• United States
by Steve Taylor and Joanie Wexler

Traffic management, compression garner attention at NGN

Nov 20, 20032 mins

* Vendors show wares at NGN for monitoring performance and managing traffic

One of the relatively few technology themes at the recent Next-Generation Networks show in Boston that wasn’t related to wireless networking (see this week’s “Wireless in the Enterprise” newsletter for NGN wireless coverage) had to with improving WAN application performance.

Longtime readers of this newsletter know this is a topic near and dear to our hearts.

New techniques for improved bandwidth utilization and performance by playing with TCP window sizes and using compression are “gaining traction very nicely with enterprises,” observed Dave Passmore, NGN co-chair and research director at The Burton Group.

Allot Communications exhibited its performance monitoring, quality-of-service (QoS) and content-filtering wares on the show floor. Meanwhile, Redline Networks, ITWorx and Netli participated in an educational session on improving bandwidth utilization and performance.

Redline gear offloads Web processing and connection-management functions from Web servers and compresses network traffic. ITWorx makes double-ended compression devices required at both ends of a WAN link. Netli is a content-acceleration service provider that uses specialized protocols to perform compression and other functions as users attempt to load pages across the Internet. The protocols reduce the number of turns – the number of roundtrips required to load a Web page – to improve response times, according to the company.

Meanwhile, last week ITWorx announced a version of its NetCelera compression product that uses an acceleration technology – called adaptive connection and compression multiplexing at Layer 5 (ACM5), embodied in a software feature called SpeedArray – to improve WAN performance by up to 100 times. The feature ships as a free upgrade in ITWorx’s NetCelera 1.5 software.

According to the company, SpeedArray overcomes the bandwidth limitations of TCP under high-latency conditions caused by limits of the TCP receive window size. The company says it does this in part with a forwarding mechanism that uses multiple parallel tunnels to transfer the same packet stream, thereby reducing the dependency on a single connection.

The company says that compressible traffic can gain a 100-fold performance improvement, while non-compressible traffic realizes up to a 15-fold performance boost.