NetEqualizer News: July 2015


July 2015

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we highlight exciting 8.3 Release features, talk about our experience at edAccess’s Vendor Day, encourage you to sign up for a Tech Refresh, spotlight our Hotel & Resorts offering, and update you on the NetEqualizer DDoS monitoring and prevention tool. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

Now that summer arthas officially arrived, we are ready for the heat in Colorado. It has been unusually rainy and cloudy here in July so far, and I would like more sunshine please!

Speaking of heat, this month we turn the heat up on several of our new features in 8.3, which are spotlighted below. 8.3 has been G/A since early June, in case you missed it. We also want you to take a Summer Course, no tests involved, and update you on Art’s latest visit back to school, namely the edAccess Conference. And finally, if you need relief from the heat of potential DDoS attacks, you have come to the right place. Our DDoS Monitor and Firewall can help! Read more below.

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

Spotlight: 8.3 Release Hot New Features

8.3 has been G/A since early June, and we have been receiving a lot of positive feedback on the new RTR reports. If you have not yet requested 8.3, what are you waiting for? Click here to request an upgrade to 8.3 from our support team.

This month, we are highlighting two features available in 8.3 – Historical and Active Penalty Tracking. We also talk our activated Management Port, a feature available on all new NetEqualizers!

One of the best features in the 8.3 release is increased visibility into how your NetEqualizer is penalizing traffic. We’ve added interfaces to the 8.3 release that allow you to see both the number of penalties enforced on your network historically, as well as all of the current connections that are being penalized.

Historical Penalty Tracking

The General Penalty Reports page under the Traffic History menu shows the number of penalties enforced on your network at a given point in time. This allows you to see when connections on your network were being Equalized.

penalties

Active Penalty Tracking

The View Active Penalties page under the Active Connections menu shows which connections are currently being Equalized along with their current state (New, Increased, or Decreased). This allows you to diagnose any performance issues and also gives you a real time look at how the penalties are being enforced and who they are being enforced on.

activepenalties

Management Port Enabled by Default on all NEW NetEqualizers

We strive to make setting up the NetEqualizer as simple as possible. In this spirit, last year we moved all new NetEqualizers to a four port model, and started using colored port plugs to help our customers identify the ports. Two ports (eth0 and eth1) are used for network traffic, a 3rd port (eth2) is used as a management port, and the 4th port is a spare. We use four colors: 1) blue (WAN), 2) orange (LAN), 3) clear (Management Port) and 4) black (unused).

Prior to 8.3, only a subset of our customers used the Management Port, typically those on VLANs. As of 8.3, we standardized everything so that our NetEqualizer code automatically enables the Management Port, and ALL customers will use this to configure new NetEqualizers. While not a huge change, we think this will make setup just a little bit easier for everyone.

Please note that this feature is only available on new NetEqualizers.

You can read more about all of the features of the 8.3 Release here in the 8.3 Software Update. If you would like to upgrade to 8.3, just click on the button below to send a request to Support.

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These features are free to all customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support. If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!


We Had a Blast at edAccess!

Art recently joined the edAccess Conference in Mercersberg, PA on June 24th for Vendor Day. It was a great event and was well-attended by small schools and colleges (members come from schools with an FTE of under 1,000 students).edaccess

Art got to visit with quite a few current NetEqualizer customers, as you can see in the picture below:

SubstandardFullSizeRender

Art is on the left of the picture and is shown along with representatives from Williston Northampton School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Blair Academy, Mt. St. Mary Academy, Merceyhurst University, Peddie School, and Groton School.

Art would like to personally thank everyone for a great event…

I’d like to thank John Johnson from Williston Northampton School, Rainelle Dixon from Mercersberg Academy and the entire edAccess steering committee for being such wonderful hosts to the vendors. Mercersburg is such a lovely campus and my drive through central Pennsylvania was also relaxing and fun, I took some time on my return stopping at the various waysides, and even took in a game, featuring the Single A Crosscutters of Williamsport.

Thanks Again!

To learn more about NetEqualizer and how we help educational institutions of all sizes, click below.

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Take a Summer Course! Sign Up for a Tech Refresh

Remember those days? If you ever took a summer course, you know that the key was to keep it short, so that you could get back outside. Our NetEqualizer Technical Refresh is short! – only a 30 minute discussion with you and your fellow team members to help get caught up on new NetEqualizer functionality or answer any other questions you have.

The Tech Refresh is great for both new and longtime customers because we are constantly enhancing our product to give you the most value in managing and shaping bandwidth.

To schedule your Tech Refresh, contact us today!

contact_us_box-1

Tech Refreshes are free to all customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support. If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!


Spotlight: GX2 – NetEqualizer Hotel & Resort Industry Wi-Fi Partner

NetEqualizer’s Wi-Fi management partner for the hotel and resort industry, GX2 (formerly Global Gossip), recently attended the HITEC 2015 Conference in Austin, Texas, and brought along the NetEqualizer. According to their website, HITEC is the world’s largest hospitality conference.hmsio

Visitors to GX2’s booth and luncheon were able to review the NetEqualizer offering, and also walk away with some trade show bling (a foam NetEqualizer soccer ball!).

Here is a screenshot of the GX2 application used in the managed Wi-Fi service offering:

gx2_screen

As we have reported here in the past, GX2 utilizes the NetEqualizer as part of their Wi-Fi offering supporting our National Parks. So, if you have a summer vacation planned at Yellowstone, Mammoth, Mount Rushmore, Zion, Crater Lake, or the Grand Canyon, to name a few, chances are you are experiencing the benefits of NetEqualizer’s traffic shaping.

If you are already on our technology, you have part of the solution already in place. If you have ever wanted to learn more about a managed service Wi-Fi solution for the Hotel & Resort industry, you can read about our joint offering (HMSIO).

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NetEqualizer DDoS Tool Gaining Momentum

We keep getting reports of ongoing Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks from our customers, and are glad to hear the NetEqualizer is helping in many cases. If you are interested in chatting about using the NetEqualizer as a DDoS prevention tool please contact us to set up a time to chat.

Note: We do have a consulting charge for custom activation of firewall rules, but the initial consult is free.

The 8.3 Release includes our DDoS Monitor at no extra charge! In addition, our new DDoS Firewall tool (DFW) can be purchased as an add-on module for an additional fee.

ddos

The new DDoS Monitor shows you some basic metrics on the outside intrusion hit rate into your network. It can be used to spot anomalies which would indicate a likely DDoS attack in progress. The DDoS Firewall tools helps to actually thwart the attack.

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Best Of The Blog

Is Your Bandwidth Controller Obsolete Technology?

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

Although not free yet, bandwidth contracts have been dropping in cost faster than a bad stock during a recession. With cheaper bandwidth costs, the question often arises on whether or not an enterprise can do without their trusty bandwidth controller.

Below, we have compiled a list of factors that will determine whether or not Bandwidth Controllers stick around for a while, or go the route of the analog modem, a relic of when people received their Internet from AOL and dial up…

Photo Of The Month
IMG_2407
Cinque Terre, Italy
This picture was taken by one of our staff while walking the trail that connects the five towns of the Cinque Terre on the coast of Italy. These towns are built into the sides of the tall hills that meet the sea. The trek between each town is a manageable 2 miles and provides picturesque views of the water and surrounding forests.

NetEqualizer News: July 2014


July 2014

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we give you an old school NetEqualizer tip, discuss our Hotel and Resorts offerings, and announce our FlyAway Contest winner. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

Every summer I try to camp at least once in a National Park. Living in Boulder, Colorado, I am closest to Rocky Mountain National Park, and so that is an easy destination. Over the 4th of July holiday weekend, I spent a night camping there.art_canoe_picture

I could not really get cell or Internet service in the park boundaries. However, I understand that our friends at Global Gossip are working to pull a link up to the busy shop and restaurant on top of trail ridge road at this time. The good news is many of the other National Parks out in the west are supported by Global Gossip and a NetEqualizer system to boost service in their lodging and services area.

This month we profile Sam Beskur of Global Gossip. Over the last 3 years, Global Gossip has rolled out NetEqualizers to campsites and resorts at many U.S. National Parks, including Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, Death Valley and Mount Rushmore National Memorial and coming soon to Yosemite

Maybe next year Rocky Mountain National Park will have a NetEqualizer. Otherwise, I am in for a road trip!

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@netequalizer.com. I would love to hear from you!

Old School NetEqualizer Tip – Keeping Track of Total Usage Per Device by MAC Address

Because our 8.1 Release with the updated graphing and longer-term reporting is not quite ready for release, we won’t do another teaser on this release – we did that last month.

So in keeping with that promise, whatever you do, don’t click on these links below, because it will just make you envious of what is coming out next month…

1) General traffic through the device:

http://prntscr.com/3y0br9

2) Traffic reports for an IP address:

http://prntscr.com/40hvql

http://prntscr.com/40hvzz

So instead of showing off the report graphics for the new release (assuming you did not click any of those links), we have decided to go back in time, back to our open source days, and re-visit the days when I would release cool back door tricks for enhancing your NetEqualizer. This month we offer a script, for all our early adopters to enjoy!

Note: this script is for those who like to get their hands dirty. It is not officially supported under NSS.

For those of you that would like to keep track of total usage per visible device – you can now do that! My Total Usage by MAC address Script can be adapted to do this in your environment.Just save the script to a file, make it executable, and start it up. The script keeps track of total byte counts for all visible MAC addresses.

Once Release 8.1 reaches GA, these features will be free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support who are running version 7.5+. If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300


Spotlight: HMSIO and Sam Beskur of Global Gossip

This month we profile Sam Beskur of Global Gossip, and our joint offering, which we first introduced last summer, the Hotel Management System Integrated Offering (HMSIO).

Global Gossip has been developing network and communication solutions since 1999 and currently manages and maintains over 300 wired and wireless access networks globally. Their locations span seven countries, and include remote and bandwidth challenged sites, such as the central Australian desert! Global Gossip has offices in Denver, Colorado; Sydney, Australia; and London, England.

Sam is Director and Senior Software Engineer at Global Gossip, which basically means that he can (and does) get involved in designing network architectures and implementation efforts. In addition, Sam heads up Global Gossip’s North American Operations. Sam has been with Global Gossip for over 10 years, with stints both in Australia (their home office) and the U.S.

Sam found NetEqualizer over 3 years ago. Once Sam saw how equalizing helped to resolve congestion issues at his initial site, he spearheaded rolling out NetEqualizers as part of their network architecture for all new implementations.

It has been a whirlwind since then – the NetEqualizer is at campsites and resorts at many U.S. National Parks, including Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, Death Valley, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and (coming soon!) to Yosemite.

Global Gossip has deep experience delivering guest Internet solutions including full property management system integration to some of the leading hospitality providers worldwide. They have established a strong partnership with Xanterra in the US, rolling out full Wireless Internet solutions to more than 2000 rooms and 4000 staff in the hotels and resorts within Yellowstone National Park, Death Valley and the Grand Canyon.

Last summer we partnered with Global Gossip to roll out our Hotel Management System Integrated Offering (HMSIO), which gives our lodging customers the opportunity to benefit from Global Gossip’s expertise.

If you would like to learn more about HMSIO, contact us at:

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300


NetEqualizer Summary Guide for Hotels and Resorts

Summer is high season to take a vacation, and relax at a nice hotel or fancy resort. So, we thought it was the perfect time to update our Hotels & Resorts Guide! If you are in the hospitality industry and are considering a NetEqualizer, you may want to review our updated guide.unnamed1unnamed

This short guide is focused on issues specific to the hospitality industry and explains how the NetEqualizer is used by our hotel and resort customers to address these common issues.

This is a quick way to learn about how the NetEqualizer might apply to your environment.

And if you would like to outsource your Internet offering to a network managed services provider, you may also want to check out our Hotel Management System Integrated Offering (HMSIO), which is offered jointly with Global Gossip, profiled above in this newsletter.

If you are a current hospitality industry customer, this guide and is a great read to optimize your NetEqualizer configuration. Take a look to see if there are features that you might not be using and want to take advantage of in your NetEqualizer installation.

We would be happy to help you with your configuration. If you are current on NetEqualizer Software and Support, contact:

support@apconnections.net

to get help optimizing your NetEqualizer.


And the FlyAway Contest Winner Is…

Every few months, we have a drawing to give away two round-trip domestic airline tickets from Frontier Airlines to one lucky person who’s recently tried out our online NetEqualizer demo.

The time has come to announce this round’s winner.40

And the winner is…

Mark Parry at Wifinity!

Congratulations, Mark!

Please contact us within 30 days (by August 22, 2014) at:

admin@apconnections.net

-or-

303-997-1300

to claim your prize!


Best Of The Blog

QoS over the Internet – Is it Possible? Five Must-Know Facts

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

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
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Moose at Rocky Mountain National Park
During Art’s holiday trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, he spotted this moose running through his camp! He was able to snag a pretty good picture of these amazing animals.

NetEqualizer News: May 2013


May 2013

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we preview our upcoming integration of our Microsoft Excel Dynamic Real-Time Reporting Tool into NetEqualizer, discuss our new Hotel Management System Integration Offering, and feature a story from a happy NetEqualizer Customer. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

A message from Art…
Art Reisman, CTO – APconnections

art_smallIn May, my thoughts turn to the BolderBoulder, a large 10K running race that I compete in each year. The race has 50,000+ participants, and is split into two, a “people’s race” and  a “professionals race” (International Team Challenge). I compete first and then watch the professionals race, which is usually won by someone from Ethiopia or Kenya, as professionals fly in from all over the world for this race. By May my goal is always to train hard, so that I am at my peak performance on Memorial Day for the run. I work hard to get ready, and plan to run a personal best this year!

We love it when we hear back from you – so if you have a story you would like to share with us of how we have helped you, let us know. Email me directly at art@apconnections.net. I would love to hear from you!

New! Our Hotel Management System Integration Offering

APconnections is excited to announce our Hotel Management System Integrated Offering (HMSIO). We have partnered with Global Gossip, LLC, a leader in the lodging managed network services industry, to offer an end-to-end network managed services solution for our hotel & lodging customers.
hmsio_data_sheet
We are combining strengths to offer NetEqualizer, the best in bandwidth shaping, with Global Gossip’s world class managed network services offering. We now can offer our hotel and lodging customers a full suite of capabilities to manage your wireless network, such as authentication, 24/7/365 support, cloud-based monitoring access, and network design services.

Hotel Management System Integrated Offering has grown organically from Global Gossip’s own use of NetEqualizers in its wireless services solutions in remote places all over the world, including many U.S. National Parks.For more details, check out our HMSIO Data Sheet, or contact us at:

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

toll-free U.S. (888-287-2492),

worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103


NetEqualizer Featured Customer

Every so often, NetEqualizer News features a customer who has benefited greatly from our technology and has told us about it!

This month, we feature Gordon College, and Russ Leathe, Director of Network and Computing Services.Here is what Russ had to say about his experience with NetEqualizer:

“We had an incident over the weekend I wanted to tell you about:
gordon_collegeOne of our web servers got hit with a ‘zero-day’ malware. We noticed our bandwidth was completely pegged even though our student population was on, or leaving for Spring-Break (so our bandwidth consumption should have been trending downwards, not upwards). We maintain over 100 servers, 95% of which are in a VM environment. Needless to say, finding the exposed culprit would be like finding the proverbial “needle in a haystack”.Alas, NetEQ to the rescue.
We used NTOP to discover our ‘Top Talkers’.  The Inbound bandwidth was saturated, which was unusual and we pinpointed it to one machine. We quickly wrote a bandwidth rule for that web-server and things returned to normal.
We found the malware and inoculated the server…all within an hour’s time. Normally, this could have taken hours or a few days.

Thanks again… for creating such a great solution for Higher ED!!”

Thanks Russ!

Coming Soon: Microsoft Excel Dynamic Real-Time Reporting Integration

One of our most popular unpublished tools that we release to customers who request it is our Dynamic Real-Time Reporting tool which sends data from your NetEqualizer to Excel so that you can monitor usage from your local PC.

The next generation of this software has arrived.

Coming soon, we will be releasing our built in version of this tool so that you can get the same benefits of its reporting features right on your NetEqualizer. It will require no setup and will be completely web based.

Here is a quick screenshot preview:

micro

You’ll be able to view active connections, connections which are bandwidth hogs, IP to country translation, and more!

This tool is free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support. If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

sales@apconnections.net

-or-

toll-free U.S. (888-287-2492),

worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103


Best Of The Blog

You Heard it Here First, Our Prediction on How Video Will Evolve to Conserve Bandwidth

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

Editors Note:

I suspect somebody out there has already thought of this, but in my quick Internet search I could not find any references to this specific idea, so I am taking journalistic first claim and unofficial first rights to this idea.

The best example I think of to exemplify efficiency in video, are the old style cartoons,  such as the parody of South Park. If you ever watch South Park animation, the production quality is done deliberately cheesy – very few moving parts with fixed backgrounds. In the South Park case, the intention was obviously not to save production costs. The cheap animation is part of the comedy. That was not always the case, the evolution of this sort of stop animation cartoon was from the early days before computer animation took over the work of human artists working frame by frame. The fewer moving parts in a scene, the less work for the animator. They could re-use existing drawings of a figure and just change the orientation of the mouth in perhaps three positions to animate talking.

Modern video compression tries to take advantage of some of the inherit static data from image to image , such that, each new frame is transmitted with less information.  At best, this is a hit or miss proposition.  There are likely many frivolous moving parts in a back ground that perhaps on the small screen of hand held device are not necessary.

My prediction is we will soon see a collaboration between production of video and Internet transport providers that allows for the average small device video production to have a much smaller footprint in transit.

Some of the basics of this technique would involve…

Photo Of The Month

IMG_0456
This picture of downtown Helsinki, Finland was taken on a recent visit to a customer site by one of our staff members.
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