NetEqualizer News: June 2016


We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter.  Highlights include our Release 8.4, an update on the ASCUE conference, a note about a possible 20Gbps NetEqualizer, and also a testimonial from one of our airport customers.

June 2016

Release 8.4 is here!
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.

art photo for NL

Wow! It has been hot here in Denver the past few weeks. We went from May snow, to temperatures over 100 in just over 30 days. I prefer the snow, as I am not much of a hot weather person.

Speaking of heat, the pressure has been on us to get our 8.4 Release out this month. Breaking news – just in, the test team has just sent me a note that we are are ready for delivery on 8.4!

If you have feedback, ideas, or questions for me, please email me anytime at art@apconnections.net.

And remember we are now on Twitter. You can follow us @NetEqualizer.

– Art Reisman (CTO)

In this Issue:

:: NetEqualizer Release 8.4 Is Here!

:: ASCUE Update

:: Is a 20Gbps NetEqualizer in Our Future?

:: NetEqualizer at the Airport

:: Best of Blog: Virtual Internet Presence in the Netherlands Thwarts TV Blackout

NetEqualizer Release 8.4 Is Here!

8.4 is now Generally Available

We are excited to announce that Release 8.4 is now Generally Available! You can read all the details on Software Update 8.4 in our 8.4 Release Notes. And for those of you that have not heard already, here are the key updates to look forward to in 8.4:

#1) Graphical User Interface (GUI) Redesign

8.4 introduces a complete GUI redesign, finishing the GUI transition that we started with our 7.1 Real-Time Reporting (RTR) offering. Our new GUI is easier to navigate and more intuitive. Our logical groupings, such as Setup and RTR, make it easier than ever to find what you need. We now also enable you to select the units that you want to see for your entire GUI via Preferences. And now the GUI includes error checking to look for common data validation errors such as properly formed IP addresses and valid positive integers where required.  Additionally, we have expanded our warning and error messaging, to help ensure that your configuration is valid.

#2) The Updated NetEqualizer Dashboard 

The new NetEqualizer Dashboard gives you a quick view into the state of your NetEqualizer and your network, while providing access to all the key features of your NetEqualizer. From here you access our four core areas:
  • Setup – Use this to configure your NetEqualizer
  • RTR – Use this to monitor network connections and report traffic history
  • DDoS – Use this to view possible DDoS attacks
  • Maintenance – Use to view documentation and troubleshoot your NetEqualizer.

You can also utilize shortcuts to four Common Tasks (Start/Stop Equalizing, Show Configuration, View Active Connections, and Run Diagnostics). On our new Dashboard, all icons are clickable, so that you can drill into each area to view more details and edit as needed. We also think that you will enjoy seeing your current network traffic right on the dashboard via our new ticker tape type live monitor.

#3) Batch Configuration!

You now will have the ability to add, delete, and most importantly, modify, all of your Traffic Limits in a spreadsheet-type format from the GUI using Manage Traffic Limits.  This capability is a great feature to have in place when you are initially setting up your NetEqualizer, and also allows you to modify rules as your network changes. Manage Traffic Limits includes defining Hard Limits, Pools and VLAN Limits (Shared Limits), Masked Hosts, and User Quotas.

We also offer batch configuration for your P2P Limits (via Connection Limits) and Priority Traffic.
During batch configuration, we highlight all field changes to help you identify unsaved changes, and also include data validation error checking against your fields.
Please note: Batch Configuration changes require a full Equalizing Restart in order for your changes to take effect.  

#4) Perform Quick Edits

While batch mode can help you to initially configure your NetEqualizer and also support network changes, we also wanted to maintain your ability to make quick changes on the fly without bringing down your NetEqualizer process. Perform Quick Edits enables you to do just that. We have kept the ability for you to delete and add Individual Rules across all areas (Hard Limits, By Pool, By VLAN, Masked Hosts, User Quotas, P2P Traffic, and Priority Traffic), without needing to stop and restart Equalizing.

Please note: Perform Quick Edits do NOT require a full Equalizing Restart, as changes take effect upon saving.  For this reason, Perform Quick Edits does not include rule modifications – for that you use Manage Traffic Limits, Limit P2P Traffic, and Manage Priority Traffic.

8.4 perform_quick_edits

#5) Usability Enhancements

In addition to all the other great features in 8.4, we have added or enhanced the following:

  • You can now set the Date and Time, as well as the Time Zone, via the NetEqualizer GUI.
  • Run Diagnostics now offers the ability to save the generated data as a .txt file, that you can download and email to Support.
  • We have removed the information-only penalty threshold from the NetEqualizer Log, as it was confusing.
  • We have changed the Default Penalty Unit to 1, which works better with video traffic.
  • We have added DNS name resolution to all tabular reports in RTR via DHCP.
  • We have added Password Verification to the GUI.

Contact us today to update your NetEqualizer to Release 8.4!
As with all software releases, the 8.4 Release will be free to all customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support (NSS).

ASCUE Update

 Shaping Bandwidth – Learning to Love Netflix on Campus

As we mentioned in last month’s newsletter, one of our long-time customers, Hollis Townsend, Director of Technology Support and Operations at Young Harris College, spoke about his experience with the NetEqualizer in his talk at ASCUE.  Hollis’ presentation was titled “Shaping Bandwidth – Learning to Love Netflix on Campus”.

In case you missed Hollis’ presentation at the ASCUE Conference (June 12th-16th, 2016), I have enclosed some of the best excerpts here. Hollis presentation is a great case study into how the NetEqualizer can be used to affordably solve network congestion issues in campus environments. 

When Young Harris was looking to replace their Packeteer in 2007,
their wish list for their new solution was the following:

  •  Needed to be inexpensive to buy
  •  Inexpensive to maintain
  •  Web interface
  •  Easy to Maintain or Self Maintaining
  •  Expandable

After reviewing the market, in July 2007, Young Harris purchased a NetEqualizer to solve their network congestion issues and to replace their Packeteer. They have since upgraded their NetEQ as their network has grown over the years, and currently run an NE3000 with a 1Gbps license.  Here are their results:

They have significantly reduced costs.
  • They have spent significantly less than what they did on Packeteer.
  • They took advantage of our Lifetime Buyer Protection Policy of 50% trade-in credit towards new hardware, when they upgraded.
They find the NetEqualizer self-maintaining.
  • Virtually no time spent running the machine
  • About a 1 hour set up from the box to the rack and fully operational
  • Can view reports when desired
  • Literally months will go by with out anyone checking on it  
Students don’t complain and video can run. They had zero File Sharing notices in 2015 & 2016.
  • Students do not complain about bandwidth, just wireless coverage
  • System looks at flows, when bandwidth is over 80 percent, it starts shaping only the heavy users
  • Email, web surfing, gaming never gets shaped at all
  • Netflix, and most streaming services will adapt to low bandwidth on the fly
  • Most never see that they have been shaped, as once the peak is past bandwidth is returned to normal
  • Encrypted payloads don’t matter as it looks at the stream, not the content
  • File sharing is eliminated / reduced as it also is set to not allow a user to exceed multiple streams (over 45) from any single source.

Thank you Hollis for sharing your experiences with the NetEqualizer! 

ASCUE fitbit_winnerWe are also happy to announce that the door prize winner of the Fitbit fitness watch was Jacqueline Stephen of Mercer University in Georgia. You can see a picture of our happy winner here.

ASCUE is the Association Supporting Computer Users in Education and they have been around since 1968. Members hail from all over North America. ASCUE’s mission is to provide opportunities for resource-sharing, networking, and collaboration within an environment that fosters creativity and innovation in the use of technology within higher education.

Is a 20Gbps NetEqualizer in Our Future?

More Breaking News!

Hot on the heels of our newly-released 8.4 Software Update, we have begun testing a couple of new hardware configurations for our NetEqualizer systems. In our next generation systems, we hope to achieve a commercial version capable of shaping 50,000 subscribers at speeds at or above 20 gigabits.

Look for an update in next month’s NetEqualizer News!

airportNetEqualizer at the Airport

Airport Congestion – No Problem for the NetEqualizer!

eiaThe next time you are waiting in the terminal trying to send a few last minute e-mails over the public WiFi, please don’t blame us.
If your connection is dragging, you are probably dealing with an installation where congestion control was an afterthought.

Airports with NetEqualizers at their head tend to be very responsive. Here is what Edmonton Regional Airport Authority, one of our customers, had to say…

Their NetEqualizer Configuration

“We presently use two NE3000 units for internet traffic control and monitoring in a redundant setup. At present we have a maximum of 600Mbps internet throughput with over 300 IP addresses in use in some 120+ address Pools.

(NetEqualizer is)… A very useful tool for us for monitoring and setting speeds for the many users. Most of the feeds come straight off our Campus network, which is spread over a seven kilometer distance from one end of the airdrome to the other. We also feed a number of circuits to customers using ADSL equipment in the older areas were fiber is not yet available.

Everything runs though the “live” NE3000!”

How the NetEqualizer has helped EIA 

Controllability and monitoring is key for our customers as they pay for the speed they are asking for. With the RTR Dashboard we continually monitor overall usage peeks to make sure we provide enough bandwidth but more importantly with individual customers. Many customers are not sure of how much bandwidth they need so using the Neteq we can simply change their speed and watch the individual IP and/or Pool usage to monitor.

This becomes especially useful now as many customer including ourselves use IP telephony to remote sites, so we need to maintain critical bandwidth availability for this purpose. That way when they or we have conference calls for example, no one is getting choppy conversations. All easily monitored and adjusted with the Dashboard and Traffic Management features.

We also have used the Neteq firewall feature to stop certain attack threats and customer infected PCs or servers from spewing email or other reported outbound attacks, not a fun thing but it happens.”

“Overall a very critical tool for our success in providing internet to users and it has worked very well for the past 8 or more years!”

Willy Damgaard 
Network and Telecom Analyst 
Edmonton Regional Airport Authority, IT Department
 
Thanks for the kind review, Willy!  
Best Of Blog

Virtual Internet Presence in The Netherlands, Thwarts TV Blackout

By Anonymous Guest
 
A few months ago I got rid of my Cable TV.  Other than a few sports networks, I never watched the other 507 channels.  Once free from that expensive local bundle, I  subscribed directly to MLB.tv for 1 year for about $100 a year, less than one months cable bill. It turned out there was one small hitch in my plan. Whenever I tried to watch my local Rockies , it is blacked out on the MLB.tv service in deference to their contractual obligations with their other distributor. ( my old cable company).  It seems the MLB.tv is smart enough to know where you are watching from based on your IP address…

Photo of the Month
 
lebronLeBron James
This photo is a copy of an acrylic painted by one of our staff members, and hangs in the office here in Colorado. Although it is LeBron James with his Miami Heat colors and number, it is a nice reminder of what hard work and perseverance can accomplish.
APconnections, home of the NetEqualizer | (303) 997-1300 | Email | Website 

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