Infrastructure Management Software Blog

Why I love Information Technology (IT)

Last night I watched the U2 live concert webcast on YouTube ( During the show, I just enjoyed the concert, which of course comes with Bono’s philosophizing. (BBC News review of the concert.) Afterwards, I marveled at the technology that made it all possible.


Billed as “the world's biggest band performing on the world's largest stage” (on the YouTube ad for the event). They said that people were watching on all seven continents. I can’t even imagine how much bandwidth this single event consumed.

I cannot recall a live event available in the identical format to people everywhere on the planet. Sure, major news events are followed around the world, but people typically watch on their local news channel or in some local language portal.

There was a similar effort several years back with Live 8, a free concert to “make poverty history”. But, this contained several channels, one for each of the global venues, and I recall the user experience was less than optimal, both in video and audio quality. The U2 show was crisp on my home DSL connection (1.5 Mbps), which is far from speedy compared to what is available here in Silicon Valley or especially in Asia. There were a few sub-second lapses, but overall the experience was amazing.

Think about the U2 event for a moment. Technology (and global standards) made it possible for anyone on earth to experience the same concert at the same time in the same format, regardless of the viewing platform.

To me, this is truly amazing. And that’s why I love IT and am proud to work for a company that makes so much of the infrastructure possible.

Kudos to Google and YouTube (and U2) for pulling this off!

If anyone knows what IT infrastructure they used to do this, please let me know.

For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.

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