What NetEqualizer Users Are Saying (updated June 2009)


Editor’s Note: As NetEqualizer’s popularity has grown, more and more users have been sharing their experiences on message boards and listservs across the Internet. Just to give you an idea of what they’re saying, here a few of the reviews and discussion excerpts that have been posted online over the past several months…

Wade LeBeau — The Daily Journal Network Operations Manager

NetEqualizer is one of the most cost-effective management units on the market, and we found the unit easy to install—right out of the box. We made three setting changes to match our network using the web (browser) interface, connected the unit, and right away traffic shaping started, about 10minutes total setup time. The unit has two Ethernet ports…one port toward your user network, the other ports toward your broadband connection/server if applicable. A couple of simple clicks and you can see reporting live as it happens. In testing, we ran our unit for 30-days and saw our broadband reports stabilize and our users receiving the same slices of broadband access. With the NetEqualizer, there is no burden of extensive policies to manage….The NetEqualizer is a nice tool to add to any network of any size. Businesses can see how important the Internet is and how hungry users can be for information.

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DSL Reports, April 2009

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-evaluated 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).

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Loyola University — Chicago

At Loyola University Chicago, we are on our 2nd iteration of the NetEqualizer. We used the product happily for a number of years when we had a T3. We upgraded our internet pipe to 100MB and after about 6 months we noticed 100% saturation and students complaining of slow internet for various applications. We knew then that we needed another NetEqualizer. Once we plugged the box in it started managing the bandwidth, our pipe has not been saturated since, and more importantly the complaints have ceased.

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Alan Leech, Orlean Invest West Africa Limited, January 24, 2009

Gentlemen

We purchased 3 of your devices last year and I have to say we are very impressed by them.

They have matched our requirement perfectly and allow us to provide fair usage to our clients whilst reducing our overall OPEX.

You can be sure we will be purchasing in the future.

Alan Leech

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Illinois Wesleyan Replaces Packeteer with NetEqualizer as Part of Bandwidth Upgrade, January 19, 2009

By tshort

Network Services has completed the Network Upgrade Project.  The Internet bandwidth available to the Campus was doubled from 45MBs (DS3) to 90MBs in December.  Along with the additional bandwidth, a new bandwidth sharing device call a NetEqualizer replaced the existing Packeteer.  The NetEqualizer uses bandwidth sharing fairness rules based on network usage to share bandwidth and balance the available bandwidth between all users.  The project made a dramatic improvement to Internet access for the campus community.

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Chris Chamberlain, Oakland University in Detroit

Doug,

Because Netequalizer simply makes things fair, i.e. gives everyone on the link the same percentage of the bandwidth “pie” the netequalizer can handle any type of traffic, because it isn’t classifying anything.

Chris Chamberlain

Oakland University

>On Apr 30, 2008, at 4:42 PM, Green, Doug wrote:

>We are considering Netequalizer. They are claiming to be able to manage  encrypted BitTorrent. Can anyone verify this?

>Thank you,

>Doug Green

>Manager, Network Services & Security

>University of New Hampshire

>50 College Rd

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Charlie Prothero, CIO, Keystone College

I have written on a couple of Educause lists about our experience with the Netequalizer, which has been invariably positive.  It’s a snap to set up and doesn’t require anywhere near the tuning effort that a Packeteer does.  For general Internet circuit coverage, I’m very pleased with it.

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Ben Schworm, The Independent School Educators’ List, ISED-L

We just re-evaluated our systems after realizing that even with the Packetshaper in place, we’d need to increase the amount of bandwidth that we offer the community. First of all, the new Packetshaper hardware we’d need was going to cost $18,000. Second, over the 5 years that we’ve had the Packetshaper, we’ve seen its effectiveness decrease with the increased availability and academic usage of real-time streaming apps and the increasing amount of traffic that is classified as either pure web browsing traffic (whether it is or not) or “default”, the traffic class that catches all the other traffic that the Packetshaper can’t specifically identify. Furthermore, the Packetshaper can tend to be a pretty admin-intensive system to keep working effectively.

The NetEqualizer really only deals with end-user behavior in that it looks at the bandwidth that a given user is trying to utilize relative to what’s available and throttles “bad” users in order to try to maintain fair access to the bandwidth. It also throttles “bad” applications like P2P that open many connections to and from a given user. The box is nearly configuration and maintenance-free and costs a fraction of what the Packetshaper does.

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Ed Loebach, UVMRESNET

I was asked to tell our experience with NetEqualizer. We purchased the box about 3 weeks into first semester when our old bandwidth control server died and support was not forthcoming from the company.

We put NetEqualizer in place and fired it up with little to no problem. For the first 5-6 hours it worked as we were told it would with NO configuration. After the first day we noticed problems with students exceeding the connection limits we set. We called the company and within 24 hours we had the configuration modified to the specific needs of our network and our bandwidth was under our control again.

In the last 4 months I have not had to make any additional changes to the configuration. In fact we have not even had the need to restart the box. The NetEqualizer box has some very good algorithms to have controlled our heavy bandwidth users with not adding significant network overhead to the rest of our low bandwidth users. Our students have seen an increase in bandwidth when they need it. The gamers are happy because the latency we used to have under our old bandwidth system has disappeared.

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Douglas Hedges, EDUCAUSE Small College Constituent Group Listserv

We’ve dumped our Packeteer device about 18 mos. ago for a NetEqualizer. It has worked as advertised and has required virtually no maintenance after initial setup (which took just a few minutes as well). There are some good technical papers on their site (http://www.netequalizer.com) describing its operation and comparing it to other products. I believe they’re worth a read if you want to see if it’s a good fit for your campus. It sure was for ours.

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Russ Leathe, EDUCAUSE Security Constituent Group Listserv

Gordon College switched from Packeteer to netEQ a while ago. It works flawlessly and our daily management of bandwidth decreased significantly.

They also have a CALEA probe.

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Superdog, DSLReports.com

When you plug in the Neteq box, it doesn’t care about IP’s or what range it is on. You set the bandwidth maximum limit for whatever your pipe size is and then plug it inline between your core router and your first main switch and you are done…

…I love this unit and I can not say enough about it. With M0n0wall and Packetteer, you have to manually setup all of the rules in order for the units to be effective. After you spend a few hours getting them setup, it only takes the user/program 10 seconds to switch ports on you and that rule is then invalid and you need to go back and redo it.

This type of setup requires you to monitor your box constantly, creating even more work. The Neteq unit doesn’t need to know all of this. It just counts connections per user (A limit you set) and the amount of bandwidth each user consumes. If the bandwidth is there and no one else is using it, that person gets it. If they are running Limewire at full throttle and another user logs in and starts to surf the net?, that user gets full priority and their pages will load quickly while the Limewire download has delay added to their packets.

IMHO, using this unit is a no-brainer for any ISP. It is a hands off setup that really works.

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Josh Heller, Sr. Network Analyst — Information Technology, Kutztown University

Our University started with PacketShapers, but also made an investment in NetEqualizer when we found the PacketShaper wasn’t completely doing the job. Today we use both products.

We have been pleased with NetEqualizer  as it does what it advertises – it makes a noticeable difference in congested network.

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Nathan P. Hay, Network Engineer — Computer Services, Cedarville University

We switched from PacketShaper to NetEqualizer this summer.  NetEq is much simpler to manage and much cheaper.

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George Flowers, Flint River Tech

We currently have the NE2000, and it works great!  No other product can do what the NetEqualizer does at a great price!

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

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