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Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

Firejack
Grafter
Posts: 921
Registered: 26-06-2007

Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

The Traffic Management system on Plusnets network has come along way. Its largely unnoticeable these days. The one problem I keep coming across though is the slow process of making changes to the system for new games.
I was just wondering if someone from Plusnet could shed any light of what exactly the delays are in making the changes. And why it often runs into weeks the length of time it takes the changes to happens.
Then I was also wondering if there was anything customers could do to help speed up the process apart from Wireshark traces. Thinking along the lines of allowing Plusnet to monitor their gaming session to see exactly how it interacts with the Plusnet network. I'm aware Plusnet are probably not going to have access to every new game released so won't be able to test it themselves.
18 REPLIES
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

Hi Firejack.
It'll normally take about 24-48 hours for your Wireshark capture to be identified as having incorrect traffic prioritisation.
Then a change control needs to be raised, after which the work is then completed.
I appreciate that it does take a fair buit of time and I'll ask your former Comms Analyst to explain the situation a little better than I can.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,366
Thanks: 15
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

Quote from: Firejack
Thinking along the lines of allowing Plusnet to monitor their gaming session to see exactly how it interacts with the Plusnet network.

PN can do this, but the Networks team who can do this tend to only work office hours, or at least that is what I was told about 1 year ago, so had to get home before 5PM for them to monitor my connection for a few minutes while I was gaming.
SW.
--
3Mb FTTC
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

Hi,
Where we can we'll add things in advance of release, but of course that isn't always possible and sometimes ports or gaming signatures can change during a game's beta phase so it isn't then always possible.
With each request for an addition to the traffic management database we have to go through a fairly rigorous process. In the first instance the CSC will receive the request and will sanity check it see if the request is valid and that all the necessary information (e.g. name of game, port(s) is uses, Wireshark if necessary, server IP's if necessary) and escalate that through to the product team.
It's normally me that then reviews the ticket (although Rich will if I'm off) and make an initial approval or rejection of the game, request additional information (e.g. more wireshark captures or perform further investigation, e.g. test it here).
If it's approved then the next stage is to raise the change to networks, now depending on exactly what is raised will depend on what they need to do. For example a game on a large range of ports may need a flow analysis doing to check what and how much traffic is on those ports, it may need building on the test platform first (particularly if it's done as a signature) to see how it performs. Everything we add in will utilise CPU time on the Ellacoyas so the testing is very important if there's a signature to ensure that it isn't just matching everything and using all the CPU time.
Once testing is complete it will then be put through change control, so will be reviewed and sanity checked before being rolled out on to the live platform.
In theory it could be a quicker process but in practice that could mean that there's errors made where the games don't work or other traffic is misidentified or worse it causes an actual problem on the Ellacoya switches themselves.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 5,082
Thanks: 395
Fixes: 5
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

Dave:  Should we create an SLA around this and measure ourselves to it?
What do you think?  I think we should!  Only then can we know if we are being too slow.
It must be horrible to bring home a brand new game and then to find it doesn't work properly because we haven't profiled it right.
Kelly Dorset
Broadband Service Manager
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

Actually, that's a reasonable suggestion having an SLA in place for these.
From my own experience, I found that submitting a signature for a Teamspeak server I was using was completed in a couple of days at most.
B.
Firejack
Grafter
Posts: 921
Registered: 26-06-2007

Re: Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

Thanks for the explanation guys. Makes the process a lot clearer.
Quote from: Kelly
.....
It must be horrible to bring home a brand new game and then to find it doesn't work properly because we haven't profiled it right.
Honestly I don't think most gamers realise it is a profiling issue. I've seen it time and time again on various gaming sites where people have complained to the games support team or developers. Instead of raising the issue with Plusnet.
It might be an idea to better educate gamers on how the Traffic Management system effects their gaming.
So often I see gamers posting tracerts and going through all kinds of complicated port forwarding tutorials or reconfiguring their firewall, disabling anti virus etc. When all they need to do is raise the issue with Plusnet. All of which just add to the frustration and do nothing to help.
Neil_A
Grafter
Posts: 450
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

Quote from: Firejack

It might be an idea to better educate gamers on how the Traffic Management system effects their gaming.

Maybe in the next customer newsletter we should have an 'are you a gamer?' article that points to a suitable blog advising how to let us know if you have problems with a game. It could point to the list of 'known' games we already have so could be a way for us to expand the list of known games?
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 5,082
Thanks: 395
Fixes: 5
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

Yeah. 
[me=Kelly]goes to nudge Martyn.[/me]
Kelly Dorset
Broadband Service Manager
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

Quote from: Neil_A
Maybe in the next customer newsletter

Newsletter? I never saw a newsletter before
prichardson
Grafter
Posts: 1,503
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

If you have opted out of marketing emails, you will not receive a copy of this.
You can modify your preference for this on the following page.
http://www.plus.net/my.html?action=modifyMailOptions
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

Yes I have opted out of marketing email because the only option is...
Quote
I would prefer not to receive electronic communications about the special offers, promotions and services available from PlusNet

Now I don't want all this but I would like the newsletter please.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,942
Thanks: 1,284
Fixes: 9
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

Quote from: Santiago
Yes I have opted out of marketing email because the only option is...
Quote
I would prefer not to receive electronic communications about the special offers, promotions and services available from PlusNet

Now I don't want all this but I would like the newsletter please.

An oft requested feature!  see PUGIT 342 and PUGIT 321
Get on over there and add your vote to up the development  priority Wink
Remember to set up you're Username and VISP using the 'Prefs' tab near the top of the page.
MauriceC
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

Hi Maurice, Ok I will do that
Quote
Remember to set up you're Username and VISP using the 'Prefs' tab near the top of the page.

Do you mean my usergroup username, community username or my account username  Undecided
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Speeding Up Traffic Management Changes

Just an FYI.
This is something that we've been talking about and I'm sure we'll continue to look into adding additional opt out options.
I'll see if we've got any update on this.