IT Connect
Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Vendor Capacity and Operations during Coronavirus

Do my online teaching tools (Zoom, Panopto and Canvas) have the capacity to support my course as I move it online?

The short answer is yes. We have sought and received assurance from our teaching and learning tool vendors that their systems are designed and operated to meet increased and growing usage, even in the face of unprecedented demand. Remember, these vendors have worldwide reach, and they have already been handling increased demand since January.

NOTE: Students may experience internet slowness intermittently, especially as more people work from home or self-isolate. Students in some foreign countries may also experience internet slowness. We encourage you to take student internet service into account as you plan and set up quizzes and exams.

Below we summarize the steps that our key vendors have taken to handle increased demand:

Zoom

  • Operating in 17 datacenters around the globe to provide flexibility for routing audio and video traffic.
  • Routinely operated to handle double the average daily peak usage of Zoom.
  • Can rapidly deploy additional servers in Amazon Web Services (AWS) to scale to support users in the case of unprecedented demand.
  • One area of constraint is dial-in phone numbers. In rare instances, local carriers might hit limits; if this constraint is encountered, use internet calling instead.

Panopto

  • Hosted in AWS with deployments in datacenters around the world, each with its own physically distinct, independent infrastructure, engineered to be highly reliable.
  • Automatically adding capacity to accommodate increases in traffic.
  • Plans are in place to automatically scale up to 100x increase in viewership to ensure a consistent experience.

Canvas

  • Hosted in AWS with deployments in datacenters around the world, each with its own physically distinct, independent infrastructure, engineered to be highly reliable.
  • Working with AWS engineers to ensure that Canvas is ready to support most customers moving to fully online, with automatic scaling to address increased needs.
  • Ramped up engineering, operations, and support services to meet increased needs.
Last reviewed March 13, 2020