NetEqualizer News: October 2017


We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter. Highlights include a preview of our Reporting Only NetEqualizer, our customers’ favorite 8.5 features, and some tech tips!

 

October 2017

 

Reporting Only NetEqualizer
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.
As fall settles in here in Colorado, we are enjoying the cool evening weather and watching the leaves turn. It is truly a beautiful time of year to live in the Rocky Mountains! In this month’s newsletter, we announce our new offering – a Reporting Only NetEqualizer, for those of you who would like to use our technology to view network traffic and troubleshoot network issues. Read more below to see how this new offering might work in your environment. We are turning our attention to planning for 2018, now that we have completed our 8.5 Release. As always, we welcome your input into the release planning process. This month you can share your ideas with us! In this month’s newsletter we also offer you 8.5 Customer Favorite Features, and NetEqualizer Tech Tips, along with our ever-popular Best of Blog article.

We will be updating the User Guide to 8.5 shortly, look to hear more in an upcoming newsletter.

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:

:: Reporting Only NetEqualizer

:: 8.5 Customer Favorites

:: Have a Say – Ideas for the Next Release

:: NetEqualizer Tech Tips

:: Best of Blog: The New Bandwidth Paradigm

Reporting Only NetEqualizer

With Attractive Pricing!

For about half the cost of our full featured NetEqualizer, you can now purchase a NetEqualizer with a Reporting License only. Our Reporting Only option enables you to view your network usage data in real-time (as of this second), as well as view historical usage to see your network usage trends. Reporting can help you to troubleshoot your network, from identifying DDoS and virus activity, to assessing for possible unwanted P2P traffic.

You might consider a Reporting Only NetEqualizer for a site where you would like better visibility into your network, and also think you may need to shape at some point. It could also help you to assess a network segment from a traffic flow perspective.

And the great thing is, we always protect your investment in our technology. If at a later time you do decide you want to use our state-of-the-art shaping technology, you have not lost your initial investment in the NetEqualizer. You can always upgrade and only pay the price difference.

What features come in Release 1 (R.v1) of the Reporting Only NetEqualizer?

Graphics Tools
• Reporting by IP, real time and historical usage
• Reporting by Subnet, VLAN real time and historical usage
• Reporting by Domain Name (Yahoo, Facebook etc) – Real time and historical
• Real-time spreadsheet style snapshot of all existing connections

Below is a sample report by domain name screen.

Troubleshooting Tools
• Top Uploaders & Downloaders
• Abusive behavior due to Viruses
• DDoS detection
• P2P detection
• Alerts and Alarms for Quota Overages
• Peak Bandwidth Alerting

More features to come in our next release. Please put in your request now!

Reporting Only prices include first year support.
NE3000-R 500Mbps price $3000
NE3000-R 1Gbps price $4000
NE4000-R 5Gbps price $6000

Note that Reporting Only NetEqualizers can be license-upgraded in the field to enable full shaping features at any time. In this configuration, we are offering bundled hardware warranty (NHW) and software upgrades & support (NSS) for only $500 per year.

8.5 Customer Favorites

Based on feedback from customers, here are the most-liked features of 8.5. Make sure to check these out if you have not already done so.

Pool-Specific Shaping Parameters

We have found that customers really like the ability to control their pool parameters for shaping. At first we were afraid that perhaps this feature might be too deep, especially for a new customer, but so far when we explain it, people really like it. Historically, you could only control the Ratio and Hogmin parameters for the entire NetEqualizer. But now, you can control them at a pool level – giving you even more control over your shaping.

Auto-scaling Graphs

Our graphs can be set so that the scale of each conforms to the data on the screen (auto-scaling), or they can reflect any data that is stored in history (fixed scaling). We learned recently how one of our customers loves auto-scaling, as his data can vary significantly over time. As he uses the Top Uploader & Top Downloaders on a daily basis, he needs the graphs to only reflect the current day in their scaling. We learned this one the hard way – it was offered in 8.4 but not in initial 8.5. Read below in our NetEqualizer Tech Tips section to see how to set up Auto-Scaling in your environment.

Have a Say

Ideas for the Next Release…

What would you like to see in our Next Release? Please let us know! To get you thinking, we’ve thrown out a few ideas here:
VM release for remote locations where logistics complicate hardware delivery?
• 20 Gigabit Shaping?
• Cloud Storage for Reports?
• Customizable Report Exports?
• Enhance Automated Alerts?
• Equalizing Self-Tuning?

NetEqualizer Tech Tips

Every few newsletters, we like to give readers and customers tips on how to best use the NetEqualizer. This month, we highlight the following NetEqualizer Technical Tips:

Implementing HTTPS

Did you know that we support HTTPS? If you have version 8.4 or better then the https access is already installed. You may need to open your https port on your firewall but you should be able to go to https://YourNetEqIP/ and it should work. It only has a self signed certificate so you may need to make an exception for it in your browser.

8.5 Fix: Auto-scaling your graph timeline

If you are one of the users who prefers to have your graphs auto-scale to what is displayed, this tip is for you! Simply follow these instructions and you’ll be all set.

  1. Navigate to the Maintenance -> Troubleshooting Tools -> Edit Any Text File page
  2. In the field “Full path to file:” type: /var/www/newgui/RTR/top-downloaders.php And hit submit.
  3. The top-downloaders.php file will now appear. Find the following string in that file: max: <?php echo niceMaxAxis($maxx); ?>
  4. DELETE that line completely. Click Save.
  5. Navigate back to Maintenance -> Troubleshooting Tools -> Edit Any Text File page
  6. In the field “Full path to file:” type: /var/www/newgui/RTR/top-uploaders.php
  7. And hit submit.
  8. The top-unloaders.php file will now appear. Find the following string in that file: max: <?php echo niceMaxAxis($maxx); ?>
  9. DELETE that line completely. Click Save.
  10. Your graphs should now scale to what’s displayed.

Best Of Blog

The New Bandwidth Paradigm

By Art Reisman
For years the prevailing belief was that consumers would always outstrip bandwidth supply.  From our recent conversations with several land line operators, their experience suggests that in the near-term, that paradigm may not be true.
How could this be?
The answer is fairly simple.  Since streaming HD video became all the rage some 10+ years ago, there has not been any real pressure from any new bandwidth-intensive applications.   All the while, ISPs have been increasing their capacity.  The net result is that many wired providers have finally outstripped demand.

Photo of the Month
Summer Concerts Come to an End

Hanging on to summer memories, Firefall closes out the summer concert series held most Fridays in the summer in Louisville, Colorado.

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

NetEqualizer News: September 2017


We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter. Highlights include details on more 8.5 Release features, as well as a preview of our Product Demonstration Site and Demo Guide!

 

September 2017

 

Optimizing the 8.5 Release
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.

Last month we announced that our 8.5 Release was officially Generally Available. Now that the dust has settled, and many of you have started updating your NetEqualizer(s) to 8.5, we are taking time this month to talk more about how to best use the new 8.5 features. Read on to learn more about how you can use wildcarding to optimize your implementation of our new Host Names feature, and how to use our new Pool-specific Ratio & Hogmin to make your Pools even better. If you would like to further explore 8.5, you can now see it live by viewing our Product Demonstration Site, which is updated to 8.5, and following along the 8.5 Product Demonstration Guide. In this month’s newsletter we offer you Tips for Optimizing your 8.5 Installation, our 8.5 Product Demonstration Guide, and our updated Product Demonstration Site.

We will be updating the User Guide to 8.5 shortly, look to hear more in an upcoming newsletter.

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:

:: Tips for Optimizing Your 8.5 Installation

:: 8.5 Product Demonstration Guide

:: 8.5 Product Demonstration Site

:: Best of Blog: QoS Over The Internet – Is It Possible? Five Must-Know Facts

Tips for Optimizing Your 8.5 Installation

Using Wildcarding with Hostnames & Making Pools Even Better!

We are very happy to announce that our 8.5 Release is now Generally Available.

Tip #1: Using Wildcarding with Host Names
For those of you that are experimenting with the new 8.5 Release, we encourage you to try our reporting by DNS Host Name feature. One tip that will come in handy when using this feature is our wild card (*) prefix feature. For example, on a system here in our home office we use multiple security cameras, which all register their cloud DNS name as “tag”.amazonaws.com. The “tag” prefix is different for each camera, hence if we want to see the total upload traffic we set up our host name as “*.amazonaws.com.” which causes the NetEqualizer reporting chart to show us the aggregate traffic of all cameras.

In this first picture, you can see that we have set up *.amazonaws.com. as a Tracked Host, by adding it to RTR -> Traffic History -> Manage Tracked Hosts.

In our second picture, you can see the Download traffic has been aggregated for *amazonaws.com for the last week. This is a great tool to help us see the total usage on our network for our security cameras. When the download traffic is 0, our cameras were down.

Tip #2: Making Pools Even Better
Pools are a very powerful tool within the NetEqualizer that essentially allow you to take a segment of your network and apply a virtual NetEqualizer to a group of users. Up until the 8.5 Release, the virtual NetEqualizer within a Pool was forced to use the global parameter of HOGMIN or RATIO to trigger when Equalizing would kick in. For large networks with small pools this often created a dilemma. Do you tune your HOGMIN and RATIO for the entire Network or for the smaller pool segment? The good news is in 8.5 you no longer have to choose. When you define or edit your Pool configuration you can set a local RATIO and HOGMIN specific for each pool you define.

This is a great way to offer difference levels of service to groups of users. For example, you may want Equalizing to kick in sooner for one Pool, but allow larger traffic to go through without being equalized. You would do this by setting a lower RATIO and are larger HOGMIN than your global parameters. This is shown in our example below, where Pool 102 “Tier 2” has a RATIO = 80% and HOGMIN of 3Mbps. This is compared to the global RATIO of 85% and HOGMIN of 2Mbps. Pool 103 “Tier 3” is using the global default parameters, which is shown using brackets [ ].

If you are interested in exploring the 8.5 Release, and how you might use pool-specific RATIO and HOGMIN or DNS Host Names, please contact us. The 8.5 Release is free to customers with valid NSS (NetEqualizer Software and Support) subscriptions.

8.5 Product Demonstration Guide

We have now updated updated our Product Demonstration Guide to reflect the 8.5 Release!

In particular, the NetEqualizer Monitoring & Reporting section now shows the new Active Connections table with the penalties column, our updated NetEqualizer Log showing color-coded penalty information, and our new Traffic Graph by Host Name.
This guide is a great resource for anyone on your team that you would like to acquaint with the key features & functions of the NetEqualizer.  Use it standalone, or as a guide to walkthrough the Product Demonstration Site.
You can view the 8.5 Product Demonstration Guide here.

8.5 Product Demonstration Site

Take a look at our new 8.5 Product Demo Site!

We’ve updated our Product Demonstration (Demo) Site to the 8.5 Release. The Product Demon Site gives you a preview of the entire NetEqualizer user interface, with most features enabled. If you’ve been curious about NetEqualizer, this is a great place to start. See all of the NetEqualizer Setup Screens, along with Reporting and Maintenance interfaces.

You can view the 8.5 Product Demo Site here: http://bit.ly/2jfVCQr

Username: neteq
Password: neteq

In addition, take a look at our new secondary login for Read-Only users that focuses on Reporting, by going to the same link but using our demo reporting login:

Go to the 8.5 Product Demo Site here: http://bit.ly/2jfVCQr

Username: report
Password: report

Please contact us if you are interested in an online webex demo with our Sales Team or have any questions!

Best Of Blog

QoS Over The Internet – Is it possible?

FIVE MUST-KNOW FACTS

By Art Reisman

For those of you that are moving to a cloud architecture, you are reaping the benefits of lower costs and a simplified IT infrastructure, but lest we forget – you are concentrating your business applications on your Internet link. The following article gives some nice insight into ensuring QoS for those applications, and what to look out for as you move away from a WAN based infrastructure.

I had an inquiry from a potential customer yesterday asking if we could monitor their QoS. I was a bit miffed as to what to tell them. At first, the question struck me as if they’d asked if we can monitor electrons on their power grid. In other words, it was a legitimate question in a sense, but of what use would it be to monitor QoS? I then asked him why he had implemented QoS in the first place. How did he know he needed it?

Photo of the Month
Early Fall in the Mountains – views of Breckenridge Ski Resort…

One of our staff members just returned from an early fall trip to the mountains, which is a great time to start seeing fall color and also to escape late summer heat!  This shot was taken from a hiking trail on the east side of Breckenridge, where the grasses and aspens were all starting to turn yellow, orange, and red.  You can also see the Breckenridge ski slopes off in the distance.

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

NetEqualizer News: July 2017


We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter. Highlights include our 8.5 Release is Generally Available, along with an updated Quick Start Guide, our new DNS Traffic Tracking, and more!

 

July 2017

 

8.5 Release is Generally Available!
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.

In our last newsletter, we mentioned that 8.5 development was complete. This month we are happy to announce that we have finished our testing phase (thanks test team!), and 8.5 is officially Generally Available! In this month’s newsletter we offer you detailed 8.5 Release Notes, preview some of the favorite 8.5 screens, and also provide the updated Quick Start Guide.

We will be updating the User Guide to 8.5 shortly, look to hear more in an upcoming newsletter.

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:

:: The 8.5 Release is Ready!

:: 8.5 Release Notes

:: 8.5 Release Quick Start Guide

:: Let NetEqualizer Be Your Bandwidth Referee

:: Best of Blog: Tracking Traffic by DNS

The 8.5 Release is Ready

8.5 Release is GA!

We are very happy to announce that our 8.5 Release is now Generally Available.

By far the most exciting and pleasant surprise feature is the reporting by DNS name. This essentially gives NetEqualizer reporting the ability to show detailed traffic by type without the need for expensive and unreliable Layer 7 filtering. The ramifications and the history on why this is possible make for an interesting story, and thus we have dedicated a full article on the subject – see here. This is just one of the many exciting features available in our 8.5 Release – we preview some of these below…

1) DNS Visibility (Hostname Reporting)
As mentioned above, we are very excited about the new ability to track and view traffic flows by hostnames. With the 8.5 Release, you can view hostnames in the Active Connections table:

And, you can track these hosts by adding them to Traffic History-> Manage Tracked Hosts, as shown below. This enables you to view data by hostname in our Traffic History graphs, as shown in the graph below. This is in addition to our current offerings of Traffic History by IP address, Pool, or VLAN:

2) Login and Logout
The 8.5 Release also has more security features added – including login/logout, session management, and HTTPS.

3) Color-coding in the NetEqualizer Log
We’ve also enhanced the ability to read the log file by adding color-coded markings to our log entries. In 8.5, this includes penalty and informational entries. Below we show how information-only entries are highlighted:

These markings will show new penalties, increased penalties, decreased penalties, and removed penalties, as well as informational entries about traffic that is going through your NetEqualizer (see above).

4) Pool-specific Equalizing (Pool Level Ratio and Hog Minimum)
One of the most requested features we’ve heard from our users, the 8.5 Release has the ability to fine tune your Pool settings even further with pool-specific HOGMIN and RATIO parameters.

Feel free to use the network-wide defaults or create your own! The changes will be reflected in the Pool dashboard:

There are many more changes that we are know you will be excited to see. If you are interested in the 8.5 Release, please contact us. The 8.5 Release is free to customers with valid NSS (NetEqualizer Software and Support) subscriptions.

8.5 Release Notes
You have read about some of our 8.5 features & screens above.  If you are interested in learning more about 8.5, you can read our official 8.5 Release Notes, which as always, are posted on our NetEqualizer Blog site (www.netequalizernews.com).

8.5 Release Quick Start Guide

Take a look at our new Quick Start Guide!

We are happy to share a preview of our updated Quick Start Guide, which now reflects our 8.5 Release!

Some of the key changes now discussed include:

1) our new Login/Log Out capability, highlighted on Page 4.
2) our enhanced Active Connections Table on Page 11, which now shows penalty status for each data flow.
3) our “visual” NetEqualizer Log on Page 12, which contains detailed color-coded information about penalty statuses.

As this is the Demo Version, it does not contain passwords. As always, we ship the full Quick Start Guide with each NetEqualizer unit, so that you will receive an updated version with passwords each time you purchase a NetEqualizer.

Click here or on the image at right to view the full Quick Start Guide.

Let NetEqualizer Be Your Bandwidth Referee

NetEqualizer works so well you won’t even notice it!

The best compliment you can give an umpire or referee in a sporting event is that you did not notice them, and with that example in mind we can safely say our configuration checking is doing its job.

It is rare for us to get Support calls regarding configuration mistakes. This invisibility and smoothness of operation is due to ongoing work behind the scenes to make sure that configuration changes make sense and guide the user away from common mistakes. With every release we improve in this area! I’m sure our long-time customers from the very early days (circa 2005) would not recognize the GUI and ease of use if they made a jump all in one step.

As part of our 8.5 offering, our Support Team has enhanced their configuration validation capabilities. When you send in your diagnostic file, they can now automatically check your Traffic Limits and P2P Limits against a more complex set of validity rules, including unintended overlapping IP ranges.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this 8.5 feature, contact our Support Team to learn more.

Best Of Blog

Tracking Traffic by DNS

By Art Reisman

The video rental industry of the early 80’s was comprised of 1000’s of independent stores. Corner video rental shops were as numerous as today’s Starbucks. In the late 1990’s, consolidation took over. Blockbuster, with its bright blue canopy lighting up the night sky, swallowed them up like doggy treats. All the small retail outlets were gone. Blockbuster had changed everything – their economy of scale, and their chain store familiarity, had overrun the small operators…

Photo of the Month
After the storm – summer vacation on the lake…

One of our staff members just returned from a lake vacation, which in my opinion is the best kind of vacation in summer. This shot was taken right after a rainstorm on the lake. The sun peaking through the clouds really highlighted the landscape and made the rainbow stunning.

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

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!
————————————————————————————————

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
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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 
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