iTunes Podcasts Downloads Causing Havoc on the Network

I was wondering if anyone here can shed some light on why iTunes Podcast downloads seem to cause major slowdowns on our network. We have about 175 client sites. Network usage in general is very light, so we can usually keep everyone happy with 4 bonded T1’s.

Over the past year I have seen several occasions were the latency in our network shoots up anytime just one client starts an iTunes Podcast download. I use SolarWinds to monitor some key components in our network and we generally see response times anywhere between 10 to 80 ms for most nodes. When someone start an Itunes download, response times shoot up to 300-350 ms, and nodes keep dropping on and off, etc. It is not only the fact that they are downloading 100’sMB of data, but it seems like there is just a flood of traffic on the network which translates into dropped packets and collision and just overall delay in our network. I have not seen this behavior on any other type of download situation. I thought that it is perhaps that Apple’s servers are opening up multiple connections to the client to allow faster downloads, but I am not seeing any indication of this.

Any help would be appreciated.