Download speed up!!!

[Sunday, 10h30 GMT+1] Some hour ago, after my coffee, i updated my Skype stats file, and i noticed something unusual for a Sunday morning: the speed of downloads* is above 3000 downloads per minute. Due to Skype 3.0? I doubt about it, it was released on last Wednesday! And probably this is happening in (Austral)-Asia. The Europeans were still in bed when it began, the Americas are still asleep. I will update this post today if i notice more weird things.

[Sunday, 12h00 GMT+1] Everything back to normal! Download speed is now around 1250 per minute. This is anyway quite high compared to the June-October period, where it almost never went above 800 downloads/minute. I had one visitor of Singapore the minutes after publishing the post at 10h30 GMT+1: indeed Asia was still awake! But i am wondering why this sudden and very temporary increase!

*Speed of Downloads: two latest registered number of downloads of the Skype client as captured from the Skype RSS feed, divided by the time span in minutes.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jean, if you look at the daily rate you would have seen an inflexion point a week or so ago where the download rate went from about 600K/day to around 1M/day. It has continued to climb and the last two days are about 1.3M and 1.5M. Skype rolled out automatic update checking earlier this year, and my guess is that they are rolling new versions across their user base in a controlled manner.

Given an estimate of the download rate of updates, we can estimate the updating user population from the time interval between releases. e.g. 600K updates/day and 20 days per release would update 12M users continuously. Substitute your own estimates...

Jean Mercier said...

Hi Adrian,
Very interesting view, that of the automatic updates! I never thought about it, because i disabled that option ... and, i check almost weekly for new updates (beta and non-beta) myself ;-)

However, concerning the speed surge today, i have to disagree: the autmatic updates only applies to non-beta versions, and the last beta version was on October 18!

Something else: Windows releases are since the beginning of July ALWAYS on a Wednesday.

Thanks again for the comment, you made me "think" about other ways to make interpretations of the data!

Anonymous said...

With a huge population of users, the release of a new version can't immediately cause every user to upgrade, it would kill the download site.

I don't know how the updates work, but it would be simple to control the update rate from the server, to spread the load and match whatever upload bandwidth is available. So short term increases in upload rate may just be a server capacity test.

Jean Mercier said...

OK, i understand your point.

But this means the servers should "find" users, check the version, and then send a signal to the Skype client of the users? (just a guess)

Better IMHO to make the spread of the updates through the client, for instance by checking once a week. This way the updates are growing steadily.

But, i don't pretend you are wrong, i don't know!

Anonymous said...

Looking closely at the two data lines, the acceleration in dowload rate occurs when the number of online users is increasing rapidly. The biggest increase occurred just after the weekly low point in online users. This could be caused by an update check that is triggered when Skype connects, and which is rate limited by available capacity.

Jean Mercier said...

Yes,you could be right! To be watched in the future if this phenomenon happens regularly!