NetEqualizer Superhero Animation Helps to Redefine the World of WAN Optimization

Lafayette, CO, February 2, 2010 — APconnections, a leading supplier of plug-and-play bandwidth shaping products and the creator of the NetEqualizer, today announced their new animation available for online viewing.

 Eli Riles, a consulting partner at APconnections, summed it up this way:

“Over the years, we’ve had several clients ask us for an easy way to explain how the NetEqualizer works. Well, our newest NetEqualizer video may be our best response yet. With the help of People Productions of Boulder, we’ve captured the NetEqualizer’s Network Optimization effectiveness in two new videos — one straight to the point and the other a little more detailed.

“So, if you’re looking for an easy way to explain exactly what you’re doing to make your network run smoothly, or are just in need of an overview of how the NetEqualizer works, take a look.”

To view the video: NetEqualizer Superhero Video

New Asymmetric Shaping Option Augments NetEqualizer-Lite

We currently have a new release in beta testing that allows for equalizing on an asymmetric link. As is the case with all of our equalizing products, this release will allow users to more efficiently utilize their bandwidth, thus optimizing network performance. This will be especially ideal for users of our recently released NetEqualizer-Lite.

Many wireless access points have a limit on the total amount of bandwidth they can transmit in both directions. This is because only one direction can be talking at a time. Unlike wired networks, where a 10-meg link typically means you can have 10 megs UP and 10 megs going the other direction simultaneously, in  a wireless network you can only have 10 megabits total at any one time.  So, if you had 7 megabits coming in, you could only have 3 megabits going out. These limits are a hard saturation point.

In the past, it was necessary to create separate settings for both the up and down stream. With the new NetEqualizer release, you can simply tell the NetEqualizer that you have an asymmetric 10-megabit link, and congestion control will automatically kick in for both streams,  alleviating bottlenecks more efficiently and keeping your network running smoothly.

For more information on APconnections’ equalizing technology, click here.

NetEqualizer Bandwidth Controller POE unit a hit with customers

Editors Note:  Just pulled this post off of DSL reports.

NetEqualizer POE units list at $1499 and serve as a great QOS devise for the SOHO small business user.

We’ve ordered 4 of these and deployed 2 so far. They work exactly like the 1U rackmount NE2000 that we have in our NOC, only the form factor is much smaller (about 6x6x1) and they use POE or a DC power supply. I amp clamped one of the units, and it draws about 7 watts.

We have a number of remote APs where we don’t have the physical space and/or power sources (i.e., solar powered) to accommodate the full size Netequalizer. Also, because of our network topology, it makes sense to have these units close to the AP and not at our border. These units are the perfect solution for these locations.

Our service area is mostly in a forest, so have a number of Trango 900 Mhz APs. These units can cut through the trees well, but they only have about 2.5 Mbps available on them (they’re rated at 3 Mbps, but we’ve tested their actual throughput at 2.5 Mbps). We have our customers set for 768k, so it doesn’t take too many Youtube and Netflix streams to kill the performance on these APs. We were using Mikrotiks to throttle the customers (using bursting to give them about 10 minutes @768k, then throttling them to around 300k). While this helped to keep the bandwidth hogs from individually killing the performance, it sometimes made matters worse.

For example, if a customer started downloading some 2 GB file at 10:00pm, it would take them until 1:00pm the next day to finish. As such, they would have disrupted services in the morning and early afternoon. If we had given this customer their full 768k, they would have finished this download before 4:00am and would never have been a disruption.

With the Mikrotik solution, we also had too many times that there was less than 768k available for the next customer, because there were a number of customers locked at 300k tying up much of the bandwidth. So, the customer that was hitting the casual web page was seeing poor performance (as were the hogs). In general, I wasn’t happy with the service we were delivering.

The Netequalizer has resulted in dramatically improved service to our customers. Most of the time, our customers are seeing their full bandwidth. The only time they don’t see it now is when they’re downloading big files. And, when they don’t see full performance, its only for the brief period that the AP is approaching saturation. The available bandwidth is re-evaulated every 2 seconds, so the throttling periods are often brief.

Bottom line to this is that we can deliver significantly more data through the same AP. The customers hitting web pages, checking e-mail, etc. virtually always see full bandwidth, and the hogs don’t impact these customers. Even the hogs see better performance (although that wasn’t one of my priorities).

I didn’t tell any customers that I was deploying the Netequalizers. Without solicitation, I’ve had a number of them comment that the service seems faster lately. It sure is fun to hear unsolicited compliments…

The only tweak of significance I made to the default setup was to change the MOVING_AVG from 8 to 29 (it can be set higher, but you can’t do it in the web interface). This makes it so that the Netequalizer considers someone to be a hog when their average data rate over the last 29 seconds is greater than HOGMIN (which we’ve left at 12,000 – 96 kbps). Given that our customers are set for 768k, this means that they can burst at full rate for a little under 4 seconds before they are considered a hog (approximately 350 KiloBytes of data). The default setting of 8 would allow approximately 1 second at full bandwidth (a little under 100K). By making this change, almost all web pages would never be subject to throttling. It also makes it so that most bandwidth test servers will not see any throttling. The change makes us more at risk that we can peak out the AP (since less customers may be subject to throttling), but we’ve seen that the throttling usually kicks in long before we see that problem.

The only feature I’d like to see in these units is to have a “half duplex” mode. The Netequalizers have separate upload and download pools. This works fine for most ISPs using typical full duplex circuits. However, most hardware that WISPs use are half duplex. So, our Trangos have 2.5 Mbps available TOTAL of upload and download. In order to have the Netequalizer throttle well, I configured it so that the Trangos had 1.9 Mbps down and .6 Mbps up. I would prefer to have a single 2.5 Mbps pool that throttles only when download + upload approaches 2.5 Mbps. If we had this feature, we could move even more data through the Trangos

Related Article

Hotel Property Managers Should Consider Generic Bandwidth Control Solutions

Editors Note: The following article caught my attention this morning. The hotel industry is now seriously starting to understand that they need some form of bandwidth control.   However, many hotel solutions for bandwidth control are custom marketed, which perhaps puts their economy-of-scale at a competitive disadvantage. Yet, the NetEqualizer bandwidth controller, as well as our competitors, cross many market verticals, offering hotels an effective solution without the niche-market costs. For example, in addition to the numerous other industries in which the NetEqualizer is being used, some of our hotel customers include: The Holiday Inn Capital Hill, a prominent Washington DC hotel; The Portola Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Monterrey, California; and the Hotel St. Regis in New York City.

For more information about the NetEqualizer, or to check out our live demo, visit

Heavy Users Tax Hotel Systems:Hoteliers and IT Staff Must Adapt to a New Reality of Extreme Bandwidth Demands

By Stephanie Overby, Special to Hotels — Hotels, 3/1/2009

The tweens taking up the seventh floor are instant-messaging while listening to Internet radio and downloading a pirated version of “Twilight” to watch later. The 200-person meeting in the ballroom has a full interactive multimedia presentation going for the next hour. And you do not want to know what the businessman in room 1208 is streaming on BitTorrent, but it is probably not a productivity booster.

To keep reading, click here.

QoS on the Internet — Can Class of Service Be Guaranteed?

Most quality of service (QoS) schemes today are implemented to give priority to voice or video data running in common over a data circuit. The trick used to ensure that certain types of data receive priority over others makes use of a type of service (TOS) bit. Simply put, this is just a special flag inside of an Internet packet that can be a 1 or a 0, with a 1 implying priority while a 0 implies normal treatment.

In order for the TOS bit scheme to work correctly, all routers along a path need to be aware of it. In a self-contained corporate network, an organization usually controls all routers along the data path and makes sure that this recognition occurs. For example, a multinational organization with a VoIP system most likely purchases dedicated links through a global provider like ATT. In this scenario, the company can configure all of their routers to give priority to QoS tagged traffic, and this will prevent something like a print server file from degrading an interoffice VoIP call.

However, this can be a very expensive process and may not be available to smaller businesses and organizations that do not have their own dedicated links. In any place where many customers share an Internet link which is not the nailed up point-to-point that you’d find within a corporate network, there is contention for resources. In these cases, guaranteeing class of service is more difficult. So, this begs the question, “How can you set a QoS bit and prioritize traffic on such a link?”

In general, the answer is that you can’t.

The reason is quite simple. Your provider to the Internet cloud — Time Warner, Comcast, Qwest, etc. — most likely does not look at or support TOS bits. You can set them if you want, but they will probably be ignored. There are exceptions to this rule, however, but your voice traffic traveling over the Internet cloud will in all likelihood get the same treatment as all other traffic.

The good news is that most providers have plenty of bandwidth on their backbones and your third party voice service such as Skype will be fine. I personally use a PBX in the sky called Aptela from my home office. It works fine until my son starts watching YouTube videos and then all of a sudden my calls get choppy.

The bottle neck for this type of outage is not your provider’s backbone, but rather the limited link coming into your office or your home. The easiest way to ensure that your Skype call does not crash is to self-regulate the use of other bandwidth intensive Internet services.

Considering all of this, NetEqualizer customers often ask, “How does the NetEqualizer/AirEqualizer do priority QOS?”

It is a very unique technology, but the answer is also very simple. First, you need to clear your head about the way QoS is typically done in the Cisco™ model using bit tagging and such.

In its default mode, the NetEqualizer/AirEqualizer treats all of your standard traffic as one big pool. When your network is busy, it constantly readjusts bandwidth allocation for users automatically. It does this by temporarily limiting the amount of bandwidth a large download (such as that often found with p2p file sharing) might be using in order to ensure greater response times for e-mail, chat, Web browsing, VoIP, and other everyday online activities.

So, essentially, the NetEqualizer/AirEqualizer is already providing one level of QoS in the default setup. However, users have the option of giving certain applications priority over others.

For example, when you tell the NetEqualizer/AirEqualizer to give specific priority to your video server, it automatically squeezes all the other users into a smaller pool and leaves the video server traffic alone. In essence, this reserves bandwidth for the video server at a higher priority than all of the generic users. When the video stream is not active, the generic data users are allowed to utilize more bandwidth, including that which had been preserved for video. Once the settings are in place, all of this is done automatically and in real time. The same could be done with VoIP and other priority applications.

In most cases, the only users that even realize this process is taking place are those who are running the non-prioritized applications that have typically slowed your network. For everyone else, it’s business as usual. So, as mentioned, QoS over the NetEqualizer/AirEqualizer is ultimately a very simple process, but also very effective. And, it’s all done without controversial bit tagging and deep packet inspection!

Tired of Being Asked Why the Internet Is So Slow?

We recently received this update from NetEqualizer user Chris Gilles of the Heartwood Institute. We’ve posted it with his permission…

“I’ve had my neteq in about 2 weeks now. It’s running great!. I really never want to hear, ‘Why is the internet so slow?’ ever again. I used to hear it at least 20 times a day. Now, I hear it never. Thanks guys. Of course, I only hear, ‘Wow, the internet is so fast’ about twice a day, but it will do. Still, after months of being harassed, it’s nice not to have that ‘stress’ of hearing it all day.”

Telecom Industry Divided on Whether the Internet Will ‘Break’

LAS VEGAS/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — NXTcomm08 — Telecommunications professionals are split down the middle on whether increasing bandwidth demands are likely to break the Internet, according to a new survey released today. The survey showed half of respondents saying bandwidth demands will eventually break the Internet, with the other half saying they won’t. Of the fifty-one percent who see trouble ahead, one out of four think it could happen within two years.

The industry is also increasingly green about energy costs. Sixty-nine percent think energy efficiency is more important than circuit costs when constructing a network.

Tellabs and research firm IDC conducted the survey of 372 telecom industry professionals, which tracked respondents’ views on Internet use, the challenges providers face, and how those challenges will affect tomorrow’s networks. Broadband is integral to the way users work and play and is a vital part of everyday life.

“The findings of this survey make it very plain that bandwidth is not infinite,” said Lee Doyle, Group Vice President and General Manager, Network Infrastructure and Security Products and Services, IDC. “Unless there is sufficient investment into new infrastructure, the increased bandwidth demands of new advanced services could well outstrip capacity.”

The survey reveals that telecommunications professionals:

  • Are concerned the Internet will “break” – 51% are concerned that increasing bandwidth demands will “break” the Internet
  • Think power efficiency “laps” circuit costs – 69% say that in a network environment, energy consumption is more important than circuit costs
  • Think providers will do what’s necessary to clear lanes – Of the 80% who identified a way to deal with Internet congestion, 32% think providers address spikes in traffic by prioritizing via packet inspection, while 24% believe that spikes are better handled by charging more for excess bandwidth;
  • See video as a road hog – 43% believe that up to 30% of overall Internet traffic is video today, and 40% expect that to increase to up to 75% in five years
  • Believe Europe drives demand for mobile broadband – 80% expect that over the next two years, operators will face greater demand for mobile broadband services in Europe than North America;
  • Predict mobile TV use is in the fast lane – 50% say that video puts the biggest bandwidth demand on mobile networks today and 81% say that will still be true in five years.

“Internet access has become essential for millions of Americans and the appetite for bandwidth is putting pressure on service provider networks,” said Dan Kelly, executive vice president of global products for Tellabs. “Tellabs solutions enable providers to offer multiple levels of broadband offerings, based on the quality of service and the price that is right for their customers.

Tellabs polled industry professionals at NXTcomm08, the premier industry venue co-owned by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the United States Telecom Association (US Telecom). Tellabs conducted the survey on June 17.

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