Will Windows 10 Release Break the Internet?
Could Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows 10 release, which began distribution at 12AM ET today, break the Internet?
According to one content delivery expert, Windows 10 certainly could set a new record for Internet traffic. As ComputerWorld brought to light, Dan Rayburn, a Frost & Sullivan analyst who writes his own blog at StreamingMediaBlog.com, believes the upload/download process will be, shall we say, a bit messy.
Right out of the gate, users should expect quality of service (QoS) problems, Rayburn warned.
“Unless Windows 10 is a complete flop and people don’t upgrade as quickly as Microsoft expects, Windows 10 is going to create some serious havoc with regards to the user experience,” Rayburn wrote.
“Expect to see some download times in the days, not hours, especially if any other content owners happen to have larger than expected traffic at the same time,” he said. “Quality of service for downloads could deteriorate really quickly and remain poor for days, if not longer.”
By the time you’re reading this, Microsoft already will have begun pushing Windows 10 to the first line of Windows 7 and Windows 8 users who’ve registered for the download. Not everyone will receive the upgrade at the same time–the vendor will roll the OS out in waves to compatible systems. As reported in many places, including here, Windows 10 testers will be the first to receive an updated version of the OS, the so-called Day One patch that follows a series of fixes Microsoft has been steadily issuing in the past few days immediately ahead of launch.
To stagger delivery, Microsoft already has and will preload Windows 10 onto user’s Windows 7 and 8.x systems who requested the upgrade ahead of its release. The vendor then plans to alert users through email when their upgrade is ready to download.
Still, even with some traffic precautions Microsoft appears to have put in place, Rayburn believes that “with the volume of downloads that Microsoft is expecting for the launch of Windows 10 and the capacity they have already reserved from third-party CDNs to deliver the software, the Internet is in for some real performance problems this week.”
Rayburn said his sources indicated Microsoft has “reserved up to 40Tb/s per second of capacity from all of the third-party CDNs combined,” some five times what Apple (AAPL) has used for its largest events on the Web, making the Windows 10 release “easily the largest day/week of traffic ever on the Internet,” he said.
According to Rayburn, Microsoft content delivery networks (CDN) for the downloads include Akamai, Limelight Networks, Level 3, EdgeCast and a few other, smaller providers. Microsoft’s own CDN also will be involved but to a far lesser degree, he said. Akamai is said to shoulder the largest load followed by LimeLight.
While Rayburn told ComputerWorld in an interview that the staggered Windows 10 release would help relieve some of the Internet traffic load, “the total usage is just so high … they need so much, but you can’t just double the network. There’s only a certain amount of capacity [in the Internet].”
Still, many Windows 10 upgraders won’t see the Internet slowdown the OS release could cause. The traffic congestion, as ComputerWorld pointed out, will extend the amount of time Microsoft takes to get the upgrade out to users.
The bottom line is the release could drag on for weeks. Stay tuned.