Prioritize applications and protocols with deep packet inspection
ipoque offers providers sophisticated bandwidth management solutions based on deep packet inspection. Our products help operators to identify, monitor and manage traffic on a per-subscriber basis. ipoque reduces communication and infrastructure costs as well as increases customer satisfaction through quality of service (QoS).
Operators struggle with disproportionately high bandwidth usage by a relatively small portion of their subscribers caused by ever growing new Internet applications. Often it is not even clear which applications or users cause the traffic clogging the network. The challenge operators face is twofold: On one hand, these kinds of services are the very reason for new subscribers to sign up for broadband Internet access. On the other, excessive use by too many simultaneous users drives up infrastructure costs. More importantly, all this adversely affects the quality of experience (QoE) for interactive applications such as Web browsing, Internet telephony and online gaming.
Traffic management helps operators to keep pace with the growing traffic without continually investing in more bandwidth. Offering subscribers a consistant QoE and extra services can be the differentiator that sets an operator apart from the competition.
ipoque´s PRX G-Series and Net Reporter solve the problems operators face. Net Reporter delivers comprehensive user and application statistics and PRX Traffic Manager helps operators regain control over the network.
The simplest solution is a priority management that favors important applications over less important bandwidth-gobbling ones. It can be as simple as having a single bandwidth management rule that assigns P2P file sharing a lower priority than all other traffic. This approach is not only simple and highly effective, but also provides a fair bandwidth-sharing model for all subscribers. P2P users get all the available bandwidth, but as soon as the demand of other applications rises (for instance during office hours) P2P is slowed down to accommodate for the increased demand.
Using multi-tiered priorities enables the offering of improved quality of experience (QoE) for interactive and real-time applications. For instance, all Voice over IP (VoIP) traffic gets the highest priority, Web browsing and audio and video streaming get high priority, P2P file sharing gets the lowest priority and everything else the default priority.
The result is that VoIP packets will operate faster in congested situations than all other, non-time-critical applications.
Most ISPs offer their customers either volume-based or flat rate pricing models – with the latter being what customers have come to expect. Hence a significant portion of subscribers excessively use the available bandwidth for services like P2P file sharing. This leads to rising infrastructure costs – not only for the operator, but for all subscribers, even if they are not heavy users.
Going back to a volume-based charging model for all customers is difficult. Instead, many ISPs revert to data rate limitation for these power users. As this indiscriminately slows down all applications, it also degrades the service quality (QoS) of interactive applications. This means poor service and drives valuable customers away.
A much better approach is a multi-tier bandwidth model with optional per-subscriber allowances for high-bandwidth application traffic. As a result, rather than having a single unlimited usage plan, customers can choose from various plans with monthly limits of high speed access depending on their individual needs. Anything over the limit would revert to a lower speed, depending on network congestion. This would allow providers to offer customers who do not need as much bandwidth lower prices, while ensuring those who participate in bandwidth gobbling activities, such as P2P file sharing, high speed access for a proportionately higher monthly fee.
Net Reporter offers operators the overview they need for business decisions such as strategy and investments. With comprehensive application- and subscriber-aware network statistics operators can stop guessing because they are able to actually see what happens in the network. Informed decisions become routine because operators are able to accurately model network operations on a usage level, which increases profitability.
The PRX G-Series can be used to enforce legal requirements ISPs may face based on local laws. P2P file sharing traffic can be filtered for copyright-protected content. This can be accomplished using ipoque's unique BitTorrent tracker whitelisting. BitTorrent, as opposed to most other P2P networks such as eDonkey, Kazaa, Soulseek, Filetopia and WinMX is significantly used to exchange legitimate content including open source software and online games updates.
In addition to P2P, the legislation of some countries requires special control of Internet telephony. PRX Traffic Manager makes it possible to flexibly monitor VoIP traffic, including SIP, Skype, H.323 and IAX, and define subscriber-specific rules to manage the call behavior.