Search /
Advanced search  |  Help  |  Site map
Click for Layer 8! No, really, click NOW!
Networking for Small Business
How Apple's billion dollar sapphire bet will pay off
iPhone 6 rumor rollup for the week ending April 18
Arista co-founder may have switch maker by its jewels
Open source pitfalls – and how to avoid them
AT&T's expanded 1 Gbps fiber rollout could go head to head with Google
BlackBerry Releases BES 10 Security Update to Address 'Heartbleed' Flaw
Verizon: Web apps are the security punching bag of the Internet
Cisco announces security service linked with new operations centers
Dell launches virtual storage accelerator, aims to boost SAN performance
Free OS X Mavericks now powers half of all Macs
Even the most secure cloud storage may not be so secure, study finds  
3D printing will transform these five industries
Most but not all sites have fixed Heartbleed flaw
NEC launches face-recognition protection for PCs
Hundreds of medical professionals targeted in multi-state tax scam
Super-high frequencies could one day deliver your mobile video
Americans cool with lab-grown organs, but not designer babies
IT Departments Not Losing Ground to Managed Service Providers (Yet)
Where's my gigabit Internet, anyway?
IE6: Retired but not dead yet
Enterprise who? Google says little about Apps, business cloud services in Q1 report
DDoS Attackers Change Techniques To Wallop Sites
Can we talk? Internet of Things vendors face a communications 'mess'
AMD's profitability streak ends at two quarters
Michaels says breach at its stores affected nearly 3M payment cards

WAN-side traffic shaping

Related linksToday's breaking news
Send to a friendFeedback

Sign up to receive this and other networking newsletters in your inbox.

There are certain advantages to shaping traffic on the WAN side of a router.

We mentioned last time that there are several places on an enterprise's premises where traffic shaping could take place. We noted that offloading traffic-shaping functions from the router and running them in a LAN-side device has the benefit of making decisions on all outbound traffic from a site, but carries the downside of being able to see very little WAN congestion information.

Traffic shaping refers both to smoothing the bursty rate at which network traffic arrives on an access circuit, and to prioritizing traffic according to corporate policy. In an integrated packet network, such as frame relay, ATM or IP, such QoS capabilities enable various traffic types to get their fair share of any available bandwidth, based on an organization's policy. You don't want FTP and Web browsing to wreak havoc with enterprise resource planning applications or packet-voice traffic, for example.

Running traffic-shaping capabilities on the WAN side of a router, such as in intelligent DSU/CSUs, enables the device to glean extensive information concerning the state of the frame relay (or ATM, or other WAN) connection.

This includes congestion information based on frame relay FECN and BECN bits, for example - data that many routers ignore. Because WAN-side devices can sense network congestion on the WAN access circuit, which is usually slower and more expensive than the LAN side of the network, they can actively employ adaptive techniques for controlling WAN network traffic to ensure that business-critical applications receive required bandwidth.

In upcoming newsletters, you'll hear arguments from vendor proponents of traffic shaping in different spots in the network.


Steven Taylor, consultant and broadband packet evangelist, and Joanie Wexler, an independent networking technology editor and writer, team up to bring you this analysis and commentary. Taylor specializes in education and market analysis, and Wexler adds incisive reporting and research. For more detailed information on most of the topics discussed in this newsletter, connect to, the first Web site dedicated exclusively to market studies and technology tutorials in the Broadband Packet areas of Frame Relay, ATM, and IP.

Feedback and additional topic ideas are welcome. Please contact or

Frame Relay archive
Past newsletters.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul
Network World's Frame Relay Newsletter. 12/20/98

Bells are failing to compete as they promised
Network World, 03/05/01

NWFusion offers more than 40 FREE technology-specific email newsletters in key network technology areas such as NSM, VPNs, Convergence, Security and more.
Click here to sign up!
New Event - WANs: Optimizing Your Network Now.
Hear from the experts about the innovations that are already starting to shake up the WAN world. Free Network World Technology Tour and Expo in Dallas, San Francisco, Washington DC, and New York.
Attend FREE
Your FREE Network World subscription will also include breaking news and information on wireless, storage, infrastructure, carriers and SPs, enterprise applications, videoconferencing, plus product reviews, technology insiders, management surveys and technology updates - GET IT NOW.