NetEqualizer News: May 2017


We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter. Highlights include an update on the 8.5 Release, a reminder about our NetEqualizer Leasing program, a customer story about how RTR helped them identify a virus in their network, a refreshed NetEqualizer white paper, and more!

 

May 2017

 

8.5 Release – Development is Complete!
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.

Our 8.5 Release development has completed, five happy stars to the development team! This month we talk about Enhanced DNS resolution reporting, and preview the Read-Only Administrative Access screens. If you would like to get your hands on the 8.5 release as a beta tester, please contact us to participate. Look for the 8.5 Release to be generally available early summer 2017.  

We continue to work with you to solve some of your most pressing network problems – so if you have one that you would like to discuss with us, please call or email me anytime at 303.997.1300 x103 or art@apconnections.net.

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

– Art Reisman (CTO)

In this Issue:

:: First Impressions on our 8.5 Release

:: NetEqualizer Leasing always great option!

:: RTR Traffic History Reports Capture Unknown Virus Activity for WNPL

:: Updated Executive White Paper

:: Best of Blog: How to Create and Send an Encrypted File With No NSA Backdoor

First Impressions on our 8.5 Release

8.5 Release Development is Complete!

I finally got a chance to kick the tires on our 8.5 release, and it kicked me back! I really like so much in 8.5, it is difficult to determine where to start!

The biggest wow factor to hit me was our enhanced DNS reporting. For years our customers have been asking, “Can you tell me how much traffic went to YouTube or Netflix?” Well, I am thrilled to say that finally the answer is yes.

With our DNS reporting you can now track all the data to any well-known public domain. The screen shot below of our Active Connections Report says it all. You can see the domains in the DST (destination) and SRC (source) columns for all live traffic flowing through the network.

In addition to being able to see public domains for all active traffic, you can now also view Traffic History for any host names that you have set up to track. You can see history for a selected public domain in the screenshot below.

I also love our expanded login capabilities. Many of our customers have a support Help Desk team on site. These are the first responders for network problems in your organization. Just like their counterparts in the medical field (EMTs), they may not be trained in advanced surgical techniques. For example, you would not want them making policy changes on your bandwidth controller, but you definitely need your help desk personnel to do some initial triage, gather some data, and keep the patient alive, until the doctor arrives on scene.

Our NEW Read Only login will give them access to RTR and all its advanced reporting screens, without the possibility of any life-threatening policy changes to the network.

You can see that this person is logged in as Read Only by looking in the top right portion of the menu bar for the RTR icon, or looking for the “report” login next to the new Logout feature.

And finally, we continue to expand our Preferences capabilities, so that you can customize your experience with the NetEqualizer.

“Remember one hundred and twenty eight thousand bytes per second is a Megabit.” I was getting tired of uttering this phrase and being an apologist for our units displayed on our connection tracking (Active Connections) screen. In fairness to our engineering team, the connection tracking table started out as a simple troubleshooting tool for internal use, and has now morphed into one of the more important real-time reporting screens for our customers.

With 8.5 we bring you units in Megabits (or whatever unit your preference may be)! See the screenshot below. Once you select your preference, these units will be on your Active Connections Report.

With our 8.5 release entering the system test phase, we will soon be looking for Beta Testers (June/July timeframe). If you are interested in participating, please contact us.

NetEqualizer leasing always a great option!

Check out our leasing program!

Do you have a short term need for a bandwidth shaper? Perhaps a conference event, or something to tide you over while waiting for a bandwidth upgrade? Maybe your business model requires you to spread out expenses over time instead of an up front purchase? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, now is the time to contact us about leasing a NetEqualizer. We offer leases starting at 2 months with no long term contract.

RTR Traffic History Reports Capture Unknown Virus Activity for WNPL

RTR has more uses than you might think…

The following is an email we received from Kevin Getty – Head of Information Technology for Warren-Newport Public Library. Kevin found an interesting use for our RTR interface and associated data.

Thanks Kevin!
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Having some spare time one day I decided to see what I could do with the data that’s provided by the four week traffic history report. First I downloaded the data and imported it into a spreadsheet to see what was available and formatted it into a more user friendly display. Once formatted I grouped the data by IP address and started to analyze the upload throughputs by user per day. I quickly realized what “normal” activity was looking like for our network PC’s.

Once the IP’s were resolved to DNS names, I was surprised to see such high bandwidth from a specific PC. Bandwidth that was large and during closed office hours spreading across multiple days. I approached the user to see if they had any experience with slow or intermittent internet access and sure enough they did. Their experience of slowness was the NetEQ doing it’s wonderful job of penalizing them and normally it should, but the user experienced slowness due to a bug on the computer. They also stated they left their PC on overnight because they didn’t want to lose what they had been working on, so this explained why the traffic showed during closed hours. When asked if they knew when they started to experience slowness, their answer matched what the data showed in the four week report.

The next step was to investigate to see if the PC had any bugs or malware that hadn’t been caught yet. Using several antivirus and malware removal utilities that are known to be successful at finding the little buggers, all came up empty. So the next thing was to restore the user’s Windows profile from backup prior to the high traffic use. After restoring the profile and monitoring for a day, the reports showed normal traffic.

Since then I’ve written a windows application that will download the reports and analyze the traffic. Granted, not all high usage is necessarily bad traffic, but the uploading was what caught my eye and is analyzed in the application to signal an alarm. The first screenshot shows the overall bandwidth usage of the report.

The second shows the selected PC that was showing high usage. You’ll notice the consistent upload and download across several days.

I do have suggestions for your reports. Selectable date ranges and resolved DNS names would be nice.

I’ve been using NetEQ for over a decade now and I’m not sure what I’d do without it. Thanks for a great product and keep up the great work!

Updated Executive White Paper

Take a look at our refreshed white paper…

Our Executive White Paper has been updated to highlight a key capability of the NetEqualizer – that we are able to shape both encrypted and unencrypted traffic.

This is an important advantage of behavior-based shaping. Application traffic shapers are only able to shape unencrypted traffic, as they need to classify it to work with it. We have also updated the Comparison Table on Page 2 to better highlight how the NetEqualizer compares to Other Traffic Shapers.

The Executive White Paper is a good summary for management to read to get a quick feel of the NetEqualizer’s core capabilities, and also to understand how it differs from traditional application shapers.

Read our updated Executive White Paper here

Best Of Blog

How to Create and Send an Encrypted File with No NSA Backdoor

By Art Reisman

Note: Believe it or not in a previous life, before I settled on computer science, I was a math major. Not much stuck from those days but I did remember one lesson very well, and that was that there are a plethora of ways to implement a mathematic encryption of data. In the following blog article I share with you an easy to use a program for personal encryption.

Below is a little routine I wrote to encrypt and decrypt a file.

This script is meant for encrypting text files and sending them privately through e-mail as an attachment.

Note: The author makes no claims about whether this encryption technique can be broken. It would not be easy.

Here is what you need to use this program.
1. Mac or other computer that can run a perl script from the command line
2. very basic knowledge of how to create and edit a file from the command line

Photo of the Month
Kansas Prairie Home from Days Gone By…

One of our staff members was visiting western Kansas recently, and decided to take a bike tour.  This house is one of many that remain from the Dust Bowl days, when many farmers abandoned their homes due to the prolonged severe drought. These homes dot the land, much of which was given away by the Homestead Acts.

APconnections, home of the NetEqualizer | (303) 997-1300 | Email | Website 

NetEqualizer News: March 2017


We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter. Highlights include an overview of more 8.5 Release features, a preview of our new website, and more!

 

  March 2017

 

8.5 Release – More Features!
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.

Our 8.5 Release development is almost complete! This month we preview some of the new features for you, and also show
some of the new screens that our development team has been willing to share. Look for 8.5 to be available in early summer 2017!

Our wireless Internet Provider customers may be interested in our newly released Hidden Node White Paper. And we are experimenting with a new website design. We would love your feedback!

We continue to work with you to solve some of your most pressing network problems – so if you have one that you would like to discuss with us, please call or email me anytime at 303.997.1300 x103 or art@apconnections.net.

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

– Art Reisman (CTO)

In this Issue:

:: 8.5 Release – Features Preview

:: NetEqualizer is a Hidden Node Solution

:: Under Construction – New Website?

:: Best of Blog: The Best Monitoring Tool for Your Network – May Not Be What You Think

8.5 Release – Features Preview

8.5 Release Additions – Continued from February…

In February, we talked about adding Real-Time Penalties to the RTR Dashboard, and adding Host Name from NSLookup to RTR Reports. This month we introduce several more features planned for 8.5:

1) Configuration Validation for Traffic Limits & P2P Limits

In order to make it easier for you to setup and configure your NetEqualizer, in 8.5 we are adding automated configuration validation to our toolset. In the first offering, we will automate the rules around defining traffic limits and P2P limits. As part of the installation process, when you send your diagnostic to Support, we will then run our configuration validation on your rule set. This will be particularly useful for customers that set up hundreds of traffic limiting rules.

2) Add Units to Active Connections Report

You can now select the units that you wish to see on the Active Connections Report. We currently show Active Connections in bytes/second (Bps), as this was aligned with how we used to show units in the configuration. However, in 8.5 we added the ability to select Configuration Units – the traditional Bytes per Second (Bps), or Megabits per second (Mbps), or Kilobits per second (Kbps). Now we are aligning Active Connections with those changes, by expanding our units selection to include Active Connections. See below for screenshots of this new feature.

In this example, as Megabits per second (Mbps) are selected, you can see that both Wavg (column 4) and Avg (column 5) are now shown in Mbps. Hopefully this will make it easier for you, as you can see your reports in Units that are meaningful to you:

As always, the 8.5 Release will be free to our customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support (NSS) plans.

NetEqualizer is a Hidden Node Solution

 Read our Hidden Node White Paper

If you are an Wireless Internet Provider, and are challenged with Hidden Nodes in your network infrastructure, you may want to read our newly released Hidden Node White Paper, to see how the NetEqualizer resolves this issue.Of the numerous growing pains that can accompany the expansion of a wireless network, the issue of hidden nodes is one of the most difficult problems to solve. Despite best efforts, the communication breakdown between nodes can wreak havoc on a network, often leading to sub par performance and unhappy users. Many times, the cost of potential solutions appears to outweigh the benefits of expansion, which in some cases may not be a choice, but a necessity. Yet, hidden nodes are a problem that must be addressed and ultimately solved if a wireless network is to achieve successful growth and development.

To continue reading, view the full white paper here. Check it out!

Under Construction – New Website?

Website Design Alternative – Tell Us What You Think!

We are working with a design agency to put together new web pages. Our initial set of pages are ready. We picked a dark background, and aimed for an interface that aligned with today’s mobile platforms, as it is more scrollable, and trend towards less text/more pictures.

Before we switch over to use these pages across our entire platform (we are using for our Google Adwords leads now), we would love to get your feedback.

Please take a minute to look at the new pages, and then click on the feedback button to email us your thoughts. 
Click the above picture or this link to view the new design: http://netequalizer.com/fast/
What do you like? Dislike? Any recommendations for what we should change? And the big question – should we keep our current website or move to this?
Best Of Blog

The Best Monitoring Tool for Your Network – May Not Be What You Think

By Art Reisman

A common assumption in the IT world is that the starting point for any network congestion solution begins with a monitoring tool.  “We must first figure out what specific type of traffic is dominating our network, and then we’ll decide on the solution”.  This is a reasonable and rational approach for a one time problem. However, the source of network congestion can change daily, and it can be a different type of traffic or different user dominating your bandwidth each day…

Photo of the Month
Pipeline Swallowtail

This is a picture of a Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly taken in Arizona in the high desert grasslands area over a recent spring break getaway. This butterfly can be found in a variety of habitats, but is most commonly found in forests.

APconnections, home of the NetEqualizer | (303) 997-1300 | Email | Website 

NetEqualizer News: February 2017


We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter. Highlights include 8.5 Release feature previews, a customer case study, an introduction to our 20 Gbps NetEqualizer unit, and more!

 

  February 2017

 

8.5 Release – Your Additions!
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.

It is not quite spring here in Colorado. We are enjoying our typical mix of snowy days, followed by days of warmth (55-60 degrees) and sun. I must admit I am ready for warmer weather, and the spring bird migration (birding is a favorite hobby of mine). It seems like all of the U.S. is having unusual weather right now, especially California with their seemingly constant rain & flooding.

While we await for the arrival of spring, we are huddled down focused on building out the 8.5 Release. I am happy to say that our 8.5 development is now well underway. This month, we discuss additional features that we have planned for the 8.5 Release, including some that have come directly from customer input! We really do listen to your ideas, and appreciate all suggestions. We always are happy to hear from our long-time customers. This month, we share a Case Study on Hobart and William Smith Colleges, as they mark their 10 year anniversary with the NetEqualizer.

We continue to work with you to solve some of your most pressing network problems – so if you have one that you would like to discuss with us, please call or email me anytime at 303.997.1300 x103 or art@apconnections.net.

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

– Art Reisman (CTO)

In this Issue:

:: 8.5 Release – Your Additions

:: 8.5 Release – Features Preview

:: Featured Case Study

:: 20 Gbps NetEqualizer

:: Best of Blog: Five Things to Know About Wireless Networks

8.5 Release – Your Additions

Here is what we added into the 8.5 Release – based on your feedback

We asked for input into our 8.5 Release and you responded with some great ideas – thank you!Here is what we selected for the 8.5 Release, based on three criteria:

1) popularity – how many customers recommended the feature,

2) impact – what we thought would provide the most value to all customers, and

3) alignment – what fit well with the code areas that we planned to work on for 8.5

These two features fit our criteria, and will be discussed in our Features Preview (below)

Active Connections Enhancements
&
DNS Name on RTR Reports

As you can see, your voice does count! So, please keep your suggestions coming. While we cannot guarantee that your specific feature will be built, we always incorporate them into our Features Request database, and then assess for each release.

8.5 Release – Features Preview

 8.5 Release Additions (continued from January)

In January, we talked about Pool-specific RATIO and HOGMIN, and retaining RTR State upon reboot. This month we introduce several more features planned for 8.5:

1) Active Connections Enhancements

Beginning with the 8.5 Release, the Active Connections page in RTR will show you which active connections are currently being equalized. This way, you can see in real-time which IPs are getting penalized on your network. We’ll highlight these connections in the table and allow you to sort based on them.

This suggestion came from one of our university customers!

2) Domain Name System Name (DNS) on RTR Reports

Beginning with the 8.5 Release, certain RTR reports will have a hostname mode that allows you to see the DNS name (hostname from nslookup), along with the IP address. If you have an internal naming system for your organization, this can be extremely valuable in identifying problem users or connections!

This suggestion came from our K-12, university, and business customers!

As always, the 8.5 Release will be free to our customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support (NSS) plans.

Featured Case Study

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Longtime customer Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS) recently celebrated 10 years of solid service with the NetEqualizer to help manage their Internet connectivity.

We thought it would be great to share their experience in a Case Study. Derek Lustig, Director of Network and Systems Infrastructure, and his staff, graciously agreed to help put this together with us. Thank you Derek, Christopher, and Christina for sharing your insights!

Here are some excerpts from the Case Study…

…HWS implemented the NetEqualizer solution based on its stellar reputation in the education space as well as its value, which is difficult to match in competing products….

…The NetEqualizer has been a great solution because it is extremely easy to maintain, and – when needed – it just works, says Derek Lustig of HWS.

You can click on the PDF picture to read the full Case Study, or click here to see all our Higher Education testimonials.

20 Gbps NetEqualizer

Our new high-bandwidth unit…

We are currently testing a high-end NetEqualizer with 20Gbps optics, and we have some good news! Our results have shown that we can push close to 15 Gbps with a full load (provided by our shaping simulator courtesy of Candela Technologies). If you plan to be pushing beyond 10 Gpbs in 2017 or 2018, let us know. We would love to talk to you!

If you would like to participate in a trial, let us know that as well.

We will be looking to trial our latest creation under real world conditions later this year.

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Best Of Blog

Five Things to Know About Wireless Networks

By Art Reisman

Over the last year or so, when the work day is done, I often find myself talking shop with several peers of mine who run wireless networking companies. These are the guys in the trenches. They spend their days installing wireless infrastructure in apartment buildings, hotels, and professional sports arenas to name just a few. Below I share a few tidbits intended to provide a high level picture for anybody thinking about building their own wireless network…

Photo of the Month
Saguaro Cactus

The Saguaro is an amazing cactus that can only be found in a very specific climate found in Arizona, California, and Mexico. The cactuses can live to be 150 years old, and are protected by governments that oversee this land. If you are ever in the area, they are worth checking out! The one in this picture has seen better days.

APconnections, home of the NetEqualizer | (303) 997-1300 | Email | Website 

NetEqualizer News: January 2017


We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter. Highlights include a preview of more 8.5 Release features, an announcement of our 8.4 User Guide, our planned 2017 Road Trips, and more!

 

  January 2017

 

8.5 Release Planning is Underway!
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.

As we kick off the new year, I am excited to begin development on our 8.5 Release, currently planned for late spring/early summer. This month, we continue to discuss the features planned for 8.5.img_2686I also like to get out in the field to meet with our customers, and those interested in the NetEqualizer. Check out my 2017 Road Trip plans in this month’s newsletter.

And finally, we have the 8.4 User Guide available, for those of you who like to delve into our features in detail – enjoy!

We continue to work with you to solve some of your most pressing network problems – so if you have one that you would like to discuss with us, please call or email me anytime at 303.997.1300 x103 or art@apconnections.net.

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

– Art Reisman (CTO)

In this Issue:

:: 8.5 Release Features Preview

:: 8.5 Feedback Received – Thank You!

:: The 8.4 User Guide is Now Available!

:: 2017 Road Trips

:: Time for a Tech Refresh?

:: Best of Blog: Top 5 Reasons Confirming Employers Don’t Like Their IT Guy

8.5 Release Features Preview

We are staring to develop our 8.5 Release!

Continued from November 2016

In November we talked about Cloud Reporting, Read-Only Login, and NetEqualizer Logout.

This month we introduce several more features planned for 8.5:

1) Pool-specific RATIO and HOGMIN

2) Retain RTR State Upon Reboot

Pool-specific RATIO and HOGMIN

Ever since we first started making NetEqualizers, there has been one RATIO and one HOGMIN setting that applied to all traffic going through the device. Beginning with Release 8.5, however, we’ve enhanced our software to allow for Pool-specific RATIO and HOGMIN settings. This means that each Pool can have it’s own unique configuration with regard to these values. These changes help administrators have more fine-tuned control over when Equalizing occurs and what the minimum requirements for Equalizing will be on a Pool level rather than a network level.

Retain RTR State Upon Reboot

This has been one of the most requested features ever since we introduced RTR, and we are happy to say it will be part of Release 8.5. With this release, RTR will start upon reboot and maintain all your reporting settings so that you don’t need to go back into the device and start the service manually. This is useful in case the device is affected by a power outage or another type of unplanned activity.

Stay tuned to our newsletter for further updates on Release 8.5. We are currently underway in the development process and are still shooting for a late spring/early summer release. As always, the release is free to those with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support (NSS) plans. Contact us today with questions!

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8.5 Feedback Received – Thank You!

 We Appreciated Your Suggestions!

We asked for input to our 8.5 Release and you responded with some great ideas – thank you!fancy thank-you

Here are the features that you asked us to consider for 8.5. We will let you know what makes it over the course of future newsletters…

– Quota Enhancements: Email Customer on Exceed Quota, Summary Email before Reset, Quota in the Cloud, Web Portal

– Add sophisticated SNMP logic

– Protocol Tracking Reports

– Traffic by Source IP Report

– Bandwidth Test for Troubleshooting

– Build out Automated Alerts

– Add Real-Time Penalties to RTR Dashboard

– Add Name capability to HL, Masks, VLANs, P2P, and Priority

– Add Visibility to Penalty against what Rule

– Add Host Name from NSLookup to RTR Reports

If any of the above suggestions would also be useful to you and your organization, please let us know!

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The 8.4 User Guide is Now Available!

Dive into the details on NetEqualizer’s features…

We are excited to announce the User Guide has been updated to reflect Software Update 8.4, in several key areas.screenshot-at-feb-08-23-53-34

We have focused on updating the configuration sections, describing our new Batch Entry Screens for setting up Bandwidth Limits, limiting P2P Traffic, setting Bandwidth Priorities, and restricting Bandwidth Usage.

We also have added a new section to the User Guide, which walks through our Perform Quick Edits capability.  Quick Edits is useful when you want to add or delete one or a small number of rules.  We offer Quick Edits for seven (7) types of rules, including Pools, Hard Limits, and P2P Traffic Limits.

You can view the updated User Guide by clicking here or on the picture at right.

Note that the Appendices and Monitoring & Reporting sections are not yet updated to 8.4.

We plan to update the remaining sections of the User Guide to 8.4 soon. Look for an update in an upcoming newsletter!

2017 Road Trips

We’re hitting the road…

Our CTO, Art Reisman, is planning to make a swing up the East coast this spring. Most likely he will be in the Boston and New England area the week of Feb 20th – with some room for flexibility in the timeframe. If you are on the East coast and would like to host a formal on-site Tech Refresh, let us know and we will try to get it scheduled!

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Time for a Tech Refresh?

Re-familiarize yourself with NetEqualizer!

Now that Release 8.4 has been out for 6 months, and many customers have moved to it, you may have questions! Release 8.4 had a lot of changes associated with it that may be slightly confusing if you are used to older GUI versions.

Don’t worry though, we are here to help! If you are current on your NetEqualizer Software and Support (NSS) plan, we’d like to offer you a FREE 30 minute Tech Refresh to go over any questions or issues you might have with your NetEqualizer. Contact us today to schedule a time slot with an engineer!

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Best Of Blog

Top 5 Reasons Confirming Employers Don’t Like Their IT Guy

By Art Reisman

ca3b912d-b4a8-40d4-a2a8-320abe66658e

1) The IT room is the dregs

Whenever I travel to visit with my IT customers, it is always a challenge to find their office.  Even if I find the right building on the Business/College Campus, finding their actual location within the building is anything but certain. Usually it ends up being in some unmarked room behind a loading dock, accessible only by secret passage designed to relieve the building of cafeteria waste near the trash bins. Many times, their offices are one and the same thing as the old server computer room, with the raised floor, screaming fans, and air cooled to a Scottish winter…

Photo of the Month
a4b5df23-0e88-48dc-a3c3-82e7b0d74d94
TEDx Aruba

This past fall, a staff member and his wife, Andrea, visited the island of Aruba in the south Caribbean Sea. The official slogan for the country is “One Happy Island,” and this held true the entire trip – all of the people were extremely friendly and welcoming. The purpose of the trip was to present at TEDx Aruba on the topic of sustainability – specifically how our trash plays a role in the most pressing environmental issues of our time. Andrea runs a non-profit based in Boulder, CO that helps educate people on how to reduce their trash and plastic footprint as well as live more simple, meaningful lives. Check out her website and follow her on Instagram if you are so inclined!

APconnections, home of the NetEqualizer | (303) 997-1300 | Email | Website 

NetEqualizer News: November 2016


We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter. Highlights include a 8.5 Release feature preview, customer testimonials, and more!

 

  November 2016

 

8.5 Release Planning is Underway!
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.

As we start into the holiday season here in the U.S., I am thankful for many things. First, I want to THANK YOU, our customers, for making this all worthwhile.

fancy thank-you

In my conversations with customers & prospects, I hear over & over how much our behavior-based shaping (aka equalizing) saves you time, money, and headaches. Thank you for validating all our efforts here at APconnections!

I am also thankful that the Presidential Election is over in the U.S., as I am tired of seeing political TV advertisements, which seem to be on every 10 minutes.

We continue to work with you to solve some of your most pressing network problems – so if you have one that you would like to discuss with us, please call or email me anytime at 303.997.1300 x103 or art@apconnections.net.

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

– Art Reisman (CTO)

In this Issue:

:: 8.5 Release Features Preview

:: We Want Your Suggestions for the 8.5 Release!

:: Is Anyone Out There Still Suffering From DDoS Attacks?

:: Featured Customer Testimonials

:: Best of Blog: Using NetEqualizer to Ensure Clean, Clear QoS for VOIP Calls

8.5 Release Features Preview

We are staring to plan our 8.5 Release!

We have started putting together initial plans for our late spring software update – 8.5 Release. We have some exciting features in mind! Here is a preview of several features that will be included:

Cloud Reporting

Have you ever wanted to access reporting data for longer than 4 weeks? The reason for the current NetEqualizer limit is that we can only store so much data on the device itself.unnamed-2

Our new Cloud Reporting offering will allow you to store historical NetEqualizer data for an extended period of time. You’ll be able to seamlessly pull this data from the Cloud and display the results on your NetEqualizer, or use it for other reporting and archiving purposes.

Read-only Login Account (customer feature request)

The NetEqualizer has always used basic HTTP authentication for it’s one account, but that is about to change! The next release will have a more standard login page with two roles – the current administrator role as well as a NEW read-only account role. The read-only account will let non-technical staff log in and view reports as well as a few other features.fsdf

NetEqualizer Logout (customer feature request)

We will support web application sessions with both log in & log out. Today we offer login but in 8.5 users will also be able to securely log their session out once they are finished using the GUI.

We are very excited about enhancing our recent 8.4 Release user interface with these changes. Stay tuned to the newsletter for updates on 8.5 features, release dates, and more!

We Want Your Suggestions for the 8.5 Release!

 We want your help! Last call for suggestions for our 8.5 Release.

Now is your last chance for 8.5 Release feature requests!

Many of our best features come from customer requests. For example, for all of you that wanted to have a read-only account for NetEqualizer administration, you’ll be happy to know that we have included it in our upcoming 8.5 Release. Our NetEqualizer Logout is also based on a customer suggestion.

For those suggested features that don’t make the cut, it is not because we did not like them (we like all the suggestions), but we have to filter on features that apply to a large set of our customers. We also keep track of all feature requests, so if yours does not make it into 8.5, it may be scheduled in a future release.

We only know what features you are interested in if you speak up! We have no way of knowing if a feature is popular or not unless we hear from you. So please, think deep and tell us what features would make the NetEqualizer tool more valuable to you!

Here are some questions you can ask yourself or your IT team to come up with ideas:

  1. What feature could I use to help us troubleshoot network problems, perhaps something you need to see in our reports?
  2. What feature would further help optimize our bandwidth resource, perhaps your wireless network has unique challenges?
  3. What security concerns do you have? Anything in the DDoS arena?
  4. What feature could be added to make setup and maintenance more efficient?

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Is Anyone Out There Still Suffering from DDoS Attacks?

What have your experiences been?

Perhaps the Russians have given up on hacking? We are not sure, but we certainly have seen a big drop off in DDoS help requests to our support team – so much so that we have put our DDoS firewall enhancement plans on hold.

We were working on a feature request to block foreign IP’s by connection count as one of our DDoS triggers. It would work something like this:

A NetEqualizer customer sets a white list for public IP’s to let through (not blocked). Any other public IP hitting the network with more than X active connections would trigger an alert or possibly a block based on your preference.

We need to know if such a feature, or another DDoS approach would be better, based on your experience.

Let us know what you have been seeing as far as DDoS attacks on your network!

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Featured Testimonials

What our customers are saying…

We take great pride in ensuring our customers are happy with their NetEqualizer! You can find all of our customer testimonials on our website under the “Customers” menu.

Here are just a few testimonials that we’ve received in 2016:

Reed Collegeunnamed-6

“We’ve had NetEqualizers on campus at Reed for several years and continue to be very happy with the product. We have a very small staff and don’t have time to “tune” a device like a Packetshaper. Instead the NetEqualizer is protocol agnostic in the way it shapes traffic for most users but also allows us to quickly prioritize some traffic if necessary.

Over the years the NetEqualizer has saved us countless hours of staff time. We did lose some visibility into what is happening on our border network but our IDS/IPS replaced that functionality. NetEqualizer is an excellent product.”Gary Schlickeiser – Director of Technology Infrastructure Services

Thanks Gary for your kind words!

Edmonton Regional Airport Authorityunnamed-7

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

The NetEqualizer is a very useful tool for us for monitoring and setting speeds for our 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 where fiber is not yet available. Everything runs though the “live” NE3000!

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 peaks to make sure we provide enough bandwidth but, more importantly, to our 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 customers, 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

Thanks Willy! We are happy to help.

Cooperative Light & Powerunnamed-8

“Our company is an electric utility and we have a subsidiary WISP with about 1,000 unlicensed fixed wireless customers. We purchased our first NetEqualizer about a year ago to replace our fair access policy server from another company. The server we replaced allowed burst then sustained bandwidth so we weren’t sure if “equalizing” would work, but it works extremely well as advertised.

The NetEqualizer is stable and actually requires very little maintenance after initial configuration. In our case, we wanted to limit the upper end of what a customer could use (max burst). We were able to set that parameter in our wireless CPE’s. Then we set the equalizing pools for the size of our APs. The NetEqualizer can do a burst then sustained then burst at equal intervals, but to our surprise we actually didn’t need to use it.

We also purchased the DDoS Firewall and that is working nicely as well for quick identification of attacks. Perhaps the most important thing to note is the support is excellent. From sales to engineering the team is very responsive and knowledgeable. We were so impressed that we actually purchased a second NetEqualizer to handle the rest of our network. This company is A+.”Kevin Olson – Communication Manager

Thanks Kevin!

It is wonderful to hear such glowing feedback from one of our newer customers! If you would like to share your feedback on the NetEqualizer, to be highlighted in a future NetEqualizer News, click here to send us an email.

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Best Of Blog

Using NetEqualizer to Ensure Clean, Clear QoS for VoIP Calls

By Art Reisman
 
Last week I talked to several ISP’s (Note: these were blind calls, not from our customers) that were having issues with end customers calling and complaining that their web browsing and VOIP calls were suffering. The funny thing is that the congestion was not the fault of the ISP, but the fault of the local connection being saturated with video. For example, if the ISP delivers a 10 meg circuit, and the customer starts two Netflix sessions, they would clog their own circuit.
Those conversations reminded me of an article I wrote back in 2010 that explains how the NetEqualizer can alleviate this type of congestion for VoIP. Here it is…

Photo of the Month
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Hiking Near Caribou Ranch
It’s been unseasonably warm in Colorado this fall. We’ve been taking advantage of this by hiking in the mountains amidst the changing leaf colors. 
APconnections, home of the NetEqualizer | (303) 997-1300 | Email | Website 

NetEqualizer News: October 2016


We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter. Highlights include our new NetEqualizer Online Demo plus Demo Guide complete with the 8.4 Release, tips on when to use QuickEdits and Bulk Edits in the new GUI, and advice on how to speed up Windows and Apple updates on your network.

 

 October 2016

 

New NetEqualizer Demo, and more!
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.

art photo for NL

Fall in Colorado always seems so short compared to the other seasons. While still technically autumn, the more consistent colder temperatures make it feel like winter. By Halloween, we’ve usually had our first snow.

Just like the sun is setting on that fall feeling, we are finishing up everything that goes along with a major NetEqualizer software release. One of those last steps was updating our Online Demo with the latest code. We are excited to announce that it is now live! If you are curious about the 8.4 Release, check it out! We’ve enhanced our Online Demo to even more accurately reflect the value NetEqualizer provides and how the GUI supports your bandwidth shaping mission.

If you have any questions or want to update to the 8.4 release, feel free to contact us anytime!

We continue to work with you to solve some of your most pressing network problems – so if you have one that you would like to discuss with us, please call or email me anytime at 303.997.1300 x103 or art@apconnections.net.

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

– Art Reisman (CTO)

In this Issue:

:: New Demo NetEqualizer

:: Product Demo Guide for 8.4

:: 8.4 GUI: QuickEdits vs. Bulk Edits

:: Best of Blog: How to Speed Up Windows/Apple Updates

New Demo NetEqualizer

Announcing a brand new NetEqualizer Demo – Updated with our latest (8.4) code!

One of the final steps in solidifying the 8.4 Release was updating our online Demo machine with the latest code, as well as meaningful data that can be used to see examples of the NetEqualizer in action.

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Above is the new 8.4 Dashboard for the Online Demo. You can see from the green information buttons that our demo is set up with for a 1Gbps license. The blue buttons show that this is NetEqualizer1, loaded with the 8.4 DEMO version.

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This screen shows the General Traffic Graph for the Online Demo. As you can see, the traffic load is consistent with the 1Gbps license.

With the new Demo machine, we’ve enhanced our sample data to be more accurate so that clicking through the interfaces realistically shows you what it’s like to run the NetEqualizer on your network. You can run reports, see active connections, analyze graphs, run commands, and make edits to the configuration, all while you explore the features of the NetEqualizer.

Check out the new interface here – and let us know what you think!

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Product Demo Guide for 8.4

 The Product Demo Guide for 8.4 is here!

Our Product Demo Guide has also been updated along with our new NetEqualizer Demo machine. The Demo Guide helps walk you through key concepts and interfaces within the NetEqualizer.demoguide

The Demo Guide is not just for potential NetEqualizer customers! If you want to see a preview of the 8.4 Release prior to upgrading, or just re-familiarize yourself with the NetEqualizer’s primary value-adds, this quick walk through is a great resource.

To view the updated guide, click here or click on the image to the right.

If you are interested in a more technical walk through with our engineering staff, contact us today!

8.4 GUI: QuickEdits vs. Bulk Edits

When to use each and why!

One of the most useful and interesting new features of the 8.4 Release is the ability to edit all of your NetEqualizer rules at once – something we call “Bulk Edits”. With Bulk Edits, you can perform several edits together, such as adding a rule, updating another rule, and deleting a third rule. You only have to save your new configuration one time, when you have finished all of your edits.

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It is important to note that with Bulk Edits, your Equalizing process will be restarted when you save your new configuration. It only takes 10-20 seconds for the restart to complete, but during that time your network will not be shaped. For congested networks, it’s best to make bulk edit changes during a maintenance window or when the network is quieter.

The reason that we restart the equalizing process is that certain changes require the NetEqualizer to re-read in the new rules, and because Bulk Edits involve making arbitrary changes, we restart the Equalizing process to ensure all the adjustments are properly accounted for. Bulk Edits are great for large-scale changes and initial setup of the NetEqualizer!

For those looking to make singular adds or deletes to their rules, we also have a Quick Edits interface available. The advantage of Quick Edits is that you can add or delete a rule without having to restart the Equalizing process. Quick Edits are great when you just need to add or remove a rule!

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8.4 perform_quick_edits

If you have any questions on Bulk Edits vs. Quick Edits, and are current on your NSS (NetEqualizer Software and Support), please contact us any time!

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Best Of Blog

How to Speed Up Windows/Apple Updates

By Art Reisman
 
I discovered a problem with my download speed while trying to recover my un-responsive iPad. Apple’s solution required me attach my iPad to my Mac, and then to download a new iOS image from the Internet, through the Mac and onto the iPad.
Speed should have been no problem with my business class, 20 megabit Internet connection from a well-known provider, right?…

Photo of the Month
devilscauseway
The Devil’s Causeway
This land bridge in the Flat Tops Wilderness area near Steamboat Springs, CO is one of Colorado’s most unique natural wonders. Reaching the Causeway is a popular day hike for locals, but actually crossing it is not for the faint of heart. At it’s narrowest the bridge is 3 feet wide with 800 foot drops on each side. A nice cross breeze and rocky terrain makes your knees a little wobbly. If you are ever in the area, visit this park and make the trek, as this is one of the most beautiful remote parks in the state.
APconnections, home of the NetEqualizer | (303) 997-1300 | Email | Website 

NetEqualizer News: August 2016


We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter. Highlights include Release 8.4 feedback, a preview of our new Quick Start Guide, an update on our 20 Gbps unit, and DDoS news.

 

August 2016

 

Release 8.4 feedback, and more!
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.

art photo for NL

As the end of summer nears, here at APconnections we are basking in the glow of our latest 8.4 software release. Since our last newsletter, which announced that our 8.4 Release was generally available, we have been fully focused on deploying it. Our updated 8.4 GUI has been well-received, as you can read about in this month’s newsletter.

Also this month, we officially release our latest Quick Start Guide, updated for 8.4. Stay tuned for more to come on 8.4 documentation in next month’s newsletter.

Never one to rest on our laurels, we are now focused on the future – and this month you can read about our push for 20Gbps shapers. We also are enhancing our DDoS Firewall offering, to continue to bring you state-of-the-art protection.

We continue to work with you to solve some of your most pressing network problems – so if you have one that you would like to discuss with us, please call or email me anytime at 303.997.1300 x103 or art@apconnections.net.

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

– Art Reisman (CTO)

In this Issue:

:: Release 8.4 Feedback

:: Release 8.4 Quick Start Guide

:: Is a 20Gbps NetEqualizer in Your Future?

:: More DDoS News

:: Best of Blog: Bandwidth Shaping Shake Up

Release 8.4 Feedback

Release 8.4 has been a hit!

Release 8.4 has been well received! We have had a good number of compliments so far on the new interface. Here is a sampling…


Thanks for chiming in early on holiday Sunday. We do know we can count on you guys! The new interface looks fantastic. Easy access to often used information. It’s clean, neat and modern. Well done!

Your instructions were great! The upgrade is complete… very smooth!

Still haven’t taken the time to thank you for the wonderful GUI upgrade – BIG IMPROVEMENT, THANK YOU!

The new release offers a complete overhaul of the previous user interface and enhances all of our setup and reporting screens. Here are just a few of the improvements we’ve made:

1) Bulk editing of your configuration. You can now make any number of changes to the configuration with one save!

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2) New dashboard interface. The Release 8.4 dashboard offers a new real-time report, information about your NetEqualizer and running processes, as well as quick links to setup, reporting, and maintenance screens. 

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3) Perform quick edits without restarting Equalizing. If you just need to make a minor change, you can do so without impacting your busy network!

8.4 perform_quick_edits

Contact us today to update your NetEqualizer to Release 8.4! We also love hearing feedback from those of you who have been using 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).

Release 8.4 Quick Start Guide

 Our new Quick Start Guide is here!

We are excited to announce that our Quick Start Guide has been updated to incorporate our recent 8.4 Release! Screenshot at Aug 22 14-27-51

This short guide contains 4 key sections to help you to set up & configure your NetEqualizer:

Step #1) Cabling the NetEqualizer into your Network
Step #2) Configuring the NetEqualizer
Step #3) Setting up Equalizing
Step #4) Validating & Backing up your Configuration

We also include three appendices, to further help with your setup:

Appendix #1) Viewing your Traffic
Appendix #2) Troubleshooting your Setup
Appendix #3) Syncing NetEqualizer to a Time Server

While used mainly to set up new equipment, this is a good reference if you want to revisit your settings. In addition, if you have not started using Real-Time Reporting (RTR), use Appendix #1 to get started.

We also recommend that you take a look at this to set your date/time and time zone (see Step #2), as well as to sync your NetEqualizer to a Time Server (see Appendix #3).

Stay tuned to our newsletter for updates on all of our 8.4 documentation releases!

Is a 20Gbps NetEqualizer in Your Future?

More Breaking News!

One of the advantages of the NetEqualizer and our underlying technology is that we do our shaping based on heuristics that can be collected quickly without requiring massive amounts of CPU resources. Traditional packet shaping technology that relies on heavy packet inspection cannot keep up with speeds over 5 Gbps without a complex set of parallel processors, which tend to drive product costs out of practical reach.

Hot on the heals of our Release 8.4, we are turning our attention toward a new class of bandwidth shaping solutions capable of handling 20 Gbps of throughput – while keeping the price tag well below anything else on the market. We will have more details in the coming months as we continue our in-house testing. Look for a formal announcement this fall, and feel free to contact us for more details before then!

airportMore DDoS News

Exciting enhancements to our DDoS Product!

More news on the DDOS front. We will be making some enhancements to our DDOS firewall this fall! Specifically, we will be adding a new feature to block/warn on external IP’s based on their total number of incoming connections. Currently our DDOS warning system triggers on the rate of data coming in from unknown external entities, however we do not have a total concurrent connection count alert specific to outside IP addresses. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks, and please email us your ideas for additional DDoS protection as you encounter any suspected issues on your network.
Best Of Blog

Bandwidth Shaping Shake Up

By Art Reisman
 
If you went to sleep in 2005 and woke up 10 years later you would likely be surprised by some dramatic changes in technology.
Smart cars that drive themselves are almost a reality
The desktop PC is no longer a consumer product
Wind farms now line the highways of rural America
Layer 7 shaping technology is now clinging to life, crashing the financials of several companies that bet the house on it
What happened to layer 7?

Photo of the Month
 

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Remember those great roadside attractions?
This cheesy roadside attraction near Oakley Kansas off I-70 has come to end. I drove by it this summer and noticed the signage was down. The elderly operator had mentioned a few years ago that “times were not what they used to be” in the heyday of the 70’s. People were just not stopping anymore. Not only did it feature the world’s largest prairie dog as depicted in the photo, they also had a five-legged cow, a rattle snake pit, and a variety of North American animals in small cages. Although I felt bad for the animals and did not like to see them cooped up like that, I’ll miss the nostalgic charm of an era gone by.
APconnections, home of the NetEqualizer | (303) 997-1300 | Email | Website 
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