What to expect from Internet Bursting


APconnections will be releasing ( version 4.7) a bursting feature on their NetEqualizer bandwidth controller this week. What follows is an explanation of the feature and also some facts and information about Internet Bursting that consumers will also find useful.

First an explanation on how the NetEqualizer bursting feature works.

– The NetEqualizer currently comes with a feature that lets you set a rate limit by IP address.

– Prior to the bursting feature, the top speed allowed for each user was fixed at a set rate limit.

– Now with bursting a user can be allowed a burst of bandwidth for 10 seconds with speeds multiples of two , three or four, or any multiple of their base rate limit.

So if for example a user has a base rate limit of 2 megabits a second, and a burst factor of 4, then their connection will be allowed to burst all the way up to 8 megabits for 10 seconds, at which time it will revert back to the original 2 megabits per second. This type of burst will be noticed when loading large Web pages loaded with graphics. They will essentially fly up in the browser at warp speed.

In order to make  bursting a “special” feature it obviously can’t be on all the time. For this reason the NetEqualizer by default, will force a user to wait 80 seconds before they can burst again.

Will bursting show up in speed tests?

With the default settings of 10 second bursts and an 80 second time out before the next burst it is unlikely a user will be able to see their  full burst speed accurately with a speed test site.

How do you set a bursting feature for an IP address ?

From the GUI

Select

Add Rules->set hard limit

The last field in the command specifies the burst factor.  Set this field to the multiple of the default speed you wish to burst up to.

Note: Once bursting has been set-up, bursting on an IP address will start when that IP exceeds its rate limit (across all connections for that IP).  The burst applies to all connections across the IP address.

How do you turn the burst feature off for an IP address.

You must remove the Hard Limit on the IP address and then recreate the Hard Limit by IP without bursting defined.

From the Web GUI Main Menu, Click on ->Remove/Deactivate Rules

Select the appropriate Hard Limit from the drop-down box. Click on ->Remove Rule

To re-add the rule without bursting, from the Web GUI Main Menu, Click on ->Add Rules->Hard Limit by IP and leave the last field set to 1.

Can you change the global bursting defaults for duration of burst and time between bursts ?

Yes, from the GUI screen you can select

misc->run command

In the space provided you would run the following command

/usr/sbin/brctl setburstparams my 40  30

The first parameter is the time,in seconds, an IP must wait before it can burst again. If an IP has done a burst cycle it will be forced to wait this long in seconds before it can burst again.

The second parameter is the time, in seconds, an IP will be allowed  to burst before begin relegated back to its default rate cap.

The global burst parameters are not persistent, meaning you will need to put a command in the start up file if you want them to stick  between reboots.

/usr/sbin/brctl

If speed tests are not a good way to measure a burst, then what do you recommend?

The easiest way would be  to extend the burst time to minutes (instead of the default 10 seconds ) and then run the speed test.

With the default set at 10 seconds the best was to see a burst in action is to take a continuous snap shot of an IP’s consumption during an extended download.

Beware of the confusion that bursting might cause.

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