NetEqualizer News: February 2015


February 2015

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we introduce an exciting new DDoS protection feature for NetEqualizer, share the results of our recent Holiday Giving Campaign, and preview our NetEqualizer 2015 Tech Seminar. 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

Over the period of one week, we were contacted several times from customers asking us if the artNetEqualizer could do something to alleviate an ongoing Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. It turns out we do have some technology in our arsenal for this event, but it was only art photo for NL available in our NetGladiator product. Purchasing a full blown NetGladiator for a random attack is often not within the scope or budget for many of our customers. So, what if we could move this utility into our standard NetEqualizer base? We could then blanket a wide swath of our customers with DDoS protection as well as enhance the value of their NetEqualizer, and so that is what we have done. Read more about this exciting new offering 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!

Are You Under Attack? NetEqualizer Can Help!

Software Update 8.2 is now available as a limited beta release and includes our new Distributed Denial of Service (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.

The DDoS Monitor, which comes standard, 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. See our detailed blog article on the subject for how this technology works. Here is a screenshot of the DDoS Monitor dashboard:

ddos

If you decide you need something more proactive to mitigate a DDoS attack, we have a solution for you! For a one time charge of $3,500, which includes one hour of training and consulting, we install our DDoS Firewall (DFW) feature, which can be configured to block standard DDoS attacks.

Also included in Software Release 8.2 is IPv6 Equalizing. We have updated our shaping algorithms to account for both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic. This enables us to provide QoS across a dual stack so that congestion is eased across all of your traffic.

Our recent efforts to include DDoS mitigation functionality and enhanced IPv6 tools were accelerated due to the fact that our customers were facing immediate impacts. We have not forgotten our promise to release RTR enhancements, which are still scheduled for release in the late spring/early summer of 2015.

You can read more about software update 8.2 here. We anticipate that the 8.2 release will be generally available in the March/April 2015 timeframe.

For questions about our DDoS offering, IPv6 shaping enhancements, or anything else, contact us anytime:

sales@apconnections.net
-or-
303-997-1300


Holiday Giving Campaign Results

Thanks to you, our year-end Holiday Giving Campaign was a success! We were able to give sizable monetary donations to three worthy charities in early 2015.

This is really what the holidays are all about, and we thank you for helping us to support these worthy causes:

1) Toys for Tots: The mission for Toys for Tots is to collect new, unwrapped toys during
October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

tft

2) The Hunger Project: The Hunger Project is a global, non-profit, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger.

29DRt83

3) Doctors Without Borders: Doctors Without Borders works in nearly 70 countries providing medical aid to those most in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation.

logo


NetEqualizer 2015 Tech Seminars

Are you interested in enhanced on-site training, as well as helping to influence the direction of our next major software release?

We have found over the years that our on-site Tech Seminars become great vehicles for customers to dig deep and derive extra value from their installed NetEqualizer(s).

For example, we have hunted down P2P users during these events, as well as validated security tools and enhanced shaping techniques. It is also a great opportunity for our engineering team to gain insight into the latest needs of our customer base.NetEqualizer Seminars

The obligation of the host is to simply provide a conference room for demo and discussion, and also to allow some live analysis of their network. This is not a sales presentation. If you are interested in hosting, let us know!

This year, we would love to have the opportunity to present in Western Europe if anyone in that part of the world is interested!

Contact us at:

sales@apconnections.net
-or-
303-997-1300


Best Of The Blog

Fourteen Tips to Make Your ISP/WISP More Profitable

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

As the demand for Internet access continues to grow around the world, opportunities for service providers are emerging in markets far and wide. Yet, simply offering Internet service, even in untapped areas, does not guarantee long-term success. Just as quickly as your customer-base grows, the challenges facing ISPs and WISPs begin to emerge.

From competition to unhappy customers, the business venture that once seemed certain to succeed can quickly test the will of even the most battle-hardened and tech savvy business owners. However, there are ways to make the road to profitability a little smoother…

Photo Of The Month
drone
Aerial Photography from Remote Control Drone
Small remote control drones with cameras are becoming very popular in the United States. This particular shot was taken by a member of our staff in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. It is looking south toward Cape Canaveral.

NetEqualizer News: January 2015


January 2015

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we highlight leasing a NetEqualizer with NO contract, discuss our new IPv6 shaping process, share a recent case study, and preview our 2015 price adjustments. 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

As we kick off 2015, I am knee-deep once again in architecting solutions, which many of you know is what I love to do most! It feels good to start 2015 following my passion – I hope you are committing or re-committing to spend time doing those things that you love most. art

Speaking of architecture, this month I share with you the upcoming IPv6 Release (8.1v6) design. I also am excited to include our latest Case Study; we have captured Lutheran Health Network’s experience with the NetEqualizer. This large-scale NetEqualizer implementation is a great read, particularly for customers with multiple sites using varying bandwidths. And finally, we give you a preview of 2015 pricing. Some good news here – we have reduced prices on two license levels!

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!

The Joy of Leasing

In 2015, we are continuing our popular no-contract, monthly Leasing Program.

This program works best for several types of customers:leasing

1) Customers who need to align monthly expenditures with a monthly revenue stream.

2) Customers with limited budgets that need to reduce their upfront costs.

3) Customers who would like user-based pricing.

Why is leasing a NetEqualizer joyful? We think that our leasing program is superior to what you would find through a typical 3rd party lessor. We keep the process simple, and make it easy for you to participate. In fact, we started this program because we were tired of the long drawn-out process full of tons of paperwork, signatures, and waiting, while trying to work with lessors on behalf of our customers. We decided that we could do this better, and we think we have!

We have found this model popular, as customers can immediately get the benefits of a full-featured NetEqualizer without committing to a large upfront expenditure. And, there is no long-term commitment; if your needs change in the future, you can exit or modify your Lease Program as needed.

This model works well for businesses that would like to align their shaping costs with the number of users they have on their network, rather than the size of their network pipe. In smaller businesses, this enables customers to better align their costs with their actual potential revenue stream rather than their network size.

In the past several years, we have seen Schools, Business Centers and Internet Service Providers participate in our Monthly Leasing Program.

If this sounds of interest to you, call us to discuss or check out our Leasing Program to see if it meets your needs!

sales@apconnections.net
-or-
303-997-1300

Please note that the NetEqualizer Leasing Program is currently only available to customers in the United States and Canada.


Architecting the IPv6 Release (8.1v6)

We have word from a few customers running dual stacks that they do have enough IPv6 traffic that it needs to be addressed in the NetEqualizer shaper, especially during peak traffic times.

Now that IPv6 is becoming a reality in many networks, I am focusing my efforts on architecting our solution, which I share here:

We realized early on in our design choices that a customer running a dual stack may have two addressing schemes, but they still have one bandwidth link to shape as a whole. In other words, all the shaping decisions will be based on the total bandwidth across both sets of addresses, and not a separate decision for IPv6 and IPv4.

With that decision, the easiest way to accomplish this for reporting and shaping was to trick the IPv6 traffic into an IPv4 format, which is what we are going to do.

We examined real IPv6 traffic on a live network, and as expected the upper bytes in the address rarely, if ever, change. So by taking the lower 24 bits of the IPv6 address and mapping that into a locally unique IPv4 address, we can show and shape all the traffic in one table.

We will have Beta versions of 8.1v6 ready to run in late February. At that time we will also have examples and documentation on how to track and shape your IPv6 traffic on the NetEqualizer.

Stay tuned here to learn more about our IPv6 Release this Spring! And if you have any thoughts or input on IPv6 that you would like to share, shoot me an email at art@apconnections.net.


Case Study: Lutheran Health Networkcasestudy

Recently we received feedback from Lutheran Health Network (LHN) on how their NetEqualizer’s have helped to optimize their network infrastructure. It was so much great information that we captured it as a Case Study to share with you.

Jason Whiteaker, a Senior Network Engineer at LHN, describes their environment, what challenges they faced, solutions considered, and the great results they have had with the NetEqualizer in place. Read the full Case Study here to see how the NetEqualizer has been a technical and political “win-win” for the network team.

This Case Study demonstrates how the NetEqualizer works well in hub and spoke environments. To read more about how effective the NetEqualizer is at hub and spoke shaping, check out our blog article on the subject.


2015 NetEqualizer Pricing Preview

As promised in last month’s newsletter, all newsletter readers can now get an advance peek of our 2015 NetEqualizer Pricing! For a limited time, you can now preview of our 2015 Pricing here without registration. You can also view the Data Sheets for each model once in the 2015 Price List.

Our 2015 Pricing will be effective February 1st, 2015.

Key changes for 2015:

– Due to popular demand, we are adding two license levels to the NE3000 series: 500Mbps and 750 Mbps.
– Exciting news for folks looking at 100 or 150Mbps licenses. We have reduced prices on the 100Mbps and 150Mbps license levels, to better align our pricing model.
– And finally, as we are seeing more customers moving to higher bandwidth levels, we have decided to no longer offer the 10Mbps license in 2015.

If you are interested in user-based pricing, we are continuing to offer our Monthly Lease Program in 2015. You can read more about that in The Joy of Leasing in this month’s newsletter.

We will be using 2014 pricing through January, and all current quotes using the pricing will be honored for 90 days from the date the quote was originally given. However, if you have an outstanding quote on a 100 or 150Mbps unit, we will be happy to update it for you to use the new lower pricing.

We also continue to offer license upgrades on our newer NE2000’s. Remember that if you have a NE2000 purchased on or after August 2011, it is eligible for license upgrades and support. If you have an older NE2000, please contact us to discuss a trade-in.

If you have questions on pricing, feel free to contact us at:

sales@apconnections.net
-or-
303-997-1300


Best Of The Blog

How Does Your ISP Actually Enforce Your Internet Speed?

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

Have you ever wondered how your ISP manages to control the speed of your connection? If so, you might find the following article enlightening. Below, we’ll discuss the various trade-offs used to control and break out bandwidth rate limits and the associated side effects of using those techniques…

Photo Of The Month
bird
Roseate Spoonbill from Merritt Island National Seashore
The best thing NASA did besides going to the moon was preserving miles and miles of shoreline on the east coast of Florida near Cape Canaveral. The Merritt Island bird loop is better than the wild animal safari you can take over at Disneyland, alligators and exotic birds like you have never seen before.

NetEqualizer News: October 2011


NetEqualizer News

October 2011

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we present a video demonstration detailing how active connections behave on a live network. The video utilizes a real-time reporting tool that you can leverage with your own NetEqualizer data! We also preview some new features coming this fall (IPv6 Visibility and ToS Priority), announce our FlyAway Contest winner, and discuss P2P blocking! As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

Our Website     Contact Us      NetEqualizer Demo      Price List      Join Our Mailing List

In This Issue:

:: Demo: How Active Connections Behave in Real Time

:: And The Fly Away Contest Winner Is…

:: Update on New Features Coming This Fall

:: Best Of The Blog

Demo: How Active Connections Behave in Real Time

We often get asked about active connections and how they are handled by the NetEqualizer. The answer to this question is fundamental to how equalizing and behavior-based bandwidth shaping works.

In early August, we posted an article on our blog that discussed how you could generate real-time reports using Excel and your NetEqualizer data. The video linked to below references that project, and uses it to demonstrate how active connections behave in real-time on a live network.

There are some interesting observations you can take away from this video, even if you don’t implement the reporting tool on your own device. You will come away from it with a better understanding of how users are connected through your network, and what types of connections are occurring every second.

Click the image below to view the video.  Note: real-time reports using Excel functionality has been replaced by Dynamic Real-Time Reporting in software update 7.1:

Some key points from the video are:

  • For every user, there are many connections occurring that most people are probably not aware of. The OS might be checking for updates, A/V could be checking for new signatures, an email program is reloading its inbox, etc.
  • Most connections have a very short life, and they are also mostly very small. 90% of connections will only utilize 10 to 1000 bytes/second.
  • Flows change dynamically. Even for a single user, 2 to 20 connections (or more) can exist at any moment in time.
  • Contention can occur quickly. Because of the variability in connections (especially with a broad user base), network contention can occur quickly. If large downloads are part of the active connections, this contention happens even faster.
  • The NetEqualizer instantly responds to this problem by taking a Robin Hood approach to the hogging connections. It shaves off bandwidth from the large connections and gives that much-needed resource to the thousands of other connections that require it.

View the blog article referenced in the video above here:
Dynamic Reporting With The NetEqualizer.

And The FlyAway Contest Winner Is…

frontier airlinesEvery few months, we have a drawing to give away two roundtrip 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.
And the winner is…Mohammed O. Ibrahim of Zanzibar Connections.  Congratulations, Mohammed!
Please contact us within 30 days (by November 10th, 2011) at: email
admin -or- 303-997-1300 to claim your prize.

Update on New Features
Coming This Fall!

We are very excited about the new features coming in our Fall 2011 Software Update!

IPv6 Visibility

As we await the need to handle significant amounts of IPv6 traffic, NetEqualizer is already implementing solutions to meet the shift head-on. The Fall 2011 Software Update will include features that will provide enhanced visibility to IPv6 traffic.

This feature will help our customers that are experimenting with IPv6/IPv4 dual stacks, as they start to see IPv6 Internet traffic on their networks.

The enhanced IPv6 capabilities that we are implementing in the NetEqualizer this Fall include:

  • Providing you with visibility to current IPv6 connections so that you to determine if you need to start shaping IPv6 traffic.
  • Logging the IPv6 traffic so that you can obtain a historical snapshot to help in your IPv6 planning efforts.

ToS Priority

We are now seeing an influx of customers looking to provide priority bandwidth to VoIP connections on their links without all the hassle of complex router rules. NetEqualizer’s new Type of Service (ToS) Priority feature is the solution. Included in the Fall 2011 Software Update, the ToS Priority feature will automatically prioritize connections that are utilizing services like VoIPas well as a host of other types of important connections. This will provide improved quality of service (QoS) on your network.

Larger SSD Drives

We will now be shipping with larger SSD drives to customers waiting to try our NetEqualizer Caching Option (NCO).

As always, the Fall 2011 Software Update will be available at no charge to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software Subscriptions (NSS).

For more information on the NetEqualizer or the upcoming release, visit our blog or contact us at: email sales -or- toll-free U.S.(800-918-2763), worldwide (303) 997-1300 x. 103.

Best of the Blog

How Effective is P2P Blocking?
by Art Reisman – CTO – NetEqualizer

This past week, a discussion about peer-to-peer (P2P) blocking tools came up in a user group that I follow. In the course of the discussion, different IT administrators chimed in, citing their favorite tools for blocking P2P traffic.

At some point in the discussion, somebody posed the question, “How do you know your peer-to-peer tool is being effective?” For the next several hours the room went eerily silent.

The reason why this question was so intriguing to me is that for years I collaborated with various developers on creating an open-source P2P blocking tool using layer 7 technology (the Application Layer of the OSI Model). During this time period, we released several iterations of our technology as freeware. Our testing and trials showed some successes, but we also learned how fragile the technology was and we were reluctant to push it out commercially.

To keep reading, click here.

Photo Of The Month

NetEqualizer CF Card

New Design!

As of August 10th, 2011, our Compact Flash Cards are being shipped with a new label design and card case!

View our videos on YouTube

10 Things You Should Know about IPv6


I just read the WordPress article about World IPv6 Day, and many of the comments in response expressed that they only had a very basic understanding of what an IPv6 Internet address actually is. To better explain this issue, we have provided a 10-point FAQ that should help clarify in simple terms and analogies the ramifications of transitioning to IPv6.

To start, here’s an overview of some of the basics:

Why are we going to IPv6?

Every device connected to the Internet requires an IP address. The current system, put in place back in 1977, is called IPv4 and was designed for 4 billion addresses. At the time, the Internet was an experiment and there was no central planning for anything like the commercial Internet we are experiencing today. The official reason we need IPv6 is that we have run out of IPv4 addresses (more on this later).

Where does my IP address come from?

A consumer with an account through their provider gets their IP address from their ISP (such as Comcast). When your provider installed your Internet, they most likely put a little box in your house called a router. When powered up, this router sends a signal to your provider asking for an IP address. Your provider has large blocks of IP addresses that were allocated to them most likely by IANI.

If there are 4 billion IPv4 addresses, isn’t that enough for the world right now?

It should be considering the world population is about 6 billion. We can assume for now that private access to the Internet is a luxury of the economic middle class and above. Generally you need one Internet address per household and only one per business, so it would seem that perhaps 2 billion would be plenty of addresses at the moment to meet the current need.

So, if this is the case, why can’t we live with 4 billion IP addresses for now?

First of all, industrialized societies are putting (or planning to put) Internet addresses in all kinds of devices (mobile phones, refrigerators, etc.). So allocating one IP address per household or business is no longer valid. The demand has surpassed this considerably as many individuals require multiple IP addresses.

Second, the IP addresses were originally distributed by IANI like cheap wine. Blocks of IP addresses were handed out in chunks to organizations in much larger quantities than needed. In fairness, at the time, it was originally believed that every computer in a company would need its own IP addresses. However, since the advent of NAT/PAT back in the 1980s, most companies and many ISPs can easily stretch a single IP to 255 users (sharing it). That brings the actual number of users that IPv4 could potentially support to well over a trillion!

Yet, while this is true, the multiple addresses originally distributed to individual organizations haven’t been reallocated for use elsewhere. Most of the attempted media scare surrounding IPv6 is based on the fact that IANI has given out all the centrally controlled IP addresses, and the IP addresses already given out are not easily reclaimed. So, despite there being plenty of supply overall, it’s not distributed as efficiently as it could be.

Can’t we just reclaim and reuse the surplus of IPv4 addresses?

Since we just very recently ran out, there is no big motivation in place for the owners to give/sell the unused IPs back. There is currently no mechanism or established commodity market for them (yet).

Also, once allocated by IANI, IP addresses are not necessarily accounted for by anyone. Yes, there is an official owner, but they are not under any obligation to make efficient use of their allocation. Think of it like a retired farmer with a large set of historical water rights. Suppose the farmer retires and retains his water rights because there is nobody to which he can sell them back. The difference here is that water rights are very valuable. Perhaps you see where I am going with this for IPv4? Demand and need are not necessarily the same thing.

How does an IPv4-enabled user talk to an IPv6 user?

In short, they don’t. At least not directly. For now it’s done with smoke and mirrors. The dirty secret with this transition strategy is that the customer must actually have both IPv6 and IPv4 addresses at the same time. They cannot completely switch to an IPv6 address without retaining their old IPv4 address. So it is in reality a duplicate isolated Internet where you are in one or the other.

Communication is possible, though, using a dual stack. The dual-stack method is what allows an IPv6 customer to talk to IPv4 users and IPv6 users at the same time. With the dual stack, the Internet provider will match up IPv6 users to talk with IPv6 if they are both IPv6 enabled. However, IPv4 users CANNOT talk to IPv6 users, so the customer must maintain an IPv4 address otherwise they would cut themselves off from 99.99+ percent of Internet users. The dual-stack method is just maintaining two separate Internet interfaces. Without maintaining the IPv4 address at the same time, a customer would isolate themselves from huge swaths of the world until everybody had IPv6. To date, in limited tests less than .0026 percent of the traffic on the Internet has been IPv6. The rest is IPv4, and that was for a short test experiment.

Why is it so hard to transition to IPv6? Why can’t we just switch tomorrow?

To recap previous points:

1) IPv4 users, all 4 billion of them, currently cannot talk to new IPv6 users.

2) IPv6 users cannot talk to IPv4 users unless they keep their old IPv4 address and a dual stack.

3) IPv4 still works quite well, and there are IPv4 addresses available. However, although the reclamation of IPv4 addresses currently lacks some organization, it may become more econimically feasible as problems with the transition to IPv6 crop up. Only time will tell.

What would happen if we did not switch? Could we live with IPv4?

Yes, the Internet would continue to operate. However, as the pressure for new and easy to distribute IP addresses for mobile devices heats up, I think we would see IP addresses being sold like real estate.

Note:  A bigger economic gating factor to the adoption of the expanding Internet is the limitation of wireless frequency space. You can’t create any more frequencies for wireless in areas that are already saturated. IP addresses are just now coming under some pressure, and as with any fixed commodity, we will see their value rise as the holders of large blocks of IP addresses sell them off and redistribute the existing 4 billion. I suspect the set we have can last another 100 years under this type of system.

Is it possible that a segment of the Internet will split off and exclusively use IPv6?

Yes, this is a possible scenario, and there is precedent for it. Vendors, given a chance, can eliminate competition simply by having a critical mass of users willing to adopt their services. Here is the scenario: (Keep in mind that some of the following contains opinions and conjecture on IPv6, the future, and the motivation of players involved in pushing IPv6.)

With a complete worldwide conversion to IPv6 not likely in the near future,  a small number of larger ISPs and content providers turn on IPv6 and start serving IPv6 enabled customers with unique and original content not accessible to customers limited to IPv4. For example, Facebook starts a new service only available on their IPv6 network supported by AT&T. This would be similar to what was initially done with the iPad and iPhone.

It used to be that all applications on the Internet ran from a standard Web browser and were device independent. However, there is a growing subset of applications that only run on the Apple devices. Just a few years ago it was a forgone conclusion that vendors would make Web applications capable of running on any browser and any hardware device. I am not so sure this is the case anymore.

When will we lose our dependency on IPv4?

Good question. For now, most of the push for IPv6 seems to be coming from vendors using the standard fear tactic. However, as is always the case, with the development of new products and technologies, all of this could change very quickly.

$10,000 Prize for Predicting the World Switchover Date from IPv4


Although somewhat overshadowed by the major news stories developing around the world in recent weeks, those of us in the tech industry have seen no shortage of attention paid to the impending changes surrounding IPv4. Just today, I read a few articles about how the world has run out of IPv4 addresses. I also recently received a survey about our specific plans for IPv6.

Even with all of this media attention, however, there are many questions that still remain (one of which we’ve decided to use for a new contest). While we can’t answer all of them, we’d at least like to chime in about a few.

Will a switch to IPv6 really reduce the need for IPv4?

Despite its availability, no one will choose to completely convert to IPv6 until the rest of the world knows how to send and receive it. To do so would be communication suicide. Only when there is a near full conversion to IPv6 could you reliably use it to exclusively communicate. This creates a paradox of sorts: In order to remain accessible to all, you must retain your old IPv4 address.

This is easier said than done for some.

While there are certainly products and services to forward your mail when you establish an IPv6 address, what about a new company established from scratch with no pre-existing Web presence? When the owners call their ISP to obtain an address for their new website, instead of the simple exchange that may have taken place in the past, the conversation will go a little like this:

ISP: “We ran out of IPv4 addresses last week, but don’t worry, we are going to hook you up with a brand-spanking-new IPv6 address and you should be good to go.”

Business Owner: “So, how do the people that don’t speak IPv6 contact me?”

ISP:Don’t worry. We’ll handle the conversions for you, like the postal office forwards your mail when you move.”

Business Owner: “Yes, but I did not have an existing address. I am a new company.”

Therefore, new companies must not only establish an IPv6 address, but they must also somehow scrounge up an old IPv4 address to prevent being cut off from the percentage of the world that has not switched over.

The point is that even with IPv6, there will be no immediate relief on the IPv4 address space (Fortunately, viable alternatives do exist).

So, when will IPv4 be obsolete?

We have no idea exactly when, but based on the discussion above, we don’t think it will happen any time soon.

What does it mean to be completely switched over to IPv6?

This question will only be answered over time, and even then, it will be open to various interpretations. However, to better track the implementation of IPv6, and to facilitate our understanding of it, we’ve decided to establish a contest.

 

The Contest

Note: The following is a contest overview. Official contest rules and registration details will be revealed in our April newsletter (click here to register for the upcoming newsletter).

Contest Rules and Requirements

We, APconnections, makers of the NetEqualizer, will award one $10,000 USD prize as per the following criteria:

  • First, you must register for the contest and provide all required information. The registration link will be included in the April NetEqualizerNews newsletter and posted on the NetEqualizer News Blog after our newsletter goes out next month.
  • Winners will be awarded based on predicting the date of the actual adoption of IPv6 worldwide (see below).
  • If no entries are entered for the actual date, then the prize will be awarded to the next closest prediction after the date of switchover.
  • One entry per person. Duplicate registrations will disqualify an entrant.
  • Entrants must be 18 years of age or older on the date of entry.
  • If more than one contestant chooses the winning date, the $10,000 USD prize will be divided equally among winners.

APconnections will monitor and announce when the world has switched over to IPv6 based on the following criteria:

  • The winning date shall be determined by the first time/date we can actively verify that any set of 50 companies with revenue of over $5 million USD per year has changed its public-facing Internet addresses to a full 128-bit address.
  • None of the 50 qualifying companies can be using any form of an older IPv4 address for any public communications with the Internet (i.e., e-mail servers, publicly accessible Web pages administered or licensed to the company).
  • None of the 50 qualifying companies shall be using any special conversion equipment to translate between IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.
  • Internal IPv6 intranet conversions do not qualify.
  • All public addresses at qualifying companies must use an address with more than 32 bits (greater than 255.255.255.255).
  • To be valid for the contest award, IPv6 worldwide adoption criteria date must be validated and published by the APconnections engineering staff and not by any other third party. Please feel free to help us by sending the names of any companies using IPv6 for verification.

Again, the official contest rules, registration information, and deadlines will be released in our upcoming April newsletter. So, be sure to sign up.

Do We Really Need IPv6 And When?


By Art Reisman

Art Reisman CTO www.netequalizer.com

Editor’s note: Art Reisman is the CTO of APconnections. APconnections designs and manufactures the popular NetEqualizer bandwidth shaper. APconnections removed all Deep Packet Inspection technology from their NetEqualizer product over two years ago.

First off, let me admit my track record is not that stellar when it comes to predicting the timing of eminent technology changes.

In 1943, Thomas Watson, the chairman of IBM forecast a world market for “maybe only five computers.” Years before IBM launched the personal computer in 1981, Xerox had already successfully designed and used PCs internally… but decided to concentrate on the production of photocopiers. Even Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, said in 1977, “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home” (read about other predictions that missed the mark).

As a young computer scientist 1984-ish,  I would  often get questions from friends on whether they needed a personal computer. I was on the same bandwagon as Ken Olsen, telling anybody that asked — my dentist, my in-laws, random strangers in the park — that  it was absurd to think the average person would ever need a PC.

I did learn from my mistake and now simply understand that I really just suck at predicting consumer trends.

However, while the adoption of the personal computer was  a private consumer-driven phenomenon, IPv6, on the other hand, is not a consumer issue. And, my track record as an innovator of technology for business is much better. My years of guiding engineering decisions in Bell Labs, and now running my own technology company, provide a good base for understanding the headwinds facing IPv6.

Since the transition to IPv6 is not a consumer adoption issue, it has  many more parallels to the Y2K scare than the iPod. But, even then there are major differences.

Y2K had a time bomb of deadline. You could choose to ignore it,  but most IT managers could not afford to be wrong, so they were played by their vendors with expensive upgrades.

My prediction is that we will not transition to IPV6 this century, and if we attempt such a change, there will be utter chaos and mayhem to the point that we will have to revert back to IPv4.

Here’s my argument:

  1. There is no formal central control for  certification of Internet equipment. Yes, manufactures are self-proclaiming readiness, but even if  they all do a relatively good and professional job of testing — even with a 99 percent accuracy — on switchover day, the day everybody starts using IPV6 address space, the cumulative errors from traffic getting lost, delayed, or bounced from the one percent of equipment with problems will bring the Internet to its knees.  I don’t think the world will sit around for a few weeks or even months without the Internet while millions of pieces of routing equipment from thousands of manufacturers are retrofitted with upgrades.
  2. There’s no precedence. The only close precedent for changing the Internet address space would be the last time when AT&T added an extra digits to the dialing plan.  At the time they controlled everything from end to end.  They also had only one mission , and that was to complete a circuit from A to B. Internet routers, other than in the main backbone, do all kinds of auxiliary functions today such as firewalls, Web filtering, and optimization, hence further distancing themselves from any previous precedence.
  3. We have a viable workaround. Although a bit cumbersome, organizations and ISPs have been making due with a limited public address space using NetWork Address Translation for more than 10 years already. NAT can expand one Internet address into thousands.  Yes, public IP addresses for every man woman child for earth and every other planet in the Milky Way is possible with IPV6, but for the forseeable future, NAT combined with the 4 billion addresses available in IPv4 should do the trick, especially given the insurmountable difficulty with a switchover.
  4. Phased  Switchover nonsense ?  The pundits of moving to IPv6 are touting a phased switchover.  I am not sure what this accomplishes . If one set of users starts using a larger address range, for example, the Indian Government, they will still need to keep their original address range in order to communicate with the rest of the world. To realize the benefits of IPV6, the world as  whole, will need 100 percent participation. Phased switchover by  a segment of users, will only benefit vendors selling equipment.

Despite these predictions, the NetEqualier is ready for IPv6. We have already done some preliminary validation on IPv6  implementation in our NetEqualizer. In fact, we have even run on networks with IPv6 traffic without issues. While we have some work to do to make our product fully functional, we’ve already sufficiently tested enough to have confidence that if and when the IPv6 switch over happens, we will not cause any issues.

NetEqualizer News: March 2010


 
 
March 2010 NetEqualizer News

NetEqualizer News – IPv6 and the NetEqualizer and the Next NetEqualizer Release
 
Greetings!
 
Enjoy another issue of the NetEqualizer Newsletter. This month, we discuss NetEqualizer’s compatibility with IPv6 and our newest NetEqualizer release. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer or AirEqualizer news.

In this issue:

  • IPv6 And The NetEqualizer
  • Cool New NetEqualizer Tool Alert
  • What To Do About YouTube?
  • NetEqualizer Advanced Tips & Tricks 
  IPv6 And The NetEqualizer
   
A couple of weeks ago, a customer called and mentioned that they were being forced to purchase new equipment from a competitor of ours, as their equipment is not firmware upgradeable to IPv6. I am guessing that other vendor is hoping for one of those “y2k windfalls”, where they have a captive audience with no choice but to purchase expensive upgrades.
 
For those of you who currently own or are thinking of purchasing a NetEqualizer product, please do not think you will lose your investment when you go to IPv6. When you are ready for IPv6 in 2010, the NetEqualizer will be too! We are happy to inform you that we have tested our IPv6 patch and expect clear sailing for all customers to upgrade to this when the time comes.
 
All that will be required to apply this patch is that you are current on NSS (yearly software upgrade & support). If you are not sure if you are current on NSS, please email us at admin@apconnections.net with your serial number, and we will check for you.
 
We plan to release our IPv6 patch in Q2 2010. We will also roll it into a Release in Fall 2010. We will update you via this Newsletter when the IPv6 patch is available.
 
For more information on why you might care about IPv6, Wikipedia has a good reference article on the subject at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv6.
 
  ***Cool New NetEqualizer Tool Alert***
    New API planned for Release in Fall 2010 to control User Quotas and more!

In our Latest Release (4.2.x), we have removed our User Limit Utility from the NetEqualizer Main Menu Page. Please note: for those of you that depend on it, we will continue to support our User Limit/ Quota Utility that was developed 5 years ago.
 
We have done this because we have thought of a better way to offer this feature to you. Rather than us trying to guess at everything you might need, we are going to let you create Custom IP Quota Actions & Reports that work for you.
 
As a teaser to this upcoming release, we have listed proposed templates (program calls for the upcoming API) below:
 
start_capture(IP) Will begin collection data on an individual IP. Data will include bytes downloaded and bytes uploaded. After calling this routine you will be able to get instant updates of data consumed by that IP.
 
status_ip(IP) Will return a current readout of data downloaded and uploaded on the specified IP, since the issue of the start_capture command.
 
reset_ip(IP) Will reset all counters for upload and download.
 
stop_capture(IP) Will stop data counters on this IP until the next start_capture is issued.
 
time_of_capture(IP) Will return the time of the last start_capture command.
 
With this API it will now be possible for you to write your own utilities to check bandwidth usage by user and also to take action when quotas are reached. It will allow you to easily customize a user-friendly statistics page for your customers to preview, much like checking your phone minutes from a web site or mobile phone.
 
We are also considering ways to enable you to share your custom utilities with other NetEqualizer users. At a minimum, we will do something similar to what we do today with common questions & answers in our NetEqualizer Support Archive on our blog. Look for more details in upcoming issues!
 
Estimated release date for the new API will be Q3 2010. If you have feature requests for this utility, please submit them to us at sales@apconnections.net.
 
  What To Do About YouTube?
   
 
We get a lot of questions about how to handle YouTube, as this has proliferated across the world as the medium to share video. Enclosed is a link to our new blog article, which explores the business cost model behind video. We think it is an interesting read for small-to-mid size ISPs, consumers, and anyone that feels frustrated with sizing a network to accommodate video.
 
 
  NetEqualizer Advanced Tips & Tricks
   
 
This month we are publishing a compilation of NetEqualizer Tips & Tricks that was put together by a long-time NetEqualizer customer (since 2006), Mario Crespo of Adeatel S.A, a wireless Internet provider in the rural zone of Ecuador, South America. Mario graciously offered to put these into one document, using some of the best of that he found in various articles and newsletters from the NetEqualizer website and NetEqualizer blog site.
 
Mario’s hope was to help others quickly and easily find some advanced Tips & Tricks. Thanks Mario for thinking of your fellow NetEqualizer users!
 
 
If you have something to add to this compilation, please email it to us at sales@apconnections.net.
   
Contact Information
email: admin@apconnections.net
phone: 303-997-1300
web: http://www.netequalizer.com 

 
 
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Camada 7
Candela Technologies
DoubleRadius
Extensive Networks
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NetEqualizer News Blog Ever wanted to comment or ask a question about something you’ve seen in the NetEqualizer Newsletter? Now you can at the NetEqualizer News Blog. We’ve set up the blog to help us stay connected with our customers, as well as help our customers stay connected with us. We’ll include updates and news on NetEqualizer and AirEqualizer products, as well as our take on industry news. Here’s where you can find it: http://www.netequalizer.wordpress.com/.

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