NetEqualizer News: February 2016


We hope you enjoy this month’s NetEqualizer Newsletter. Highlights include discussions on Cloud Computing, the new VM release, and updates on Software Release 8.4.

February 2016
NetEqualizer-VM is Ready, QoS for your Cloud!
Greetings! Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News.

February is off to a snowy start in Colorado this year, with a major snowstorm on February 1st dumping 16+ inches of snow in Boulder! While we were snowed in, I had time to reflect and think about where bandwidth shaping is headed, and how we are well-positioned for the industry transition to Cloud Computing. In this month’s newsletter you can read how the NetEqualizer is “Cloud Ready”.0fad184f-5ea1-44c3-ad71-1093fd99f808

We are now ready with our first VM release (NetEqualizer-VM); you can read all about it below. And finally, we share more news about our 8.4 Release – Enhanced Pools & Other GUI Features.
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And 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!

– Art Reisman (CTO)

NetEqualizer-VM is Ready!
NetEqualizer-VM Release Ready for Networks <= 100 Mbps
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We are excited to announce that our VM release is now ready! If you are already running virtual machines in your data center, this may be a good fit for you.

The first release is certified for VM systems for up to 100 megabits of throughput.

Base pricing will run at $3,500 USD per year. However, for a limited time, we are running a special pre-order price of $2,500 USD per year.

Please note: The first year is due prior to delivery of the software. We offer a 30 day trial with a $500 USD non-refundable support charge.

Your VM server will need to meet a minimum specification to run the NetEqualizer shaping solution. We have detailed specifications for any VM system – contact us for details!
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Release 8.4 Update
Enhanced Pools + GUI Redesign

In previous months’ newsletters we talked about changes coming to the regular NetEqualizer GUI. Over the next couple of months, we’ll highlight those changes here.

One of the changes we are very excited about is the ability to manage Pools on the fly, and also the ability to name them! See the screenshot below:

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One of the best parts of this screen is that you can manage all Pools and all Pool Members at once. For example, see Pool 1 expanded to show the two Pool Members. You can also change the limits for the Pool, add new Pools, and delete Pools that you no longer need.

We are also enhancing the new user interface with four primary menu options:

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This will help guide first-time users through the process of using NetEqualizer, and will also help separate the functionality out into to main usage categories.

Check back next month for an update on more exciting changes planned for 8.4!

Our time frame for General Acceptance of this release is April/May of 2016.

As with all software releases, the 8.4 Release will be free to all customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support (NSS).

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Next Generation Bandwidth Control
NetEqualizer is Cloud Ready

We received a call today from one of the Largest Tier 1 providers in the world. The salesperson on the other end was lamenting about his inability to sell cloud services to his customers. His service offerings were hot, but the customers’ Internet connections were not. Until his customers resolve their congestion problems, they were in a holding pattern for new cloud services.

As a brief aside, here is a list of what a Next Generation Bandwidth Controller can do:
1. Next Generation Bandwidth Controllers must be able to mitigate traffic flows originating from the Internet such that important Cloud Applications get priority.
2. Next Generation Bandwidth Controllers must NOT rely on Layer 7 DPI technology to identify traffic (too much encryption and tunneling today for this to be viable).
3. Next Generation Bandwidth Controllers must hit a price range of $5k to $10k USD for medium to large businesses.
4. Next Generation Bandwidth Controllers must not require babysitting and adjustments from the IT staff to remain effective.
5. Next Generation Bandwidth Controller should adopt a Heuristics-based decision model (like the one used in the NetEqualizer).

As for those businesses mentioned by the sales representative, when they moved to the cloud, many of them had run into bottlenecks. The bottlenecks were due to their iOS updates and recreational “crap” killing the cloud application traffic on their shared Internet trunk.

Their original assumption was they could use the QoS on their routers to mitigate traffic. After all, that worked great when all they had between them and their remote business logic was a nailed-up MPLS network. Because it was a private corporate link, they had QoS devices on both ends of the link and no problems with recreational congestion.

Moving to the Cloud was a wake up call! Think about it, when you go to the cloud you only control one end of the link. This means that your router-based QoS is no longer effective, and incoming traffic will crush you if you do not do something different.BT_logo

The happy ending is that we were able to help our friend at BT telecom, by mitigating his customers’ bottlenecks. Contact us if you are interested in more details.

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Best Of Blog

Capacity Planning for Cloud Applications
By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

The main factors to consider when capacity planning your Internet Link for cloud applications are:

1) How much bandwidth do your cloud applications actually need?

Typical cloud applications require about 1/2 of a megabit or less. There are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part a good cloud application design does not involve large transfers of data. QuickBooks, Salesforce, Gmail, and just about any cloud-based data base will be under the 1/2 megabit guideline. The chart below really brings to light the difference between your typical, interactive Cloud Application and the types of applications that will really eat up your data link.

Photo Of The Month
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Grasshopper
This closeup of a local grasshopper was taken by a staff member while in Kansas, a state in the central United States. We hope this picture doesn’t bug you.

NetEqualizer News: January 2016


January 2016

Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we introduce our new virtual NetEqualizer offering, highlight our Tech Refreshes, preview a cool new 8.4 Release feature, and discuss our DDoS Firewall option. 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

Happy New Year! I hope your 2016 is off to a good start. Here at APconnections, we are starting 2016 off with a wonderful announcement:
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We are going Virtual! This month, we discuss how we are embracing Network Function Virtualization (NFV). Read below to learn more about this exciting offering!

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!

In 2016, We Are Going Virtual!

As most of you know, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) has become a viable choice for many networking components. We now believe it is time to consider VM for bandwidth shaping, and are excited to announce that we will offer a NetEqualizer solution (NetEqualizer-VM) that runs on a virtual machine in 2016!

Our first offering, planned for early Q2 2016, will be targeted and tested for 100 Megabit links with 1,000 or fewer customers.

Note: There will always be reliability risks of sharing a hardware platform with other applications, hence we are starting with a relatively small footprint.

Also, in some areas of the world shipping our NetEqualizer hardware is complicated by complex trade policies, and tariffs. Thus, a Virtual offer will shorten the delivery time and reduce the mechanical overhead of hardware shipment.

Right now we are still working out all the details on NetEqualizer-VM pricing and what VMs will be supported.

If you are interested in learning more or participating in the Beta when available, please contact us!

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Start The New Year With A Tech Refresh!

Our NetEqualizer Tech Refreshes are a great way to start off the new year! These short, 30 minute WebEx sessions can provide great value to you and your team and help you get the most out of your NetEqualizer. Here are just a few of the benefits:

1) Learn about new releases – we are constantly evolving and enhancing our product. Tech Refreshes can help quickly get you up-to-speed on what is new!

2) Quickly educate a new employee – our Tech Refreshes make training a new staff member on NetEqualizer a breeze!

3) Ask questions and review your configuration – use this time to make sure that your unit is optimally configured, and ask any questions you’ve been curious about with your NetEqualizer!

Schedule your Tech Refresh today by clicking the link below.

Tech Refreshes are free to all customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support (NSS).

We also offer onsite training for you and your team in full day seminars – contact us for availability and pricing.

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8.4 Release Coming Soon!
User Interface Enhancements

In last month’s newsletter, we talked about changes coming to the regular NetEqualizer GUI. Over the next couple of months, we’ll highlight some of those changes here.

One of the changes we are most excited about is the ability to edit the configuration on the fly. See a screenshot of the Configure Hard Limits Interface below:

This makes even complex configuration changes and setup quick and easy! You’ll now be able to add, edit, and remove hard limits, pools, pool members, priority hosts, and more all from one place.

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As you can see, we are also changing the look and feel to match that of RTR. Check back next month for updates on more exciting changes!

Our time frame for General Acceptance of this release is March/April of 2016.

As with all software releases, the 8.4 Release will be free to all customers with valid NetEqualizer Software and Support (NSS).

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NetEqualizer DDoS Firewall In Action873a321d-b492-4f3f-9766-1b79c2231cc7

Just a reminder that our DDoS Firewall Option (DFW) is now installed at several locations, and is making a difference by heading off incoming DDoS attacks, even as you read this!

If you suspect you are being hit with sporadic or persistent DDoS attacks, the DDoS firewall option may be well worth the $3500 installation and consulting fee.

You can read more about DDoS on our blog here.

If you have any questions or would simply like to learn more, contact us!

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Best Of The Blog

Ten Ways To Make Your Life As An Internet Provider Easier

By Art Reisman – CTO – APconnections

From ISPs and WISPs to networks in libraries, businesses, and universities, Internet use is on the rise. Yet, as the demand for Internet access continues to grow around the world, so do both the opportunities and challenges for service providers.

Just as quickly as your user-base grows, the obstacles facing providers begin to emerge.

From competition to unhappy customers, the venture that once seemed certain to succeed can quickly test the will of even the most battle-hardened and tech-savvy business owners and network administrators. However, for all types of Internet providers, there are ways to make the process smoother…

Photo Of The Month
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What is this mountain range?
Tell us and you could win a $25 gift card!
This picture was taken by a staff member during a recent trip. The first four (4) people to email sales@apconnections.net with the name of this mountain range will win a $25 gift card!
The answer for last month is: The Iowa State Court House in Des Moines, IA
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