NetEqualizer News: November 2015


November 2015

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we officially release the NE5000, help you out with RTR best practices, feature a live customer NetEqualizer installation and Case Study, and ask for your assistance in our 2016 planning. 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

We are awaiting our first snow here in Colorado, with our first really cold night killing off the last of the garden this past week (22F/-5C). While the garden goes to sleep, we are laying plans for next year, both in the garden and with the NetEqualizer!art

There is still time to give us feedback for 2016. If you would like to contribute to the 2016 NetEqualizer Roadmap, we welcome your ideas. Call or email us with your suggestions. And, for those of you that have already responded, THANK YOU!

This month make it official – our NE5000 powerhouse solution is ready for primetime! If you are thinking of taking your NetEqualizer solution to the next level, read more below.

twitterAnd remember we are now on Twitter! You can now follow us @NetEqualizer.

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!

NE5000: Official Release

We often get quizzical looks from customers when they see our price performance numbers. Now pushing 10 Gbps line speeds and the ability to shape 60,000 users, we have heard rumblings that some analysts don’t believe our product can perform at this price point. We just ignore them, as they are mostly in the pocket of our competitors anyway.

With a list price of $22,000 USD, our new NE5000 brings bandwidth control pricing back to Earth.

How do we do it?NE5000_data_sheet

Really, it’s just old-fashioned hard work! At the core of our NetEqualizer technology lies a team of computer scientists that spend their days optimizing the algorithms and techniques to ensure high reliability and performance.

We also go against the conventional wisdom of packet classification – that is our other advantage. Packet Classification is on the way out, and there is no ignoring it any longer.

If you have not had a chance to work with us before, we encourage you to check out our new high-end model and set up a WebEx with our technical team for a demo. Click the button below to contact us!

Here is a link to our NE5000 data sheet to get you started:

The NE5000 Data Sheet

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Real World RTR: Live at Morrisville State CollegeMorrisville Logo #3

When developing RTR and other NetEqualizer features, we are often using simulated data – real system testing occurs near the end of the cycle. During a recent Technical Refresh session with Rob Gaudreau of Morrisville State College, however, we got to see some exciting results from a live NetEqualizer that we wanted to share.

The first interesting graph is their General Traffic History:

GeneralTrafficHistory-1

This is a graph of bandwidth usage for the previous week. It’s great to see how predictable the traffic patterns are, and how useful RTR can be in seeing what occurred historically and how you can use that data to plan for the future.

The second interesting graph is their General Penalty History:

GeneralPenalty-1

This is a graph of the number of penalties that were occurring over the previous week – the same time period used to generate the General Traffic History graph. Notice how the penalty count directly correlates with the busy times.

Those penalties are the NetEqualizer hard at work, shaping the largest connections during congested hours of the day, and letting traffic through untouched during less busy times – all without IT administrator intervention.morrisville_case_study

Morrisville State College – Case Study
We enjoyed talking to Rob so much and hearing about his experience with NetEqualizer, that we decided to turn it into a full case study so that others could hear their story. Check it out, here:

Morrisville State College Case Study

Schedule your Technical Refresh Today!
Our Technical Refreshes have been a huge success! These walkthroughs have proven valuable to both new and experienced customers. We are always enhancing our technology and interfaces, so it’s easy to get to the point where features are new and unfamiliar.

If you are current on NetEqualizer Software and Support (NSS), and you are interested in a 30-minute WebEx to see the newest interfaces and learn more about RTR, click the link below!

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How Can RTR Help You? Check Out RTR Best Practices (Part 1)

RTR is great as a simple reporting tool, but it can also be much more! Below we share some helpful ways to utilize the different reports in RTR to better configure your NetEqualizer and understand your network. This is Part 1 of a two-part series – look for Part 2 next month!

1) Set up Traffic History IPs for Graphing
Use Traffic History->Manage Tracked IPs to add your internal IPs (or any other IP you care about) to the tracking system. The first step in getting the most out of RTR is telling it which IP addresses you want to track.

managetrackedips

2) Figure out your Top Users by Monitoring Real-Time Connections
Use Active Connections->View Active Connections and sort by the Wavg column to see your top bandwidth users. Use the C and DNS options below the external IP address to learn more about the connected host (C for Country Code and DNS for NS Lookup). Use the AR and T options below the internal IPs to view rules associated with the IP (AR) and its historical bandwidth usage (T).

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3) See if P2P is an Issue on your Network
Use Active Connections->View Connection Counts to see the IP addresses of users with lots of concurrent connections.

This data can help you determine any P2P users on your network and can also help you establish a baseline for implementing system-wide connection count limits.

Look for outliers and then set a limit such that almost all of your users fall below it with normal network usage. You can also copy the IP of the user with the most connections, filter the Active Connections table for that user, and then view all the different external IP addresses they are connected to.

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4) See What your Bandwidth Pools are Doing Right Now
Use the RTR Dashboard to view real-time pool data. Remember, all traffic falls under “Pool 0,” so even if you don’t use pools in your network, you can use this horizontal bar graph to see when your network is Equalizing (when it passes the red line).

realtimepool

If you are current on NetEqualizer Software and Support (NSS), and have a question about RTR or would like a walk through, click the button below!

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Help Us Set The 2016 NetEqualizer Roadmap

We have finalized our Winter Release (8.4), but there is still time to influence our 2016 Roadmap. We will start planning our Fall Release soon, and we would love to add your ideas to the release.

If you have a great idea for us, please let us know!

No idea is too “out there” – we want to solve your crunchiest, toughest networking issues. Click on the button below to email us your idea.

If you have already responded, rest assured that we have collected your feedback and added it to our Feature Request List.


Best Of The Blog

A Cure for Electronic Theft?

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

What if we created a new electronic currency, a-la Bitcoin, with a twist. Let’s start by taking an idea from the Federal Government, and put a watermark on our personal funds – something unique that signifies who legally possesses the currency. Cattle ranchers do this with a brand so nobody steals their cattle. This has worked pretty well for a few hundred years, right?

With our new personal watermark, suppose somebody breaks into our bank, and wires all your money to some idiot in Russia. In today’s world, the only way to find that money is to follow the trail, and that takes a huge effort from a banking forensics person, working with International governments. The money may travel so fast it may not be possible to recover. Now, suppose the funds had an electronic tag that could not be altered by a criminal. For example currency in your possession has a public private encryption key, and only you can authorize a change in possession…

Photo Of The Month
picture
Where was this picture taken?
Tell us and you could win a $25 gift card.
This picture was taken by a staff member during a recent college customer site visit at a cathedral. The first four people to email sales@apconnections.net with the name of the college where this cathedral is located get a $25 gift card!

NetEqualizer News: October 2015


October 2015

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we preview more Release 8.4 features, preview our NE5000 unit, ask you to Imagine If what future features would help you, and update you on our DDoS 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

Cool temperatures, crisp weather all mean one thing – fall has arrived in the U.S.! I am enjoying the change of season, and love the cold weather. art

Speaking of temperature, this month we talk about our NE5000 – which will have extra fans to keep it cool as well as built-in failover. You can read more about the NE5000 below. We also update you on the upcoming 8.4 Release, planned to rollout this winter. We give you a chance to influence future releases, in our Imagine If section. Also, we continue to see our DDoS tools make a difference for our customers, you can read more below…

twitterAnd remember we are now on Twitter! You can now follow us @NetEqualizer.

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!

Release 8.4: Preview

We have been working hard on Release 8.4 and are excited to release the new features! Here are a couple of our favorites:

See an nslookup of a host directly below the IP address in RTR – This is a feature often requested by our customers with networks where an IP address translates to a hostname. For administrators with these networks, you’ll now be able to quickly see the hostname associated with an IP in every screen within RTR!

We’ve enhanced our messaging within RTR to help guide usage – This includes enhancements to error messages and status messages to make RTR even easier for you to use!

Look for more announcements on Release 8.4, currently planned for Dec/Jan timeframe, in upcoming newsletters.

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DDoS In The Field

One of the challenges when creating a security tool is validating that it works when it really matters.

We have heard, via anonymous sources, that many of the high-dollar solutions out there create bloated, rotting piles of information, whose only purpose is to look impressive due to their voluminous output. These tools cover everything, leaving the customer to decide what to do; which is usually nothing or some misguided task.

These non-specific tools are about as useful as a weather forecast that predicts everything all the time. Rain, snow, wind, hot, cold, for everyday of the year. If you predict everything you can’t be wrong?

On the other hand, the reports from the field coming in for our DDoS tool are:

Yes, it works.
Yes, it is simple to use.
Yes, it takes action when appropriate.

We have confirmation that our DDoS tool, combined with our shaping algorithms, has kept some very large institutions up and running while under very heavy, sophisticated DDoS attacks.

b851c0ac-7a14-4798-9fb4-65400536834b

The reason is simple:

We first look at the pattern of incoming packets in a normal situation. When the pattern reaches a watermark that is clearly beyond normal, we block those incoming circuits.

If needed, we can also take a softer approach, so the attacker is not aware we are throttling them. This is needed because in some situations outright blocking will alert the attacker you are on to them and cause the attacker to double-down.

When under DDoS attack you don’t need reports; you need immediate action. If you would like to discuss our solution in more detail feel free to contact us!

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NE5000: Almost Ready for Primetime!
& Exciting Test Lab Results

Just a few minor tweaks and presto! Our new NE5000 will be ready to go! The test lab box is humming along with 125,000 connections per second, and pushing a sustained 8.5 Gbps up and 8.5 Gbps down without a hiccup.

neteq

There is nothing else out there on the market with that kind of shaping power close to our price point. The Layer 7 and deep packet inspection technologies are just way too CPU intensive to keep up with our price/performance curve. So what has happened since we last talked about our NE5000?

1. We revamped the Fiber Cards offered with it to take advantage of multiple CPU’s handling and processing interrupts. This boosted our speed and processing to go near line speed on 10Gig without sacrificing any shaping features.
2. Even the search features in the GUI connection table are lightning quick – running a table size of 250,000 entries!
3. It still comes standard with a DUAL power supply.
4. Failover Internal Fiber ports – there is nothing external to wire.
5. And the best part is… we lowered the list price from $30,000 to $20,000!

Now, you don’t have to create a new budget to get the security of a solid bandwidth shaper at those line speeds. Contact us if you are interested in a new unit or upgrading.

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Imagine If…
What Would Help You?

As a networking tool vendor we cannot possibly figure out what is needed in the marketplace without the help of our customers! Many of our best features came directly from you!

Winter break is a time when we experiment with new exciting features and product ideas. If you get a chance, take a moment to think of that killer app that would help you, the IT administrator, with your job.

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Imagine If…

There are no rules here! Feel free to be creative! Imagine a robot that goes around and does your job. What are some of the things you would want that robot to do?

Should we adopt your idea, we would also be open to sharing licensing and revenue. Please contact us with your thoughts!

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Best Of The Blog

White Paper: A Simple Guide to Network Capacity Planning

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

Oh, how times have changed. I noticed this article from 2010 was getting some recent traffic in our blog. If you read it carefully you’ll see that our basic advice for capacity planning is still relevant. Only, I had to laugh at the specific examples and numbers we used as they are woefully out-of-date.

After many years of consulting and supporting the networking world with WAN optimization devices, we have sensed a lingering fear among Network Administrators who wonder if their capacity is within the normal range.

So the question remains:

How much bandwidth can you survive with before you impact morale or productivity?

The formal term we use to describe the number of users sharing a network link to the Internet is contention ratio. This term is defined as the size of an Internet trunk divided by the number of users. We normally think of Internet trunks in units of megabits. For example, 10 users sharing a one megabit trunk would have a 10-to-1 contention ratio. If sharing the bandwidth on the trunk equally and simultaneously, each user could sustain a constant feed of 100 kbps, which is exactly 1/10 of the overall bandwidth…

Photo Of The Month
UNH
New England, United States
The six states that make up New England (Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island) are beautiful in the fall. The temperatures get a little cooler and the leaves start to change color. This picture was taken on the campus of the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH.

NetEqualizer News: March 2015


March 2015

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we announce the NE5000 (our Next Generation NetEqualizer solution), highlight our recent 8.2 Release (DDoS Monitoring and IPv6 Shaping), preview our upcoming 8.3 Release (Expanded RTR), and update you on NetEqualizer Tech Seminars and conferences. 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 move closer to spring, I am ready for a thaw. artHere in the U.S., most of the country has been locked in snow and ice this winter. We are all ready for warm weather! As I think about warmer days, I start thinking about growing new things, and am happy to announce that as we continue to grow our capabilities, we are also building out advanced hardware platforms. This month we announce our Next Generation NetEqualizer!

We also continue to grow our next release (8.3), in which we are building out additional reporting (RTR) capabilities. Our goal is to have all of the new features released by late spring. And finally, our 8.2 DDoS Monitor, Firewall, and IPv6 equalizing release is now Generally Available.

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!

Announcing the Next Generation NetEqualizer! The NE5000 is Now Available

The next generation NetEqualizer is here!

Introducing the NE5000 – our top-of-the-line powerhouse solution for larger organizations.

neteq

The NE5000 comes standard with bi-directional 10 Gbps fiber (40 Gbps fiber optional), and it can shape bandwidth for up to 50,000 concurrent users.

There are also a few exciting additions to the NE5000 not seen in previous models.

• First, we included built-in redundancy so that the device fails open.
• Second, we included built-in power redundancy as well so that the unit will never experience sudden outages.
• And third, we included a built-in management port to make network integration and management even easier.

Take a look at our price list for pricing information, or contact us if you have questions!

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8.2 Release is Now Generally Available!

Our 8.2 Release is now generally available! This release includes two primary new features:

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Monitoring

We are hearing that many of our customers need help with the onslaught of DDoS attacks on their networks. As the NetEqualizer is implemented near the network perimeter, and has visibility to all incoming and outgoing traffic, we are able to analyze traffic behavior and report on suspected DDoS attacks. Once identified as suspected DDoS, the NetEqualizer can then be used to block further traffic as needed.

IPv6 Bandwidth Shaping

For several years we have provided visibility to IPv6 traffic flowing through the NetEqualizer, to give you a view into how much IPv6 is on your network. We now feel that IPv6 has gained enough momentum to be a noticeable percentage on our customers’ networks. Therefore, as of 8.2 we are offering equalizing for IPv6 traffic. This will ensure that your full network gets the benefit of improved QoS during peak periods, for both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic.

The 8.2 update is simple and easy to install. We recommend upgrading as soon as possible in order to be properly prepared should a DDoS attack happen to you.

You can read more about these features in our release notes here. Our User Guide has also been updated with more information about how these features work.

These features are free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support who are running version 8.0+. If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

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Update on 2015 Tech Seminars and Conferences

Throughout 2015, we’ll be using our Newsletter to update you on Tech Seminars that NetEqualizer is hosting, as well as conferences we’ll be attending. Stay tuned!

Here is what we currently have planned for the near future:

NetEqualizer Tech Seminar

We are currently exploring sites for a Tech Seminar in the UK during the summer or fall 2015. As of this newsletter, nothing is neteq seminar logo with borderfinalized. If you would like to host a tech seminar, we are also open to visiting a domestic site here in the U.S. or Canada, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.

edACCESS Conference

edACCESS provides support and networking for information technology staff at secondary schools and small colleges. Most members come from schools with under 1,000 students.edaccess

We will be joining in the edACCESS conference at Mercersburg Academy on June 24, 2015 for Vendor Day! Feel free to stop by and pick up some NetEqualizer bling!

If you have questions on either the NetEqualizer Tech Seminar or the edACCESS conference, contact us!

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8.3 Release (Expanded RTR) Arriving in Late Spring

Over the last few months we’ve continued to invest heavily in expanding our Real-Time Reporting (RTR) to make it even more robust. In late spring of this year, our 8.3 Release will be generally available.

The 8.3 Release includes many features our customers have asked for in the past to help improve their reporting experience. Here are just a few of the exciting new features:

Real-Time Pool and VLAN Dashboard

The current version of RTR has a real-time dashboard which shows current bandwidth usage. In Release 8.3, however, we’ve enhanced the dashboard to include both real-time pool and real-time VLAN bar graphs showing current usage. You can also easily see when your pools and/or VLANs are Equalizing.

Pools

Summary IP Reports

One of the most popular features in ntop, our previous reports offering, was the Summary Hosts Report, which highlighted how much bandwidth a particular IP address had used over a certain time period. In Release 8.3, we’ve added our own summary IP reports into RTR! Summary IP Reports is even better, as it will enable you to run custom database queries against all of the stored historical data to find exactly what you need. We will also include a handful of sample summary reports for common queries.

summary

Historical Penalty Graphs

In Release 8.3, you’ll be able to see how the NetEqualizer has penalized traffic over time. RTR will now include graphs for tracking how many penalties are being enforced each minute. We’ll then store the data for up to four weeks. And, just like our other graphs, you’ll be able to export the data for retention if you so choose. This has been one of our most commonly requested features, and now it’s here!

penalties

Once 8.3 reaches GA, these features will be free to customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support who are running version 8.0+ If you are not current with NSS, contact us today!

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Best Of The Blog

10 Things to Consider when Choosing a Bandwidth Shaper

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

This article is intended as an objective guide for anyone trying to narrow down their options in the bandwidth controller market. Organizations today have a plethora of product options to choose from. To further complicate your choices, not only are there specialized bandwidth controllers, you’ll also find that most Firewall and Router products today contain some form of bandwidth shaping and QoS features.

What follows is an all-encompassing list of questions that will help you to quickly organize your priorities with regards to choosing a bandwidth shaper.

1) What is the Cost of Increasing your Bandwidth?

Although this question may be a bit obvious, it must be asked. We assume that anybody in the market for a bandwidth controller also has the option of increasing their bandwidth. The costs of purchasing and operating a bandwidth controller should ultimately be compared with the cost of increasing bandwidth on your network.

2) How much Savings should you expect from your Bandwidth Controller?

A good bandwidth controller in many situations can increase your carrying capacity by up to 50 percent. However, beware, some technologies designed to optimize your network can create labor overhead in maintenance hours. Labor costs with some solutions can far exceed the cost of adding bandwidth…

Photo Of The Month
snowshoe
Snowshoeing in Snowy Colorado
The snow this year broke records all over the U.S.! February was the snowiest February on record for Colorado. This is a picture of Boulder County Open Space, which is like a park, as everyone can use it for recreation. It is shared by a farmer to graze cows in the spring & summer. Here, one of our staff takes advantage of a snowy day to snowshoe.
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