APconnections Announces NetEqualizer Holiday Promotion


APconnections announced today that all NetEqualizer’s purchased between December 10, 2008 and January 1, 2009 will automatically entitle the purchaser to a free Garmin GPS system.

Details:

Qualifying purchasers of NetEqualizer models NE2000-20 and above will receive a Garmin nüvi® 200 (part number: 010-00621-10):

garming-nuvi-2001

Purchases of NetEqualizer models NE2000-10, NE2000-4, NE2000-2, or any NSS qualify for a free Garmin eTrex® H (part number: 010-00631-00):

etrex-h

To qualify, send us the serial number and purchase date from your NetEqualizer. Requests for Garmin  units must be received by Jan 31, 2009. Only NetEqualizer models and NSS upgrades purchased between December 10, 2008 and January 1, 2009 will qualify. Offer good while supplies last. Standard mapping software included as provided by Garmin. All other accessories and mapping software not included.

How Much YouTube Can the Internet Handle?


By Art Reisman, CTO, http://www.netequalizer.com 

Art Reisman CTO www.netequalizer.com

Art Reisman

 

As the Internet continues to grow and true speeds become higher,  video sites like YouTube are taking advantage of these fatter pipes. However, unlike the peer-to-peer traffic of several years ago (which seems to be abating), YouTube videos don’t face the veil of copyright scrutiny cast upon p2p which caused most users to back off.
 

In our experience, there are trade offs associated with the advancements in technology that have come with YouTube. From measurements done in our NetEqualizer laboratories, the typical normal quality YouTube video needs about 240kbs sustained over the 10 minute run time for the video. The newer higher definition videos run at a rate at least twice that. 

Many of the rural ISPs that we at NetEqualizer support with our bandwidth shaping and control equipment have contention ratios of about 300 users per 10-megabit link. This seems to be the ratio point where these small businesses can turn  a profit.  Given this contention ratio, if 40 customers simultaneously run YouTube, the link will be exhausted and all 300 customers will be wishing they had their dial-up back. At last check, YouTube traffic accounted for 10 percent of all Internet Traffic.  If left completely unregulated,  a typical rural  ISP could find itself on the brink of saturation from normal YouTube usage already. With tier-1 providers in major metro areas there is usually more bandwidth, but with that comes higher expectations of service and hence some saturation is inevitable. 

If you believe there is a conspiracy, or that ISPs are not supposed to profit as they take risk and operate in a market economy, you are entitled to your opinion, but we are dealing with reality. And there will always be tension between users and their providers, much the same as there is with government funds and highway congestion. 

The fact is all ISPs have a fixed amount of bandwidth they can deliver and when data flows exceed their current capacity, they are forced to implement some form of passive constraint. Without them many networks would lock up completely. This is no different than a city restricting water usage when reservoirs are low. Water restrictions are well understood by the populace and yet somehow bandwidth allocations and restrictions are perceived as evil. I believe this misconception is simply due to the fact that bandwidth is so dynamic, if there was a giant reservoir of bandwidth pooled up in the mountains where you could see this resource slowly become depleted , the problem could be more easily visualized. 

The best compromise offered, and the only comprise that is not intrusive is bandwidth rationing at peak hours when needed. Without rationing, a network will fall into gridlock, in which case not only do the YouTube videos come to halt , but  so does e-mail , chat , VOIP and other less intensive applications. 

There is some good news, alternative ways to watch YouTube videos. 

We noticed during out testing that YouTube videos attempt to play back video as a  real-time feed , like watching live TV.  When you go directly to YouTube to watch a video, the site and your PC immediately start the video and the quality becomes dependent on having that 240kbs. If your providers speed dips below this level your video will begin to stall, very annoying;  however if you are willing to wait a few seconds there are tools out there that will play back YouTube videos for you in non real-time. 

Buffering Tool 

They accomplish this by pre-buffering before the video starts playing.  We have not reviewed any of these tools so do your research. We suggest you google “YouTube buffering tools” to see what is out there. Not only do these tools smooth out the YouTube playback during peak times or on slower connections , but they also help balance the load on the network during peak times. 

Bio Art Reisman is a partner and co-founder of APconnections, a company that provides bandwidth control solutions (NetEqualizer) to ISPs, Universities, Libraries, Mining Camps and any organization where groups of users must share their Internet resources equitably. What follows is an objective educational journey on how consumers and ISPs can live in harmony with the explosion of YouTube video.

The birth of a new kind of new kind of Packet Shaper (NetEqualizer)


Today my attention was drawn to a forum thread about setting up queuing and bandwidth fairness on a Cisco Router. The techs in the discussion were obviously very familiar with Cisco and its internal programming language. Needless to say it was a very low level discussion and  to make any sense of it would require  sort a Cisco certification on the inner workings of their IOS programming language. The discussion reminded me of a conversation I had back in 2002 when the idea of turn key bandwidth controller popped into my head

In 2002  I was running a start up WISP with a partner. One issue that we saw coming was sharing bandwidth on a tightly contested T1. We decided it was worth looking into what was available, was there something we could just plug in to handle this and get on with our core business of  running the WISP.
My day job at the time was at Bell Labs, and just recently there had been quite  a few defections to Cisco.  So I  decided to tap some of more former coworkers to see if Cisco had anything turn key picked up the phone and asked a couple of peers what a Cisco box could do  support of some form of turn key fairness. ‘Well you can program the IOS bios queues bla bla” I had heard enough. It seemed that although it was definitely possible to do this with Cisco, I just wanted  something to plug  in and forget about it.  I did not have money to hire a Cisco tech and figured many other start up WISPS in my position were in the same boat. Little did I realize at the time, that the NetEqualizer would become an International hit, distributed across all industries (Hospitals, Cable Companies, Universities etc) around the world over the next 6 years.

The model  of how to approach this issue of fairness was already widely used  in the computer server world. Most people are not concerned with  fairness of processes or threads on web server or data base server? Why is that ? Most  modern computer servers  have some form of operating system that insures that the processes running don’t dominate the central processor (usually Linux). The basic idea is that a little timer that keeps track of a processors resources and how much a process has used if they HOG too much this timer kicks and allows others to get their turn.

The point of this story is there is no manual intervention needed, computers are so cheap that it would be absurd to pay somebody to do this, but that was not always the case. As late as 1986 the Main Frame computer dominated data processing, and with a main frame came a computer operator , a human who had the task of making sure jobs (as there were called) ran to completion in a timely manner,  as well as making sure tape drives were loaded etc.

Do you see the parallel here ? As computers became cheaper it was not economical to employ somebody to watch over this resource, the job still existed  but it was automated and incorporated into the operating system.

Flash forward to 2002, what my Cisco  freinds were  proposing was a labor intensive solution to managing a resource (bandwidth). So the idea was to take this one aspect of managing a network and essentially fire the operator (or the Cisco programmer) And so it was born an automated fairness device for sharing bandwidth and we have no looked back since.

Resources on computers and ways to handle this type of thing were invented back in the 70’s and became wide spread with the death of the card reader.

Editors note: CIsco is a fine product and perhaps there is some easy way to perform this function and I am just too stupid to understand.

%d bloggers like this: