud hold up under this pressure that will only increase going forward? 

Our always on mobile existence today has created a society where access to data is fundamentally important to keeping business and workflow moving forward. While the panic buying in supermarkets continues (right now as you read this, as well as in other stores including online) in many world cities, we need to consider what has been going on inside the datacenters of the cloud that provide us with our central data infrastructure access, such as with websites, services and email hosting access. 

The strategy in simple terms is a process of moving data around to clear the way for anticipation of spikes in service. Sometimes this means putting some data and bandwidth dedicated to applications in locations where they can be more efficiently and cost effectively delivered. This prioritization can be difficult for the service providers. It’s something that consumers and end users don’t necessarily consider if/when they experience, for example slowness in surfing the web and accessing their favorite website or while streaming video or music. That said, when there are such occurrences everyone should keep in mind the overwhelming amount of people online today because of this situation and the challenges that are faced with effectively delivering services to customers.

As this situation progresses, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may experience some challenges. Other connectivity and collaboration tools such Skype, Slack, Zoom, WebEx others may also take a licking as a result of the ISP challenges with delivering bandwidth and service. The tools only run as efficiently as the ISP’s can deliver. Consider it like a water pipe, one can only handle so much pressure and delivery of water to customers and sometimes they can over pressurize and even burst. Or even an electrical wire having limits of how much voltage and watts it can transfer on one line. 

The conclusion, if you are a consumer some of this may come off as technical mumbo jumbo. The bottom line is be patient with your internet-based services and understand there is a lot going on in the background to try and assure you that you have the best possible user experience during these trying times. If you experience challenges, calling and complaining might not be the answer. Eventually the overwhelming demand should subside allowing things to get back to normal.