Spotify



  • My work IT admins just decided to block Spotify because "It's using up our bandwidth".

    We are sitting on a 300mbit pipe with about 300 people here. There's no way that Spotify is using anywhere near a significant amount of bandwidth. What do you guys think. How much bandwidth would Spotify use if all 300 users used it at once?

    I'm so pissed off right now, I literally can't concentrate on anything.



  • @dangeRuss Well, Spotify says that they're using Ogg Vorbis with three bitrates: 96 kbit/s, 160 kbit/s and 320 kbit/s. So, at the highest rate (for which you need a subscription) your 300 people will thus use about a maximum of 96 Mbit/s.


  • BINNED

    Switch to Google play?



  • @Rhywden said in Spotify:

    @dangeRuss Well, Spotify says that they're using Ogg Vorbis with three bitrates: 96 kbit/s, 160 kbit/s and 320 kbit/s. So, at the highest rate (for which you need a subscription) your 300 people will thus use about a maximum of 96 Mbit/s.

    That's assuming they're all playing brand new music all the time. I'm pretty sure Spotify caches your playlist, so if you're making your way through the playlist a second time, I'm pretty sure you're using about 0 bandwidth.



  • @dangeRuss said in Spotify:

    I'm so pissed off right now

    Because the company you work for had the audacity to control what's done on their network?
    Just save your playlists to the phone and get on with things.



  • @dangeRuss said in Spotify:

    @Rhywden said in Spotify:

    @dangeRuss Well, Spotify says that they're using Ogg Vorbis with three bitrates: 96 kbit/s, 160 kbit/s and 320 kbit/s. So, at the highest rate (for which you need a subscription) your 300 people will thus use about a maximum of 96 Mbit/s.

    That's assuming they're all playing brand new music all the time. I'm pretty sure Spotify caches your playlist, so if you're making your way through the playlist a second time, I'm pretty sure you're using about 0 bandwidth.

    That's where my use of "maximum" comes from :)


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @dangeRuss
    Also, judging by work networks I've administered in the past, streaming audio and video services (including YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, etc) typically consume 50-67% of the active bandwidth at any given point during working hours. If you're trying to do offsite replication at the same time, so that you don't lose vital business data if Windows Update a crash occurs during the middle of the day, that volume of bandwidth "loss" is easily enough to negatively impact the RPO of your offsite replication solution. Generally easiest to just use your firewall's category of streaming media and block them all in one chunk, rather than trying to pick and choose certain "low bandwidth" ones to bless.

    (And yes, using your Netflix subscription at work is TR:wtf:)



  • @loopback0 said in Spotify:

    @dangeRuss said in Spotify:

    I'm so pissed off right now

    Because the company you work for had the audacity to control what's done on their network?
    Just save your playlists to the phone and get on with things.

    Well Spotify on the phone doesn't let you play whatever you want unless you buy a subscription. So I have to either pony up $10 a month or listen to random stuff.

    I mean it's not so bad in the grand scheme of things. Yes I can spend another $120 a year for this issue. And I can read the emails on my phone instead of my desktop. And check facebook and twitter on my phone too. And youtube. I have unlimited data, so the bandwidth is not really an issue for me.

    It's just really annoying. Every time I visit a site that has a facebook connect button or something, it takes 30 seconds to load, cause they couldn't figure out how to block it properly. Every time I try to download a file, if it's not from the whitelisted sites, it will download a 16KB stub instead of saying it's blocked. So then you go to try to use it and you find out it's corrupted.

    This gets really annoying when you're trying to do a build and it downloads a bunch of corrupt gz/jar files and then you have to go hunt down what was blocked and ask for them to whitelist (which takes at least a few hours).

    I had 4GB of RAM for the first few years I worked here. I have 32GB now, but boy did it take me a long time to get here.

    Why would you take your devs and tie their hands behind their back? It just doesn't make sense to me.



  • @izzion said in Spotify:

    @dangeRuss
    Also, judging by work networks I've administered in the past, streaming audio and video services (including YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, etc) typically consume 50-67% of the active bandwidth at any given point during working hours. If you're trying to do offsite replication at the same time, so that you don't lose vital business data if Windows Update a crash occurs during the middle of the day, that volume of bandwidth "loss" is easily enough to negatively impact the RPO of your offsite replication solution. Generally easiest to just use your firewall's category of streaming media and block them all in one chunk, rather than trying to pick and choose certain "low bandwidth" ones to bless.

    (And yes, using your Netflix subscription at work is TR:wtf:)

    I agree with blocking Netflix, less so with youtube and spotify. But with youtube, I can at least understand it. Yes, youtube is probably going to use a lot of bandwidth, spotify isn't.

    Even so, there's this thing called QoS that you can use to make sure that the media traffic doesn't interfere with other things.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @dangeRuss
    In Cisco (read as: enterprise) land, the method to do QoS is generally pretty clunky to configure, aside from the super basic "hard cap". Trying to set up rules for "give service 1 priority access, then allow service 2 up to 50Mbps, and blah blah blah" is a ton of HPC time. Simpler and more cost effective to just block non work related streaming media.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @izzion
    And 320Kbps is $3 per user per month of bandwidth, at typical Business Internet connection prices in a large market.

    More like $9-15 per user per month if you're in a small city (though with a 300Mbps link, you're probably not in a small city).



  • @dangeRuss said in Spotify:

    Why would you take your devs and tie their hands behind their back? It just doesn't make sense to me.

    I'm not saying I agree, just that it's their connection and Spotify isn't something to get worked up about.

    We have the same issue for everything else though - plenty of stuff gets categorised generically as 'Software Downloads' and blocked. We can ask for "enhanced" internet access but it's on a per-website-per-user basis and it has a 5 day SLA. It's basically resulted in a collection of unofficial (and sometimes creative) ways of circumventing the restrictions.



  • @loopback0 said in Spotify:

    @dangeRuss said in Spotify:

    Why would you take your devs and tie their hands behind their back? It just doesn't make sense to me.

    I'm not saying I agree, just that it's their connection and Spotify isn't something to get worked up about.

    We have the same issue for everything else though - plenty of stuff gets categorised generically as 'Software Downloads' and blocked. We can ask for "enhanced" internet access but it's on a per-website-per-user basis and it has a 5 day SLA. It's basically resulted in a collection of unofficial (and sometimes creative) ways of circumventing the restrictions.

    I don't even know why I'm upset. Maybe it's that it was blocked for a long time, then it was finally unblocked when we moved to the new office, and I was feeling pretty good and pretty productive with it, and to then just take it away. It's like a slap in the face.


  • sockdevs

    @loopback0 said in Spotify:

    It's basically resulted in a collection of unofficial (and sometimes creative) ways of circumventing the restrictions.

    VPN services such as TunnelBear?



  • @izzion said in Spotify:

    @dangeRuss
    In Cisco (read as: enterprise) land, the method to do QoS is generally pretty clunky to configure, aside from the super basic "hard cap". Trying to set up rules for "give service 1 priority access, then allow service 2 up to 50Mbps, and blah blah blah" is a ton of HPC time. Simpler and more cost effective to just block non work related streaming media.

    So what's you're saying is that Cisco sucks? I guess that explains why they don't want to mess around with implementing it. Cisco is probably the reason all the other stuff on our network work so shitily. Should've just bought an ASUS router, put dd-wrt on it, and it probably would've done a better job.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @dangeRuss
    Well, compared to MikroTik, yes, Cisco sucks :p (Goddammit NodeBB... I'm about to just start using :package: as my generic meme replacement for :p )

    It's possible to do it, but maintainability (and understandability) of what's going on is a copper plated bitch. It's less of a mess to say "you get 30 Mbps, YOU GET 30 MBPS, YOU ALL GET 30 MBPS!!!", but that can cause problems in other ways depending on how well your classification buckets are organized and how the applications respond to throttling.


  • sockdevs

    @dangeRuss said in Spotify:

    So what's you're saying is that Cisco sucks?

    at this point i think that's deliberate. they make good hardware so you buy their expensive hardware but they make the software to configure it crap so you have to pay their consultants for every little change you need to do. it insures a continuous revenue stream.



  • @accalia said in Spotify:

    it ensures a continuous revenue stream.


  • sockdevs

    @dangeRuss said in Spotify:

    @accalia said in Spotify:

    it ensures a continuous revenue stream.

    that's what i said.



  • @dangeRuss said in Spotify:

    ensures

    0_1489000462313_upload-8468731b-f286-40d4-bb51-a70127f05188
    ?



  • @dangeRuss I'm surprised that there are still companies that don't block all the things.



  • @fbmac said in Spotify:

    @dangeRuss I'm surprised that there are still companies that don't block all the things.

    Why would you block music? For developers? I really can't concentrate without music. A company is only as good as the people working there. If you treat the people like shit, you will only have shit people left. All the good people are going ot leave for greener pastures.


  • sockdevs

    We have an office collaboration Spotify playlist.



  • @dangeRuss said in Spotify:

    @fbmac said in Spotify:

    @dangeRuss I'm surprised that there are still companies that don't block all the things.

    Why would you block music? For developers? I really can't concentrate without music. A company is only as good as the people working there. If you treat the people like shit, you will only have shit people left. All the good people are going ot leave for greener pastures.

    It security wakes every morning thinking in ways to make our life a bit more miserable. But I've been in lots of worse places, this is the greenest (or less brown), I could find.



  • @fbmac
    My company doesn't block any media site that I am aware of.
    Worst we get is during big events (olympics, World cup, etc...) there is a notice about not streaming it at your desk as it kills our bandwidth. But even than it wasn't blocked.



  • Update: talked to my boss and got it resolved, but not before losing a days worth of productivity. Also this is an exception for me, so I kind of feel bad for everyone else, and apparently most of the problem was that I was insisting that it shouldn't be blocked for anyone.

    While I agree that some people maybe shouldn't have access to it because they're supposed to be on the phone all day, I think everyone who does any sort of thinking job should have access to it to be able to concentrate. And even those who should be on the phone should be able to use it if they need to (let's say a sales guy preparing a presentation, etc). People should be judged on the quality of work they produce. Whatever you block, they'll just get from their phone, it will just take 5 times as long and you just made them lose productivity.

    As far as bandwidth, I think that's a really poor excuse for blocking Spotify. I think the real issue is that there is a lack of good QoS support and I think a general lack of transparency as to what is using up the bandwidth. What tools are available for this?


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @dangeRuss said in Spotify:

    I think the real issue is that there is a lack of good QoS support and I think a general lack of transparency as to what is using up the bandwidth. What tools are available for this?

    The easiest solution for bandwidth usage tracking (assuming a Cisco, Juniper, or similarly enterprisey network infrastructure) is NetFlow. There are some alternate names non-Cisco versions, but the core concept is the same across all platforms - provide summary information about traffic data to a centralized location for logging and analysis. Generally, NetFlow data includes source and destination IP and port number, as well as the summarized amount of bandwidth consumed. It's not real time enough or detailed / verbose enough to be useful for threat analysis or intrusion detection, but it is pretty good for the purpose of "hey, why is our 300Mbps link always full between noon and 1pm?"

    We use PRTG in our environment - the free (limited to 100 sensors) version works for us because we're fairly small, and we still get useful data from the NetFlow collector. There are other similar software packages out there, and there are Linux based Free As In Beer and Free As In Stallman solutions for NetFlow collection as well.


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