Is Equalizing Technology the Same as Bandwidth Fairness?


Editors Note:

The following was posted in a popular forum in response to the assumption that the NetEqualizer is a simple fairness engine. We can certainly understand how our technology can be typecast in the same bucket with simple fairness techniques; however, equalizing provides a much more sophisticated solution as the poster describes in detail below.

You have stated your reservations, but I am still going to have to recommend the NetEqualizer. Carving up the bandwidth equally will mean that the user perception of the Internet connection will be poor even when you have bandwidth to spare. It makes more sense to have a device that can maximize the user’s perception of a connection. Here are some example scenarios.

NetEQ when utilization is low, and it is not doing anything:
User perception of Skype like services: Good
User perception of Netflix like services: Good
User perception of large file downloads: Good
User perception of “ajaxie” webpages that constantly update some doodad on the page: Good
User perception of games: Good

Equally allocated bandwidth when utilization is low:
User perception of Skype like services: OK as long as the user is not doing anything else.
User perception of Netflix like services: OK as long as long as the user is not doing anything else.
User perception of large file downloads: Slow all of the time regardless of where the user is downloading the file from.
User perception of “ajaxie” webpages that constantly update some doodad on the page: OK
User perception of games: OK as long as the user is not doing anything else. That is until the game needs to download custom content from a server, then the user has to wait to enter the next round because of the hard rate limit.

NetEQ when utilization is high and penalizing the top flows:
User perception of Skype like services: Good
User perception of Netflix like services: Good – The caching bar at the bottom should be slightly delayed, but the video shouldn’t skip. The user is unlikely to notice.
User perception of large file downloads: Good – The file is delayed a bit, but will still download relatively quickly compared to a hard bandwidth cap. The user is unlikely to notice.
User perception of “ajaxie” webpages that constantly update some doodad on the page: Good
User perception of games: Good downloading content between rounds might be a tiny bit slower, but fast compared to a hard rate limit.

Equally allocated bandwidth when utilization is high:
User perception of Skype like services: OK as long as the user is not doing anything else.
User perception of Netflix like services: OK as long as long as the user is not doing anything else.
User perception of large file downloads: Slow all of the time regardless of where the user is downloading the file from.
User perception of “ajaxie” webpages that constantly update some doodad on the page: OK as long as the user is not doing anything else.
User perception of games: OK as long as the user is not doing anything else. That is until the game needs to download custom content from a server, then the user has to wait to enter the next round because of the hard rate limit.

As far as the P2P thing is concerned. While I too realized that theoretically P2P would be favored, in practice it wasn’t really noticeable.  If you wish, you can use connection limits to deal with this.

One last thing to note:  On Obama’s inauguration day, the NetEQ at our University was able to tame the ridiculous number of live streams of the event without me intervening to change settings.  The only problems reported turned out to be bandwidth problems on the other end.

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