We thought it might be interesting to share some stats about Wifi from YAPC::NA 2012 this year to help future conference and workshop organizers plan their wifi needs better.
Take a look at the following graphs. We had more devices connected to the network in the two buildings we occupied than any other time in the past year. The network engineers actually said that we had more connected than any time in history for those two buildings.
You can see the huge spikes at the end of the graphs for our devices. What surprises me is how few devices were actually connected during the conference. At any one time, Pyle only had a maximum 316 devices connected via wifi. That means lots of you were either just using cell phones on your wireless plans, or you weren’t connecting to wifi at all. Part of this could also be due to the fact that we were spread out over two buildings. If you take that into account we had 521 devices connected at once. We actually planned for 800 simultaneous devices (figuring roughly 2 devices per person), so I guess that was a bit of overkill.
Perhaps even more surprising is how little bandwidth we used even given the number of devices connected. Check out these graphs.
Even though we had more devices connected at once than they had ever seen in these two buildings, our bandwidth usage was right in line with their typical trends. This is likely due to the fact that many attendees are just checking email and using command line interfaces for things like IRC, rather than doing heavy bandwidth operations. Either that, or perhaps that unlike students, we actually pay attention to our presenters. =)
I should note that none of these bandwidth figures include the bandwidth used for the video streaming.
The network engineers at DoiT recommend that we go with either a 100m connection, or a DS3 with traffic shaper for future events. The 30g of bandwidth they provided for us was a bit of overkill for our event. =)