Packet prioritisation put to use at telco

Vodafone NZ is experimenting with bandwidth optimation tools available on Linux.

Vodafone NZ is experimenting with bandwidth optimation tools available on Linux.

Vodafone network services senior engineer Simon Green says Linux packet-shaping tools allow companies to do “basic stuff”.

“We’ve got a very small project that doesn’t require full blown packet shaping and are using Linux for that.”

The packet-shaping capability is built into the Linux kernel. The company is also using a product from vendor Packeteer for the same purpose.

Green declined to comment further on the project, as it is in its early stages.

Vodafone has been using Packeteer’s PacketShaper 2500 and 4500 products for two years and runs two of the former and one of the latter.

“We have them on our internet links and transtasman link to Vodafone Australia.”

Packeteer’s pitch is that its products allow users to better manage bandwidth and application performance over wide area networks and the internet. Vodafone is using the devices to balance transtasman traffic to allow real-time applications such as financial and fraud data systems to co-exist with “bandwidth-hogging” apps such as email and corporate network links, Green says.

“On our internet links, it allows us to guarantee that no more than 30% of our available bandwidth is used up by our corporate web browsing. It also allows us to prioritise customer traffic so that interactive or streaming applications have improved responsiveness.

“Together with our GPRS optimisers, it helps us deliver the right data first, fastest.”

PacketShaper classifies applications commonly run over corporate networks and the internet and also identifies traffic by protocol, URL and other criteria.

Network utilisation, application performance and network efficiency are measured by a variety of markers and shaping and compression applied accordingly, with reports issued via XML and SNMP.

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