is the NetEqualizer?
put, the NetEqualizer works like putting a traffic cop on a freeway
interchange to make sure that everybody can get on and off without
gridlock, the left turners, the right turners, and the aggressive
drivers who would otherwise cut in line, behave much better with a
traffic officer making sure that things go smoothly.
The router between the internet and your subnet is an
Internally, the NetEqualizer operates
similar to a packet sniffer; it examines internet data by listening
to all traffic on an internet segment, typically a trunk between a
group of users and the internet. As each internet packet comes by on
the trunk, an arbitrator examines the packet and learns who the
packet is going to (what end user). The NetEqualizer keeps a
small data base of the activity going on over an internet segment,
then using a set of predefined rules, it determines what users are
using excessive bandwidth. Data
rates to higher end users are temporarily slowed as needed to
The NetEqualizer listens to traffic on your network
and then makes a decision every ½ second on how to make adjustments
to traffic flows. Other tools attempt to dynamically adjust traffic
flows with every new packet that is sensed on your network. The NetEqualizer
methodology allows very low powered inexpensive
hardware to handle very large traffic flows. The NetEqualizer does
sacrifice some accuracy; but since data users are generally
concerned with their “experience”, the high price of other
equipment to obtain extreme accuracy can rarely be cost justified.
The NetEqualizer has an open source component. The
lower level technology is public and used by 1000’s of programmers
around the world. The momentum behind the open source branch insures
that the NetEqualizer technology will continue to evolve.
I find unbiased testimonials from others using this technology?
The core technology is in open source, just
like Linux, MySQL and other products.
It is very easy to get unbiased input.. We suggest using a
Google search on “Bandwidth Arbitrator”, and then look over the
pages of postings and results for yourself. This kind of information
is pure and generally unedited, see
what people are saying and doing with the Bandwidth Arbitrator.
should you locate the NetEqualizer?
Locate the NetEqualizer between your network
and the internet. Tune the default settings and it will immediately
starts relieving congestion. This
“plug and play” ability is the driving vision and design behind
the NetEqualizer. Yes
there is some “traditional” optional administration features
offered, but we cannot stress the importance of the turn key
concept. The creators of
the NetEqualizer ran a small wireless ISP business in Lafayette
Colorado and created the NetEqualizer to eliminate costs associated
with administering a system to control bandwidth, especially as
their business grew.
can benefit from this type of product?
Anybody, who purchases bulk internet access and
redistributes it to a group of users!
does the NetEqualizer
know who is “hogging bandwidth”?
NetEqualizer keeps track of all active users on your network. It
keeps a history of how much bandwidth each user is using, how long
they have been using it, and how much of your total network capacity
is being used. It then applies “intelligent” rules that take all
these factors into account. It will slow down the heaviest users as
your network becomes more congested.
is unique about the NetEqualizer
Almost all internet communications have a
client server model where the client is sending requests and the
server is sending data. This is true for ftp transfers, streaming
video and streaming audio. Even if the client and server are sending
UDP packets there is always a client server relationship. It so
happens that the slowing or delaying the client requests is a much
better way to throttle the data back than slowing or queuing the
data coming from the server. The
NetEqualizer limits bandwidth by looking at the large user(s) of
bandwidth and slowing requests from the client.
This is radically different than the methods
employed by WFQ, TOS and other packet shaping tools. It is the only
method that allows some actual control over internet traffic
coming into your network.
The biggest advantage to slowing down client
requests is that you get at the source of traffic problems without
employing expensive and complex queuing algorithms.
Does the NetEqualizer cause any delay in a network?
The NetEqualizer is a layer 7 bridge. This
means that it can be inserted in any segment of an Ethernet
network without introducing enough delay to adversely effect
Ethernet packet transmission.
How does the NetEqualizer insure that
voice traffic gets priority over data traffic?
The NetEqualizer provides priority for voice
traffic by simply slowing down the data traffic on your network. It
knows exactly how much data traffic your trunk(s) can carry before
the voice traffic is adversely affected. When the data traffic load
is too high, it quickly throttles the data traffic back to an
acceptable level, thus insuring clear voice traffic.
How does it detect voice traffic?
The NetEqualizer is equipped with a unique
feature that finds voice traffic based on pattern recognition. When
traffic flows across your network, the NetEqualizer samples traffic
and looks inside the IP packets for the specific signatures of voice
streams. The pattern recognition is automatic, and always on; NetEqualizer
QoS systems are preconfigured
with pattern detection technology for all major IP PBX vendors.
All the other QoS solutions I have seen, require a unit on each side of
a trunk to accomplish QoS, how does the NetEqualizer unit provide QoS
with a single unit per trunk?
technology’s creates slow virtual circuits to throttle data
traffic and this can be done from either side of a link.
Can the NetEqualizer be used as a trouble shooting tool?
Yes, the NetEqualizer
doubles as a quick and easy trouble shooting tool on any link where
there is a potential QoS problem. In a matter of minutes you can be
looking at a graphical display depicting your current data and voice
traffic. The graphical display is standard and makes it easy to
determine if there is a problem with any link in your network.
worried about the security risks of the NetEqualizer on our network.
Does the web server on
the NetEqualizer QoS unit pose a security risk?
The NetEqualizer has 3 layers of security.
The GUI administration interface is password protected
The administration interface has a firewall that can
be configured to limit who has access by IP address
The GUI administration interface can be disconnected
completely, thus eliminating all external access.
The layered security features of the NetEqualizer
provide a solid wall against known security threats.
concerned about the effect of running the voice over my existing
data network. How will I
be able to see the proportion of bandwidth the voice traffic is
using on a link?
The NetEqualizer QoS unit has a small built in
http server. The http server allows you to remotely access the NetEqualizer
QoS administration from a browser. One of the features available via
the admin (browser) interface is a graphical display of the current
voice and data loads on your network.
How will this system affect our data traffic on our T1 link?
It is true that the NetEqualizer will borrow
bandwidth from the data traffic on your link when voice calls are
active. It borrows bandwidth with some intelligence, however. It
targets the biggest data users which are normally large downloads of
data, such as pictures attached to e-mail. Normal web surfing,
e-mail, and chat sessions will likely not see any degradation.
phone calls can I share on a T1 trunk with the unit in place before
experiencing any degradation?
A phone call typically takes about 56kbs or
1/24 of the traffic on a T1 line. If you have typical data loads on
your T1 line for data already, you can generally share about 7
simultaneous phone calls without any noticeable response time
degradation. Obviously if your T1 line was already maxed out with
data traffic you would need to upgrade your data service to handle
the additional phone traffic.
bandwidth in service increments, so some users get 128kbs others
256kbs and our premium users get 512kbs service, can we provide this
kind of service levels and have them enforced with the NetEqualizer?
Yes you can, the NetEqualizer does allow
bandwidth limits on individual users or subnets.
we do during busy hour? Business needs necessitate that we over
subscribe our bandwidth capabilities and most of the day we can
deliver decent service, but occasionally our trunk gets overloaded.
The NetEqualizer has a safety valve that
watches over your network called the “default rules” The
“default rules” sit around in the background until your trunk
becomes 95 percent
utilized (this is value is adjustable), then they
kick in and slow down the heaviest bandwidth users. This
safety valve is unique to the NetEqualizer product, with it in place
customer complaints of slow network speeds drop dramatically.
default rules slow some users, then how does it help eliminate
customer complaints during busy conditions, aren’t some customers
When our safety net kicks in it typically does
not affect the types of activities that users notice. Activities
such as: e-mail, chat, music streams, web browsing and even voice
streams are generally not heavy bandwidth users and are left
untouched. The result is these activities get priority and busy hour
complaints are greatly reduced. The service quality improvement is
noticed that the NetEqualizer takes a few seconds to reign in bursts.
Can we disable this?
The NetEqualizer takes
a few seconds to begin to react to changes in bandwidth speeds by
design (we document this in our manual).
You can fudge with the quickness that it reacts by increasing
PENALTY_UNIT parameter; but then it may overlimit a bit.
There is no way to completely disable this feature.
If the number of customers on your trunk (times
their promised bit rate) exceeds your back bone, then that is where
the NetEqualizer sets itself apart. For a huge majority of users,
allowing the occasional burst is not an issue when compared to the
value the NetEqualizer provides by alleviating gridlock and
If you truly have a enough backbone to handle
your peak customer demands, then perhaps a simpler tool that
specializes in keeping bandwidth in a tight range would be better.
There are many affordable tools that perform tight bandwidth
control; but generally they have little flexibility in other
bandwidth shaping areas.
happens if the NetEqualizer fails, will our Network go down?
The NetEqualizer takes advantage of a mature
feature already built into the Linux operating system called STP
(spanning tree protocol). Two NetEqualizers placed in parallel will
automatically set up a master slave relationship where one server
will back the other. NetEqualizers come pre-configured to take
advantage of this feature.
the Connection limits and how do they work?
Our connection limit feature is designed to
keep a host on your network from making or receiving more than a
“set amount” of concurrent connections.
There are many uses for this feature
It offers a solid degree of protection from a variety
of attacks on your servers.
It also can be used to slow any of the users on your
network from generating attacks
It can be used to reduce the load on your router from
p2p applications that tend to generate hundreds of connections when
they download files. Many p2p applications will attempt to download
from 100’s of sources even for a single file.