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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Expensive IP Transit - Zynga

Not my forte but did a few quick experiments to try to solve what was becoming an expensive problem here, and likely to become worse if we didn't know the source as we move into the next phase of the CAN.

This blog post can be read at

Over the last 2 years or so, we have fairly regularly gone over our monthly cap dans le village. It has been hard to prove who was at fault. Until now.

It is, without a shadow of a doubt, Facebook games which are the issue. Two of my neighbours (oh yeah, and me too) have been using FB games instead of chat, Skype etc, as well as to make life slightly more interesting. The WOW downloads were, I knew, pretty hefty, but actually Zynga has to be the biggest non-paying user of bandwidth that any ISP is facing right now.

I have just set up a quick experiment that involved not actually playing a game and I'm sure this can be confirmed by my fave techie: I pulled 425MB in just under 10 secs without actually playing anything. Considering that these games demand regular check-ins etc, and many do not work over the mobile network (I wonder why!), having 2,3 or more of the Zynga family running at any one time could mean you are pulling a gig regularly throughout a day. Play 4 games consecutively (if you know how they work, you will know this is perfectly feasible) for 3-4 hours and the consumption must be enormous.

On many packages, this would see you pushing the FUP in no time flat on an average month. So, one wonders how many of the so-called excessive users we hear the ISPs calling criminals are simply Facebook's average users?

Makes it quite obvious that a) we need to stop permitting bloated code (compression techniques etc, guys) b) work together so games such as these work as much for LAN and cached as anywhere else and c) open the bloody pipes up.

If 25% of traffic in the US right now is Netflix, you wonder how much of the rest is obese Zynga (or similar) code? And what's in it for them using so much bandwidth? Anyone know of a Zynga/ISP deal, including an affiliate usage that might explain why any single company would want to create something that uses such a phenomenal percentage of the scarce resource at any one moment?

1 comment:

Yorkie71 said...

That's an amazing amount of traffic for what are,let's face it, pretty dull games.

25%of US traffic is Netflix eh. Look out for an increase in UK traffic then as they have announced expansion into the UK.

We should get them to sponsor B4RN and use a s a showcase of what services can benefit from good connections!