For MPLS, last-mile access has remained centered around the familiar T1 line. While T1/MPLS delivers a sound convergence platform, the rapidly evolving requirements of distributed enterprises have significantly outstripped its capabilities in terms of capacity. Ethernet access is touted as the next-access technology delivering high capacity, but its limited geographic availability and high costs make it of little real value to the IT executive for the distributed network.
Hughes enterprise broadband VPNs employ integrated performance optimization technologies to address these drawbacks, delivering fully managed and cost-effective network solutions to IT organizations in two ways:
- By supplementing current MPLS: Deployed as a co-primary WAN and providing cost-effective, high capacity to the site. The network can also deliver backup functionality to MPLS, backing up all applications while maintaining QoS.
- As the primary WAN: Deployed as the primary WAN, Hughes managed VPN can deliver higher capacity at savings of 30-plus percent compared to a typical MPLS network.
ActiveQoS is a key enabling technology that underpins Hughes next-generation WAN solution by delivering high application performance over broadband.
Under the hood of Hughes ActiveQoS
ActiveQoS provides QoS over broadband via three core elements:
- Network capacity determination: The ActiveQoS algorithm actively tracks available network capacity and latency on an end-to-end basis for each site in real time. ActiveQoS measures upstream and downstream capacity separately, and it can track capacity changes in fractions of a second. The algorithm is tuned to react rapidly when capacity reduction is detected, as well as when real-time traffic is present in the data stream -- with two efficiency dimensions: (1) operating at a very high fraction of network capacity, and (2) introducing minimal overhead for capacity measurement.
- Traffic governance: In a typical branch, LAN bandwidth overwhelms WAN bandwidth. And most applications are bandwidth aggressive, resulting in both poor performance of other applications and diminished overall performance due to TCP's inefficient congestion avoidance methods. By tracking actual available capacity in real time, ActiveQoS ensures that a site's aggregate traffic offered to the broadband network -- both upstream and downstream -- is rate-limited to the measured available capacity; allowing real-time traffic to flow through with minimal delays, while shaping other traffic appropriately based on their prioritization. ActiveQoS also incorporates advanced TCP optimization to maximize the usable throughput of the link.
- Effective prioritization: With network capacity determination and traffic governance in place, traffic is prioritized at the edge into one of six levels. ActiveQoS includes a heuristic-based Smart Classifier, which automatically classifies traffic flows according to their QoS needs, with one real-time level and multiple data levels. The available capacity is allocated across these traffic flows, with capability to ensure minimum reservation for low priority traffic that ensures no starvation.
Multibranch, distributed organizations are increasingly adopting a host of sophisticated, bandwidth-hungry applications to increase competitiveness and improve efficiencies. Advanced performance optimization technologies like ActiveQoS are now enabling them to meet their growing voice, video, and data convergence needs using cost-effective broadband networks instead of more expensive MPLS alternatives. By transparently adding strong end-to-end QoS to commonly available, economical broadband networks, they deliver better application performance and reduced transaction response times, cost-effectively meeting the needs of these organizations.
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