NetEqualizer News: June 2011


NetEqualizer News

June 2011

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News! This month, we introduce our newest NetEqualizer feature — P2P locating — and look back at the highlights of our most recent Technical Seminar. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

In This Issue:
:: The NetEqualizer P2P Locator Is Now Available
:: Another Successful Tech Seminar Is In The Books…Here’s A Rundown
:: Our Next NetEqualizer Tech Seminar Is Coming Soon!
:: See You At edACCESS
:: Best Of The Blog

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

The NetEqualizer P2P Locator Is Now Available

This past week, we announced the release of our new peer-to-peer (P2P) locator technology. The release is the most recent addition to the growing capabilities of NetEqualizer 5.0 and marks another significant step in our commitment to ensuring network quality while maintaining user privacy.

Although the NetEqualizer has long been able to thwart P2P behavior without any controversial layer 7 packet inspection, this new utility can now automatically pinpoint and identify an individual P2P user or gamer without looking at any private data.The key to determining a user’s behavior is the analysis of fluctuations in their connection counts and the total number of connections. By taking snapshots of network activity over a few seconds, the utility differentiates P2P use from gaming, Web browsing and even video.

Using this information, the utility provides:

  • A list of users that are suspected of using P2P
  • A list of users that are likely hosting gaming servers
  • A confidence rating for each user (from high to low)
  • The option of tracking users by IP and MAC address

In the past, the ability to do so required the time-consuming study of network behavior. However, the new utility provides administrators the results without the additional legwork.

NetEqualizer 5.0 and the P2P locator technology are available at no charge for customers with current NetEqualizer Software Subscriptions (NSS). Additional information about the NetEqualizer and user privacy can be found in the NetEqualizer News Blog’s “NetEqualizer Offers Net Neutrality, User Privacy Compromise.”


Another Successful Tech Seminar Is In the Books…Here’s A Rundown

biola university logo

This past March, we held our most recent complimentary NetEqualizer Technical Seminar in Southern California with host Biola University. As always, the Seminar was great, and we had a wonderful time meeting with several current and future NetEqualizer users.

In addition to Biola, the Seminar was attended by NetEqualizer users such as Chapman University, The Master’s College, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, and JD Enterprises, who came all the way from Haiti.

After opening remarks from Biola University Director of IT Operations Scott Himes, APconnections co-founder and CTO Art Reisman took center stage to discuss several recent technical advances in the NetEqualizer such as the release of the new NetEqualizer Caching Option and enhancements to provide a softer license violation enforcement and an improved handling of pools.

Keeping with our Seminar’s traditional hands-on approach, Biola’s network was also analyzed live on a large projection screen with various network reports displayed and possible P2P/BitTorrent sessions identified and discussed.The hands-on demonstration was followed by a Q&A session with topics ranging from fine-tuning to network policy enforcement to IPv6 adoption and how the internals of NetEqualizer handle bandwidth accounting and connection persistence. (This included Art’s story about his shameless offer to give his ISP a NetEqualizer to improve his Internet connection so he could listen to a stream of the Broncos game uninterrupted from his rural Kansas farm.)


However, the Q&A was not just a one-way street, as we always enjoy hearing suggestions from participants and learning more about the individual issues facing network administrators. There was a relative consensus that the biggest bandwidth management challenge right now is video (YouTube, Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu, etc.). This was substantiated by a recent Morgan Stanley Research report that was cited during the meeting, as well as through users’ own experiences and observations. A number of participants shared their own video policies as well as how these policies may change going forward. Even those customers who had surplus bandwidth available either have considered or are currently contemplating bandwidth limits on users/IPs as a response.

Overall, the Biola University Seminar was another enjoyable and successful meet-up for both current and future NetEqualizer users as well as the APconnections staff. We hope to see you at our next Seminar (see our next article)!

Our Next NetEqualizer Tech Seminar Is Coming Soon!NetEq. Seminars

Plans are now in the works for our next complimentary NetEqualizer Technical Seminar. We’re currently taking suggestions for potential hosts, so if you’re interested, be sure to let us know.

The upcoming Seminar will cover:

  • The various tradeoffs regarding how to stem P2P and bandwidth abuse
  • Recommendations for curbing RIAA requests
  • Demo of the NetEqualizer network access control module
  • Lots of customer Q&A and information sharing on how clients are using the NetEqualizer, including some hands-on probing of a live system

If that wasn’t enough, we’ll be giving away great door prizes to attendees.  So, be sure not to miss this Seminar!  We’ll keep you posted as the details develop and the final location is determined. For more information, or to express interest in hosting, contact us via email to admin.

See You At edACCESS!

edAccess

edACCESS is quickly approaching!  On June 22nd, APconnections will be attending the edACCESS conference in Hightstown, New Jersey.  We hope to see many of you there!

The edACCESS conference is geared toward small schools and colleges, and was recommended to us by long-time customer Tom Phelan of The Peddie School.  The conference is unique in that it is limited to 100 attending schools, and the attendees define the topics to be discussed during the first sessions!  If you’re a small school or college and would like to attend, please register at edaccess.

Also, we’re always open to new conferences.  So, if you know of a conference that you think would be a good fit for us, please email us at sales with your recommendation.  See you in New Jersey!


Best of The Blog

The True Price Of Bandwidth Monitoring

For most IT administrators, bandwidth monitoring of some sort is an essential part of keeping track of, as well as justifying, network expenses. Without visibility into a network load, an administrator’s job would degrade into a quagmire of random guesswork. Or would it?

The traditional way of looking at monitoring your Internet has two parts: the fixed cost of the monitoring tool used to identify traffic, and the labor associated with devising a remedy. In an ironic inverse correlation, we assert that costs increase with the complexity of the monitoring tool. Obviously, the more detailed the reporting tool, the more expensive its initial price tag. The kicker comes with part two. The more expensive the tool, the more  detail it will provide, and the more time an administrator is likely to spend adjusting and mucking, looking for optimal performance.

But is it a fair to assume higher labor costs with more advanced monitoring and information?

Well, obviously it would not make sense to pay more for an advanced tool if there was no intention of doing anything with the detailed information it provides. Why have the reporting tool in the first place if the only output was to stare at reports and do nothing? Typically, the more information an admin has about a network, the more inclined he might be to spend time making adjustments.

On a similar note, an oversight often made with labor costs is the belief that when the work needed to adjust the network comes to fruition, the associated adjustments can remain statically in place. However, in reality, network traffic changes constantly, and thus the tuning so meticulously performed on Monday may be obsolete by Friday.

Does this mean that the overall productivity of using a bandwidth tool is a loss? Not at all. Bandwidth monitoring and network mucking can certainly result in a cost-effective solution.  But where is the tipping point?  When does a monitoring solution create more costs than it saves?

A review of recent history reveals that technologies with a path similar to bandwidth monitoring have become commodities and shunned the overhead of most human intervention.

To keep reading, click here.

Photo Of The Month  

Bolder Boulder

2011 Bolder Boulder

This month’s photo is a shot of the finish area in Folsom Field of the Bolder Boulder, a local 10k race drawing over 50,000 participants every Memorial Day. 

NetEqualizer News: April 2011


NetEqualizer News

April 2011  

Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News. This month, we introduce the new NetEqualizer 5.0 release, which includes YouTube caching, and announce our latest FlyAway contest winner. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.
In This Issue:
:: NetEqualizer 5.0, YouTube Caching Released
:: Predict The IPv6 Switchover Date And Win $10,000
:: Best Of The Blog
:: And The FlyAway Contest Winner Is…
 Our Website         Contact Us         NetEqualizer Demo         Price List         Join Our Mailing List

NetEqualizer 5.0, YouTube Caching Released  

This month, we’re excited to introduce our most recent NetEqualizer release. NetEqualizer 5.0 will add several new features, including the much-anticipated YouTube caching feature (NCO).

As previously discussed, we’ve developed an embedded caching capability for YouTube videos that runs directly on your NetEqualizer (NE3000 or above only). When the NCO is activated, a squid proxy server is loaded, along with proprietary NetEqualizer configuration and integration software. The NCO caches frequently used, static content, which is primarily YouTube videos. To learn more about this feature, read our YouTube FAQ.

Here’s what you can expect from the new release:

  1. NetEqualizer 3000 Caching Option (NCO)
  2. Linux Kernel Update
  3. Refreshed Graphical Reporting
  4. Enhanced Large Pool/VLAN Tuning
  5. Relaxed License Enforcement
  6. Name Your NetEqualizer!
  7. New Speed Log Tool
  8. Better Monitor Bandwidth Hogs
  9. Reduce CPU Load
  10. Enhanced Firewall

Full details of the release features can be found here.
This software update is available without charge for NetEqualizer customers with a current NetEqualizer Software Subscription (NSS). However, there is a one-time charge to activate the NetEqualizer Caching Option (NCO) module. For more information on the NCO, NSS or on the 5.0 software update, email sales.

Predict The IPv6 Switchover Date And Win $10,000

Earlier this month, we announced details of our ongoing contest to predict the worldwide switchover date to IPv6. We’re offering a $10,000-USD prize to the person (or persons) whose entry is closest to the date the switchover occurs.

This worldwide switch will be determined by the first time 50 companies with individual annual revenues of over $5 million change their public-facing Internet addresses to a full 128-bit address and completely abandon all use of IPv4. (Click here for a full list of contest rules.)

The contest is meant to spur discussion of the difficulties that will likely be faced before a full switch to IPv6 can occur. Amid the rumors and concerns surrounding the growing shortage of IPv4 addresses, little attention has been paid to how communication will be affected during the upcoming transition.

We recently addressed these issues in detail on our blog, and space has been dedicated on the site to facilitate discussion of the IPv6 transition. In addition to entering the contest, you’re invited to express your opinions about if and when the full transition will take place and what it means for your network.

Online contest registration began April 1st and will be open until June 29th, 2011.

Best Of The Blog

Confessions Of A Hacker

By Zack Sanders, NetEqualizer Guest Columnist

It’s almost three in the morning. Brian and I have been at it for almost sixteen hours. We’ve been trying to do one seemingly simple task for a while now: execute a command that lists files in a directory. Normally this would be trivial, but the circumstances are a bit different. We have just gotten into EZTrader’s blog and are trying to print a list of files in an unpublished blog post. Accomplishing this would prove that we could run any command we wanted to on the Web server, but it’s not working.

There must be something wrong with the syntax – there always is, right? We have to write the command into an ASP user control file, upload it via the attachment feature in the blog engine, and then reference it in a blog post. It’s ugly, but we are so close to piecing it all together.

I think it’s time for another cup of coffee.

EZTrader is a fictitious online stock trading company. Their front end is relatively basic, but their backend is complex. It allows users to manage their entire portfolio and has access to personal information and other types of sensitive data.

EZTrader came to us with an already strong security profile, but wanted to really put their site through the ringer by having us conduct an actual attack. They run automated scans regularly, have clean, secure code for their backend infrastructure with great SEO, and validate every request both on the client side and the server side. It really was impressive.

In the initial meeting with EZTrader, we were given a login and password for a generic user account so that we could test the authenticated portion of the site. We focused a lot of time and energy there because it is where the highest level of security is needed.

After days of trying to exploit this section of the website with no results, frustration was growing in each of us. Surely there must be some vulnerability to find, some place where they failed to properly secure the data.

Nope.

So what do you do when the front door is locked? Try a window.

To keep reading, click here.

And The FlyAway Contest Winner Is…

frontier

Every 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…Ezra Gottlieb of the Morristown-Beard School.

Congratulations, Ezra! Please contact us within 30 days by emailing admin or calling 303-997-1300 x105 to claim your prize.

Photos Of The Month

NetEqualizer2 Small Shadow

New-Look NetEqualizer 2000 and 3000

NetEqualizerSmall - Shadow

New-Look NetEqualizer 4000

This month, we’ve devoted our photo section to showing off our new look for the NetEqualizer 2000, 3000 and 4000.

                    View our videos on YouTube

NetEqualizer News: March 2011


NetEqualizer News March 2011
Enjoy another issue of NetEqualizer News. This month, we release details about our upcoming NetEqualizer Tech Seminar and introduce our new innovative load generating technology. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.
In This Issue:
:: NetEqualizer Is Coming To Southern California
:: Best Of The Blog
:: YouTube Caching Testing Leads To Load Generator Breakthrough
Join Our Mailing List!
Our WebsiteContact UsLive NetEqualizer DemoNetEqualizer Price List

NetEqualizer Is Coming To Southern California
biola university logoWill you be in Southern California this March? If so, be sure not to miss the next complimentary NetEqualizer Technical Seminar at Biola University.Join Biola University Director of IT Operations Scott Himes and APconnections CTO Art Reisman on March 22 to discuss network optimization and get a first-hand look at the NetEqualizer technology. Whether you’re an existing customer or just starting to think about bandwidth shaping, come learn more about the NetEqualizer’s capabilities, get your questions answered, and share your experiences with other users.We would love to see you in sunny Southern California! Please reserve a space by registering today.Click here for details and to register.

Best Of The Blog The Dark Side Of Net NeutralityNet neutrality, however idyllic in principle, comes with a price. The following article was written to shed some light on the big money behind the propaganda of net neutrality. It may change your views, but at the very least it will peel back one more layer of the onion that is the issue of net neutrality.First, an analogy to set the stage:I live in a neighborhood that equally shares a local community water system among 60 residential members. Nobody is metered. Through a mostly verbal agreement, all users try to keep our usage to a minimum. This requires us to be very water conscious, especially in the summer months when the main storage tanks need time to recharge overnight.

Several years ago, one property changed hands, and the new owner started raising organic vegetables using a drip irrigation system. The neighborhood precedent had always been that using water for a small lawn and garden area was an accepted practice, however, the new neighbor expanded his garden to three acres and now sells his produce at the local farmers market. Even with drip irrigation, his water consumption is likely well beyond the rest of the neighborhood combined.

You can see where I am going with this. Based on this scenario, it’s obvious that an objective observer would conclude that this neighbor should pay an additional premium – especially when you consider he is exploiting the community water for a commercial gain.

The Internet, much like our neighborhood example, was originally a group of cooperating parties (educational and government institutions) that connected their networks in an effort to easily share information. As the Internet spread away from government institutions, last-mile carriers such as cable and phone companies invested heavily in infrastructure.

To keep reading, click here.

YouTube Caching Testing Leads To Load Generator BreakthroughWe continue to have great success with the NetEqualizer YouTube caching beta units we released in January and are very close to a full release. However, to ensure the best possible results in our upcoming general release, we’re still fine-tuning some of the technology’s details.While we obviously would like to release the YouTube caching feature as soon as we can, we’ve had some significant breakthroughs in the testing process itself. In our mission to provide as efficient and effective product as possible, we’ve developed an entirely new load simulator that’s opening new doors when it comes to pre-market testing.Our existing class of load generators is very good at creating a heavy load and controlling it precisely, but in order to validate a caching system, we needed a different approach. We needed a load simulator that could simulate the variations of live Internet traffic. For example, to ensure a stable caching system, you must take the following into consideration:

  • A caching proxy must perform quite a large number of DNS look-ups
  • It must also check tags for changes in content for cached Web pages
  • It must facilitate the delivery of cached data and know when to update the cache
  • The Squid process requires a significant chunk of CPU and memory resources
  • For YouTube integration, the Squid caching server must also strip some URL tags on YouTube files on the fly

To answer this challenge, and provide the most effective caching feature, we’ve spent the past few months developing a custom load generator. Our simulation lab has a full one-gigabit connection to the Internet. It also has a set of servers that can simulate thousands of simultaneous users surfing the Internet at the same time. We can also queue up a set of YouTube users vying for live video from the cache and Internet. Lastly, we put a traditional point-to-point FTP and UDP load across the NetEqualizer using our traditional load generator.

Once our custom load generator was in place, we were able to run various scenarios that our technology might encounter in a live network setting. Our testing exposed some common, and not so common, issues with YouTube caching and we were able to correct them. This kind of analysis is not possible on a live commercial network, as experimenting and tuning requires deliberate outages. We also now have the ability to re-create a customer problem and develop actual Squid source code patches should the need arise.

For more information on the upcoming NetEqualizer YouTube caching feature, or on our load generator, contact us by emailing admin, 1-800-918-2763, or see some of our past blog articles:

Photo Of The Month

Leadville
Leadville, Colorado

Each month, we’ll post one of our favorite photos we’ve taken recently. Of course, feel free to submit photos of your own. They may just end up in our next newsletter!

NetEqualizer News: January 2011


NetEqualizer
January 2011 NetEqualizer News

YouTube Caching Feature Beta Trial; 2011 NetEqualizer Updates Released
Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of the NetEqualizer Newsletter. This month, we release details of our NetEqualizer YouTube caching feature beta trial and introduce the 2011 NetEqualizer product updates. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

In this issue:

  • NetEqualizer YouTube Caching Beta Trial Now Available!
  • NetEqualizer YouTube Caching General Release Coming Soon
  • 2011 NetEqualizer Product And Pricing Updates
  • Best Of The Blog
NetEqualizer YouTube Caching Beta Trial Now Available!
YouTube

Over the past few months, we’ve kept you updated on our upcoming NetEqualizer YouTube caching feature. We’re now excited to announce the availability of a beta testing trial.While we have sanity and load-tested our YouTube caching systems, and there is very little risk of lockup or failure, we’re offering the beta trial to obtain more real-world data from live networks. This will help us as we set expectations for our general release.

The beta trial is available to all existing NetEqualizer customers and will be offered with complementary set-up support. (A $500 fee will apply for the general release.) However, to qualify, interested trial participants must meet the following requirements:

  • Must have a current NetEqualizer Software Subscription (NSS)
  • Must have the ability to provide remote access to the NetEqualizer
  • Trial requires a memory upgrade to eight gigabits
  • Must be using a two-Ethernet port system (not three)
  • NetEqualizer must have Internet access (We assume you will handle the security and access requirements through your firewall.)
  • NetEqualizer requires a flash upgrade (no charge for beta customers)

There are only a limited number of spaces in the trial available, so be sure to let us know if you’re interested at 1-800-918-2763 or admin@apconnections.net. For more information on YouTube caching, visit our new FAQ article on the NetEqualizer News Blog.

NetEqualizer YouTube Caching General Release Coming Soon

For those of you who plan on waiting for the general release of the NetEqualizer YouTube caching feature, here are some additional details to give you a better idea of what to expect.For best results, we’re going to strongly suggest you have a NE3000-class or above NetEqualizer system. However, we will honor caching server systems on NE2000-class NetEqualizers purchased in the last three months.

A current NetEqualizer Software Subscription will also be needed to install the feature along with a one-time $500 set-up charge to cover the installation and check-up of your caching system.

YouTube caching will require a minimum of eight gigabits of memory, but systems having only four gigabits can still be used with an additional highly reliable disk drive device, which is also available to boost performance for the eight-gigabit units.

As is, eight gigabits of memory will support between 150 and 250 YouTube videos depending on their average length. It is estimated that about 10 to 20 percent of your YouTube traffic will come from the cache, which will make a significant impact in average video speed and quality as well as the reduction of overall bandwidth usage. The disk drive version is estimated to cache approximately 4,000 of the most popular YouTube videos, likely increasing hit rates for videos to nearly 50 percent.

In addition to improved video quality and access for the customer, the YouTube caching feature will offer administrators and ISPs an even more effective way to optimize their networks while respecting user privacy and net neutrality. For more information on the benefits of caching for net neutrality, click here.

To learn more about the upcoming NetEqualizer YouTube caching feature general release, contact us at 1-800-918-2763 or sales@apconnections.net.

2011 NetEqualizer Product And Pricing Updates
NetEqualizer

As we begin a new year, we’re making some minor changes to the NetEqualizer product line. To start, we’re introducing the new-look NetEqualizer console (see unit to left). Of course, the quality of our product hasn’t changed, but we thought it was time for a little updating.Also, starting this month, we’ll be offering both the NE3000-100 and NE3000-150 NetEqualizer systems. This will allow customers to even better customize the NetEqualizer to their individual needs. Furthermore, we’ll be changing the NE2000-45 NetEqualizer model to the NE2000-50.

Finally, in addition to these changes, we’re also releasing our 2011 NetEqualizer price list. The full list can be viewed here without registration for a limited time. Current quotes will not be affected by the pricing updates and will be honored for 90 days from the date the quote was originally given.

Best Of The Blog
How to Determine a Comprehensive ROI for Bandwidth Shaping Products

In the past, we’ve published several articles on our blog to help customers better understand the NetEqualizer’s potential return on investment (ROI). Obviously, we do this because we think we offer a compelling ROI proposition for most bandwidth-shaping decisions. Why? Primarily because we provide the benefits of bandwidth shaping at a a very low cost – both initially and even more so over time. (Click here for the NetEqualizer ROI calculator.)

But, we also want to provide potential customers with the questions that need to be considered before a product is purchased, regardless of whether or not the answers lead to the NetEqualizer. With that said, this article will break down these questions, addressing many issues that may not be obvious at first glance, but are nonetheless integral when determining what bandwidth shaping product is best for you.

First, let’s discuss basic ROI. As a simple example, if an investment cost $100, and if in one year that investment returned $120, the ROI is 20 percent. Simple enough. But what if your investment horizon is five years or longer? It gets a little more complicated, but suffice it to say you would perform a similar calculation for each year while adjusting these returns for time and cost.

The important point is that this technique is a well-known calculation for evaluating whether one thing is a better investment than another – be it bandwidth shaping products or real estate. Naturally and obviously the best financial decision will be determined by the greatest return for the smallest cost.

The hard part is determining what questions to ask in order to accurately determine the ROI. A missed cost or benefit here or there could dramatically alter the outcome, potentially leading to significant unforeseen losses.

For the remainder of this article, I’ll discuss many of the potential costs and returns associated with bandwidth shaping products, with some being more obscure than others. In the end, it should better prepare you to address the most important questions and issues and ultimately lead to a more accurate ROI assessment.

Let’s start by looking at the largest components of bandwidth shaping product “costs” and whether they are one-time or ongoing. We’ll then consider the returns.

Contact Information

email: admin
phone: 303-997-1300

 

Join our mailing list!

NetEqualizer News: December 2010


NetEqualizer
December 2010 NetEqualizer News

YouTube Caching Feature Launch; Flyaway Contest Winner Announced
Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of the NetEqualizer Newsletter. This month, we introduce updated details about the new NetEqualizer YouTube caching feature and announce our most recent Flyaway Contest winner. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

In this issue:

 

  • NetEqualizer YouTube Caching Release Launching January 2011
  • NetEqualizer Is Coming To Southern California!
  • Best Of The Blog
  • And The Flyaway Contest Winner Is…

 

NetEqualizer YouTube Caching Release Launching January 2011
YouTube

Since announcing the upcoming release of our NetEqualizer YouTube caching feature last month, we’ve received an overwhelming number of inquiries as to when the feature will be available. As of now, we’re still working through multiple scenarios under load in our labs to ensure a seamless release, but we’re expecting a full launch some time next month.The upcoming feature will store the top 300-500 trending YouTube videos to ensure faster and more efficient access. For best results, we’re going to suggest 4 to 16 gigabits of RAM. Almost all of this memory will be used for caching, and the bulk of that will be these YouTube videos. This should be more than enough to capture the most popular YouTube content. We are considering an option to put a large disk drive in the NetEqualizer in a future release, but we still like the stability of the smaller cache hosted in RAM for both speed and reliability.

Overall, the feature will be a major step toward making sure the most popular YouTube content is accessible and reliable even during your network’s busiest hours. (See our blog article, Enhance Your Internet Service With YouTube Caching, for more information on the benefits of video caching).

All future sales in 2010 will be eligible for the new release, so there’s no need to hold off on purchasing a NetEqualizer unit. If you need a NetEqualizer today but are waiting for the release, just let us know when you purchase and we will grandfather you in with three months of the NetEqualizer Software Subscription (NSS) to cover support for the YouTube release at no extra cost. As always, the release will be available at no charge to all current NetEqualizer users with valid NetEqualizer Software Subscriptions.

For more information, contact us at sales@apconnections.net or 1-800-918-2763.

NetEqualizer Is Coming To Southern California!
NetEq. Seminars

Plans are now in the works for our next complimentary NetEqualizer training seminar to be held in Southern California in early 2011. We’ll keep you posted as the details develop and the final date and location are determined, but in the meantime, here’s a preview of what to expect.

The upcoming seminar will cover:

  • The various tradeoffs regarding how to stem P2P and bandwidth abuse
  • Recommendations for curbing RIAA requests
  • Demo of the NetEqualizer network access control module
  • Lots of customer Q&A and information sharing on how clients are using the NetEqualizer, including some hands-on probing of a live system

If that isn’t enough, we’ll be giving away great door prizes to attendees. So, be sure not to miss this seminar! For more information, or to let us know that you’re interested in attending, contact us at admin@apconnections.net.

Best Of The Blog
By Art Reisman The 10-Gigabit Barrier for Bandwidth Controllers and Intel-Based Routers

Editor’s Note: This article was adapted from our answer to a NetEqualizer pre-sale question asked by an ISP that was concerned with its upgrade path. We realized the answer was useful in a broader sense and decided to post it here.

Any router, bandwidth controller, or firewall that is based on Intel architecture and buses will never be able to go faster than about about 7 gigabits sustained. (This includes our NE4000 bandwidth controller. While the NE4000 can actually reach speeds close to 10 gigabits, we rate our equipment for five gigabits because we don’t like quoting best-case numbers to our customers.) The limiting factor in Intel architecture is that to expand beyond 10-gigabit speeds you cannot be running with a central clock. Therefore, with a central clock controlling the show, it is practically impossible to move data around much faster than 10 gigabits.

The alternative is to use a specialized asynchronous design, which is what faster switches and hardware do.

To Keep Reading, Click Here.

And The Flyaway Contest Winner Is…
frontier

Every 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…Craig Diotte of Algoma University.

Congratulations, Craig! Please contact us within 30 days at admin@apconnections.net or 303-997-1300 to claim your prize.

NetEqualizer News: November 2010


NetEqualizer

November 2010

NetEqualizer News

Upcoming NetEqualizer Feature To Supercharge YouTube

Greetings! 

Enjoy another issue of the NetEqualizer Newsletter. This month, we introduce an upcoming NetEqualizer feature that will change the way YouTube is viewed on your network. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer News.

In this issue:

  • Supercharge YouTube With Our Upcoming NetEqualizer Feature

  • Thanks To You: Celebrate The Holidays With A New NetEqualizer

  • Best Of The Blog

  • Congratulations, David!

Supercharge YouTube With Our Upcoming NetEqualizer Feature
YouTube LogoGeneral caching is usually not something we promote because of the problems it can cause with secure pages and rapidly changing content. But, we also understand it’s inevitable that most ISPs will need to selectively cache content to stay competitive. This is especially true for certain high-traffic and bandwidth-intensive websites.

Considering this, we’re now working in our test labs to integrate a custom YouTube caching feature for the NetEqualizer. This feature will store the top 300-500 trending YouTube videos, which make up a significant portion of YouTube traffic, for faster and more efficient access.

This approach is already being taken by several major ISPs, but should prove beneficial for networks of all sizes.

For more information about how caching video can improve your network performance, click here.

If video caching (YouTube or otherwise) with the NetEqualizer is something that would be of interest to you, or if you have any questions, please let us know at admin@apconnections.net or 1-800-918-2763.

Thanks To You: Celebrate The Holidays With A New NetEqualizer
As we celebrate Thanksgiving and move into the holiday season, we at APconnections want to express our thanks to all of our customers. To start, we’re pleased to introduce a new and expanded version of our NetEqualizer lifetime trade-in policy. Customers with NetEqualizers purchased four or more years ago now qualify for a credit of 50 percent of the original unit’s purchase price (not including NSS, NHW, etc.) toward a new NetEqualizer.
This offer is an addition to our original lifetime trade-in policy guaranteeing that in the event of an un-repairable failure of a NetEqualizer unit, customers have the option to purchase a replacement unit at a 50-percent discount off of the list price. 

While this policy is unique in its own right, we’re also challenging tech-industry tradition by offering it on units purchased from authorized NetEqualizer resellers. To learn more, or to get your trade-in started, contact us at sales@apconnections.net or 1-800-918-2763.

For our official trade-in policy, visit our website.

Best Of The Blog
Product Ideas Worth Bringing To Market  

Editor’s Note:This month’s Best Of The Blog is a little out of the box, but it’s fun to think of product ideas. Feel free to add to our list (or to let us know if the products already exist) in the comments section on the blog and we’ll put your ideas in. Obviously, save the best ideas for yourself!

The following post will serve as a running list of various ideas as I think of them. I promise at least two or three a week. Since I run a technology company, I really don’t have time to see any of these ideas through to fruition.

The reason I’m sharing them is simply that I hate to let an idea go to waste. Notice that I did not say good idea. An idea cannot be judged until you make an attempt to develop it further, which I have not done in most cases.

Note: I cannot ensure exclusive rights or ownership for the development of any of these ideas.

1) A Real Unbiased Cell Phone Coverage Map We all know those spots on the interstate and parts of towns where our cell phone coverage is worthless. If you could publish an easy-to-use, widely accepted and maintained guide to these areas, it would become a very popular site.

Research Findings: From my brief search on the subject a consumer trade rag called CNET has done some work in this area but I could only find their demos and press releases. I kept getting the map of the Seattle area with no obvious way to get a broader map search.

2) Commodity Land Trading Site

Congratulations, David!
David WallaceCongratulations to David Wallace, our long-time marketing and public relations consultant. David is only a few short months away from receiving his doctorate in Communication from the University of Colorado at Boulder. 

Over the past four years, David has been a driving force behind the growth of APconnections. He’s a pioneer in guerrilla Internet marketing and research and has advanced the field in many ways that continue to astound us. We wish him the best as he transitions into a faculty position in his field. Good luck, David!

Contact Us
email: admin@apconnections.net 

phone: 303-997-1300

web: http://www.netequalizer.com

 

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APconnections Partners AiBridges  

Candela Technologies

DoubleRadius

Dynamic Broadband

ExNet

Extensive Networks

FISPA25

Grupo Imaginación

Cibernética

PacificNet Telefonía Pública y Privada S.A.

Tranzeo Wireless Technologies

Vox Solutions

ZCorum

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NetEqualizer News: October 2010


NetEqualizer
October 2010 NetEqualizer News

NetEqualizer Speed Test Utility; Flyaway Contest Winner Announced
Greetings!

Enjoy another issue of the NetEqualizer Newsletter. This month, we reveal the details about our newest NetEqualizer feature — the NetEqualizer Speed Test Utility — and announce the most recent Flyaway Contest winner. As always, feel free to pass this along to others who might be interested in NetEqualizer news.

In this issue:

  • Smart NetEqualizer Speed Test Tool For High-Traffic Networks Coming Soon
  • New ROI Calculator Reveals Long-term NetEqualizer Benefits
  • Effectiveness Of Equalizing Technology As Hidden Node Solution Confirmed
  • And The Flyaway Contest Winner Is…
  • Best Of The Blog
Coming Soon: Smart NetEqualizer Speed Test Tool for High-Traffic Networks

Next month, we’ll introduce our newest standard NetEqualizer feature – the NetEqualizer Speed Test Utility.After years of witnessing administrators of corporate networks struggle with diagnosing bandwidth speed issues, we’ve designed the Speed Test Utility with exactly those users in mind. It provides corporate network administrators with a bandwidth-monitoring tool that overcomes many of the problems generally encountered with online speed testing sites.

How It Works

The Speed Test Utility is an intelligent tool embedded in your NetEqualizer that can be activated from your GUI. On high-traffic networks, there is always a busy hour background load on the link – a baseline, if you will. When you set up the speed test tool, you simply tell the NetEqualizer some basics about your network, including:

  • Link Speed
  • Number of Users
  • Busy Hours

After turning the tool on, it will keep track of your network’s bandwidth usage. If your usage drops below expected levels, it will present a mild warning on the GUI screen that your bandwidth may be compromised and give an explanation of the deviation. The operator can also be notified by e-mail.

This set up allows bandwidth to be monitored without having to depend on unreliable speed tests or run time-consuming reports, allowing the problem to be more quickly identified and addressed.

For more information about the NetEqualizer Speed Test Utility, e-mail us at sales@apconnections.net. The final release is expected to ship in November with all new units, however, contact us if you wish to beta test a pre-release copy.

New ROI Calculator Reveals Long-term NetEqualizer Benefits

Aside from our customers’ comments about the overall improvement in their network performance, one of the most common remarks we hear from NetEqualizer users concerns the technology’s positive return on investment (ROI).However, it’s also one of the most common questions we get from potential customers – How will the NetEqualizer benefit my bottom line?

To better answer this question, we recently interviewed NetEqualizer customers from across several verticals to get their best estimates of the cost savings and value associated with their NetEqualizer. We compiled their answers into a knowledge base that we now use to estimate reasonable ROI calculations.

Our calculations are based on real data and were done conservatively as not to create false promises. There are plenty of congested Internet links suffering out there every day, and hence there is more than enough value with the NetEqualizer. So, we did not need to exaggerate.

ROI calculations were based on the following:

  1. Savings in Bandwidth Costs – Stay at your current bandwidth level or delay future upgrades.
  2. Reduced Labor and Support Costs – Avoid Internet congestion issues that lead to support calls during peak usage times.
  3. Retention of Customers – Stop losing customers, clients, and guests because of unreliable or unresponsive Internet service (applies to ISPs and operators such as hotels and executive suites).
  4. Addition of New Customers – Put more users on your link than before while keeping them all happy (For more information, see APconnections’ Field Guide To Contention Ratios).

To see what the NetEqualizer can do for you, check out the ROI calculator at http://www.netequalizer.com/ROI.php.

Effectiveness Of Equalizing Technology As Hidden Node Solution Confirmed
University of Limerick Last month, we released findings from the University of Limerick confirming the effectiveness of APconnections “Equalizing” technology as a hidden node solution.The study, which was performed on the University of Limerick campus in Ireland, utilized the university’s unique Azimuth testing environment to simulate the conditions that typically lead to hidden nodes.

Hidden Nodes Explained

In wireless networks, administrators are commonly faced with the problem of a “communication breakdown” between individual computers, or nodes. For example, although two nodes may be able to communicate with the access point (AP), the distance between the individual nodes and their inability to communicate hide the nodes from each other.

This prevents one of the nodes from courteously “backing off” if they were to send data at the same time. Instead, the two nodes are forced to compete for access to the AP, often leading to the node with the stronger overall signal strength monopolizing the available bandwidth and preventing the second node from connecting to the network (For more information on the hidden node problem, see APconnections’ Hidden Node White Paper).

The Findings

According to the report, without the use of the APconnections Equalizing technology, the dominant node monopolized the available bandwidth while the hidden node was “locked out” and could not access the network, creating an “unacceptable” end-user experience.

However, the study showed this problem could be effectively solved through the use of our Equalizing technology. The technology ensured that even users of hidden nodes maintained reliable network access by adding latency to the flow of the dominant nodes. This forced the dominant nodes “to back off and allow potentially hidden nodes to establish communications, thus reducing network disruption.”

The full University of Limerick report can be found here on our website. For a detailed explanation of APconnections Equalizing technology, click here.

We are currently recommending our NetEqualizer Lite to solve hidden node problems.

And The Flyaway Contest Winner Is…
Every few months, we have a dfrontierrawing 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…Scott Shinn of Carolina’s Lending Source, Inc.

Congratulations, Scott! Please contact us within 30 days at admin@apconnections.net or 303-997-1300 to claim your prize.

Best Of The Blog
A Case Study: Hospitality Industry and the Cost of Internet Congestion

In the hospitality industry, expenses are watched closely. All expenditures must be balanced with customer satisfaction, and reality dictates that some customer complaints cannot immediately be remedied. With the reduced revenue that’s come with the current economic climate, difficult decisions must be made about what issues to address and when.While the quality of basic hotel services and comforts may still serve as the baseline for guests’ satisfaction, high-speed Internet service is quickly becoming a factor when choosing where to stay. This is especially true for business travelers.

In this article, we use interviews with NetEqualizer customers in the hospitality industry and our own experience to define the cost of a congested Internet pipe in terms of dollar impact on a hotel business. The conclusions below are based on a business-class, three-star travel hotel with 200 rooms. These same metrics can be scaled up to larger conference centers or smaller travel hotels.

We start with the online behavior that’s behind bandwidth congestion and then discuss the financial repercussions.

Causes of Bandwidth Congestion and Slow Internet Speeds

A hotel of this size typically has two to 10 megabits of shared bandwidth available to guests. We assume 30 percent of the guests (roughly 60 people) are using the Internet for business purposes (e-mail, browsing, Skype, etc.) in the early to late evening hours. We also assume that 10 percent of the guests (20 people) will use the Internet for more intense recreational purposes such as Youtube or Hulu.

Contact Informationemail: admin@apconnections.netphone: 303-997-1300

web: http://www.netequalizer.com

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