NetEqualizer News: April 2015


April 2015

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we update you on our upcoming NetEqualizer Tech Seminars and conferences, ask for your input on what are your most pressing IT problems, and preview more exciting features for our Spring Release (8.3). As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

Early April is the time of year in North America when some of the early arriving bird migrants start their journey north. artI saw a couple of common Grackles and an Eastern Phoebe this last week, as well as an Osprey – just to name a few. Spring is also the time of year when I get out on the road and start visiting customers. London and Pennsylvania are on the docket, with more to come.
art photo for NL

I really enjoy meeting with customers around the world and hearing their experiences. It’s how some of our best products and features have come to light. Whether it’s a small change to the NetEqualizer interface, or a problem that needs solving, we thrive off of these conversations. Read more about opportunities to meet with me and share your thoughts in this month’s newsletter.

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

2015 Technical Seminars

neteq seminar logo with border
Spring 2015 – Coming to the UK on April 23rd

We are coming across the Pond this spring! If you are in or around the United Kingdom on April 23, 2015, come join our CTO, Art Reisman, for an informative and educational session hosted by Flex Information Technology Ltd.

Art will be at the Grove Technology Park in Wantage, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom OX12 9FF the afternoon of April 23rd. You can view the details and register for the event here.

Our Technical Seminars are great because they are not marketing sessions. They are run by our CTO and are technical briefings. The seminar includes discussion on bandwidth control and also a live demonstration of the NetEqualizer technology.

So, if you have always been curious about the NetEqualizer, and would like to learn more, stop by for an afternoon! Or if you are an existing customer, and would like to meet Art to pick his brain, join us in the UK!

Please contact Paul Horseman of Flex Information Technology Ltd with any questions:

paul@flex.co.uk
-or-
+44 (0)333 101 7313

Summer or Fall 2015 – Location TBD

We are currently starting to plan our Summer/Fall 2015 Tech Seminar. For this seminar, we are looking stateside. If you are in the United States and would like to be considered as a host site, let us know by contacting us at:

sales@apconnections.net
-or-
(303) 997-1300


What is Your Better Mouse Trap?

As always, we are looking to expand our product line in ways that are useful to our customers. Our DDoS Monitoring and DDoS Firewall are a perfect example of an urgent need that came up last month, with several customers being caught off guard by attacks. We responded with a timely interim release, by integrating some existing technology from our IPS device into the NetEqualizer.

We are also interested in new ideas that will help make the life of an IT administrator easier. We want to help you to solve your most pressing IT problems, so please take a moment and think of what your better mouse trap would be, and tell us!

Even if you don’t think it is possible, just throw it out there! Your ideas are invaluable in helping us to create the next generation networking solutions.

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Annual edACCESS Conference

edaccess

June 24, 2015

We are looking forward to visiting with a few our customers at the annual edACCESS Conference hosted by Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. We will stop by for Vendor Day on Wednesday, June 24th.

If you have never been to an edACCESS Conference, you might not know that they are purposely run small (100 attendees maximum) and that they use the peer conference model.

Here is what they say on the edACCESS website:

“Each edACCESS conference is small, responsive, and participant-driven. Small, because edACCESS conferences are limited to one hundred attendees. Responsive, because half the conference is spent discussing topics chosen by attendees through a careful first-day process. Participant-driven, because we believe that, collectively, we are the experts.”

If you cannot attend this conference, but are in the area of South Central Pennsylvania, please let us know and perhaps we can stop by as we will be on the East Coast for a few days after the conference.

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

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Expanded RTR: Spring Release (8.3) Update

Anticipated Release Date: May 2015

Wow! I got a chance to kick the tires on our 8.3 Release last week. My favorite new RTR report now gives you the ability to see real-time bar charts showing actual bandwidth usage on a per Pool basis (you can also see the Top IP or IP subnet users).

And the real icing on the cake was the red warning colors on the bar chart whenever a pool went into Equalizing, essentially a nice graphical indicator that the NetEqualizer is doing it’s job on your main screen. Here is a screenshot of this feature:

Pools

We’ve also added in a number of other exciting features! These include, but are not limited to:

1) Historical Penalty Reporting – see how many penalties were enforced at a given point in time on your NetEqualizer.

2) Connection Count Reporting – see connection counts by IP. Use this to find possible P2P issues on your network.

3) Export Data from RTR – export data from the RTR databases in CSV format to keep a history longer than 4 weeks or just analyze the data as you wish.

4) Active Penalties – see all connections that are currently being Equalized, as well as what type of penalty they are receiving.

For more details on Release 8.3 features, check out our March 2015 Newsletter.

The coding for Release 8.3 is now complete, and we are moving it into our testing process. We are currently anticipating a May 2015 release, and will announce it in the May 2015 Newsletter.

Once 8.3 reaches GA, these features will be free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support (NSS). You will need to upgrade first to version 8.0+. If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

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Best Of The Blog

The Technology Differences between a Web Filter and a Traffic Shaper

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

First, a couple of definitions, so we are all on the same page:

A Web Filter is basically a type of specialized firewall with a configurable list of URLs. Using a Web Filter, a Network Administrator can completely block specific web sites, or block complete categories of sites, such as pornography.

A Traffic Shaper is typically deployed to change the priority of certain kinds of traffic. It is used where blocking traffic completely is not required, or is not an acceptable practice. For example, the mission of a typical Traffic Shaper might be to allow users to get into their Facebook accounts, and to limit their bandwidth so as to not overshadow other more important activities. With a Traffic Shaper, the idea is to limit (shape) the total amount of data traffic for a given category.

From a technology standpoint, building a Web Filter is a much easier proposition than creating a Traffic Shaper. This is not to demean the value or effort that goes into creating a good Web Filter. When I say “easier,” I mean this from a core technology point of view. Building a good Web Filter product is not so much a technology challenge, but more of a data management issue.

A Web Filter worth its salt must be aware of potentially millions of various websites that are ever-changing. To manage these sites, a Web Filter product must be constantly getting updated. The product company supporting the Web Filter must search the Web, constantly indexing new web sites and their contents, and then passing this information into the Web Filter product. The work is ongoing, but not necessarily daunting in terms of technology prowess. The actual blocking of a Web site is simply a matter of comparing a requested URL against the list of forbidden web sites and blocking the request (dropping the packets)…

Photo Of The Month
IMG_0706
Tribute to Jack Miller
By Art Reisman
I had the honor to meet my neighbor Jack Miller and listen to his life stories over the past few years. Jack has the unique distinction of serving two WWII tours in North Africa. After the first tour, he was discharged to take care of his farm after the death of his mother, but then, through a clerical mix-up, he was shipped back, only this time he was taken POW by the Germans.I spent many summer evenings sitting on his front porch listening to his stories. My favorite one was set at a time when the Germans were in retreat, and his battalion was marching across Germany, extremely hungry and low on rations. He described walking past German farms with grazing cattle, and I asked him why they did not just take the cows and eat them. Without hesitation, Jack’s reply was “Why, those cows belonged to the German people.”

People like Jack were cut from a different mold.

We lost Jack at the age of 92 last November.

Rest in Peace, Jack.

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