Watch what Apple’s OS update did to one network’s traffic

Apple fans seem to love Mountain Lion OS X, which launched earlier today. And evidence of that love is found in the sharp spike in download traffic from iTunes and Mac App Store. At 3 pm eastern standard time Sandvine, a company that makes tools to manage and track traffic for network carriers such as phone companies, took a snapshot of the combined iTunes and Mac App Store traffic from a sample of a North American broadband operator. What they found that that throughout the day traffic from to Apple’s servers has been five to six times higher than normal. “We saw similar spike when Apple’s  Lion OS was released last year,” said Dan Deeth analyst with Sandvine.

Sandvine said that the two stores are combined because in addition to the release of OS X 10.8  Mountain Lion, Apple also updated a number of its first-party OS X and iOS apps to support some of Mountain Lion’s new features. They predict that the traffic will hit another peak later today around 7 pm because a lot of folks will come home and download and install the new software updates. Typically iTunes and Mac App Store traffic peaks around 7pm local time, Sandvine said.