Shape up your WAN traffic
Packeteer and 8e6 traffic managers offer choice between luxury and thrift
The PacketShaper can push as much as 45Mbps of compressed traffic separated into as many as 300 channels. With the optional PolicyCenter software, the main office can control hundreds of PacketShapers, monitoring and controlling all WAN traffic across the enterprise from one console. PolicyShaper also integrates with management software such as BMC Patrol, Concord eHealth, Hewlett-Packard OpenView, IBM Tivoli, InfoVista, and Micromuse Netcool.
Monitoring capability is extensive. The TurboPipe can deliver a wide variety of statistics on network traffic, from utilization of various WAN links to identifying the sender and received pairs for streams of traffic used by network applications, with full data on each stream, including IP addresses and ports, amount of traffic sent or redirected, round-trip time and packet delay, MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) service type, and more. It can even identify suspicious traffic, such as non-HTTP traffic going through port 80.
The PacketShaper can operate in two modes -- enterprise and ISP. In enterprise mode, it operates as fast as 500Mbps and supports 175,000 new traffic flows per second. In ISP mode, it operates as fast as 400Mbps, but supports as many as 600,000 new traffic flows per second. It supports optional additional Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and redundant power supplies.
Initial installation is by serial console. When that is complete, the rest of the setup is accomplished via a browser. Monitoring traffic and creating filtering sets between sites is simple, with support for MPLS and Diffserv not provided by 8e6's TurboPipe.
Channels can be site-to-site, between specific users, or within specific types of traffic. Controls are extensive, including not only prioritization but also compression and scaling, which allows for the connection of clients to a specified Web server depending on connection speed, and adaptive response, which can update policies and rules depending on changing network conditions.
With a full enterprise feature set including centralized management, compression and scaling, and the ability to script reactions to changing conditions, many network administrators will find the PacketShaper worth the higher initial price. With PacketShapers at either end of a connection, they can even prioritize IPX traffic as well as TCP/IP.
Administrators who are using separate compression technology, or who have no need for centralized management of multiple sites, will find 8e6's TurboPipe capable of monitoring and controlling network traffic very effectively. For those who need more, and who are willing to pay for it, Packeteer's PacketShaper offers enterprise-class extras including compression between sites, centralized multibox management, and adaptive response to changing conditions -- although at a substantially higher price.