cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Broadband Platform Performance Update

mrsimonday
Grafter
Posts: 85
Registered: 30-07-2007

Broadband Platform Performance Update

this post is a follow up to Bob's post about the Broadband Platform Performance.

http://usergroup.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,3768.0.html

I want to let you know the progress we have made this week and the impact it has had. I am not in anyway saying that it is fixed yet, but I do think it is better than it was.

This week we identified a group of customers who have managed to use a significant amount of bandwidth in VoIP. VoIP is prioritised and place in the Titanium Q. Titanium will take Bandwidth from everything else until there is nothing left. It is not physically possible to do the volume of traffic in VoIP in a a month. With this in mind, on Thursday of this week, we placed a 128K rate limit on all VoIP traffic. This is easily enough to allow a good quality VoIP call but not enough to allow people abuse the system. This has had the following impact:



As you can see it has taken VoIP traffic from about 50Mb/s to 40Mb/s. That is 10Mb/s back for the rest of the user base.

Next we looked at gaming. We found a few users who have managed to use a significant amount of bandwidth. Again, Gaming is put in the Titanium Q so inappropriate amounts of traffic in this Q can impact the whole user base. Yesterday we applied a 512Kb/s rate limit to any flow identified as being gaming. This is enough for any game to run smoothly. The impact of this change can be seen here:



This shows a 10Mb/s difference. The second bundle for gaming shows the following:



A further 2Mb/s saving there. The reason for having 2 bundles is that we have too many gaming signatures for one bundle.

We have also been looking at the top users on our business accounts to see how they are using the bandwidth, and if they are usage is fair or not.

These changes added to the changes to the 760 customer profiles have had cumulative effect on the performance of the whole platform. This is most obviously seen in the graphing that is already available to customers, the portal packet drop graphs. Here is the graph of 2 weeks ago:



And here is todays:



Silver traffic is absolutely better, as is Bronze. There is still work to do on Gold traffic, but we are heading in the right direction.

As Bob mentioned in his post , we have been working towards getting every single customer on to the same set of profiles across the board. This work is underway and due to be code complete on Monday, with the actual roll out of changes to the customers as they disconnect / reconnect. We may accelerate this process so as to remove the profiling as a possible cause for differences in the way that customers traffic is treated.
232 REPLIES
bobbygeorge
Grafter
Posts: 373
Registered: 30-07-2007

Broadband Platform Performance Update

thanks for that simon,

we can only now hope this the beginning of the end of our woe's

time will tell though.

gonna remain positive for the coming week then
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,364
Thanks: 15
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Broadband Platform Performance Update

Quote

Silver traffic is absolutely better, as is Bronze. There is still work to do on Gold traffic, but we are heading in the right direction.


Surely if there is prioritisation, then the Gold would have improved before the Silver ... sorry my simple mind works this way if there some other obvious reason you could offer.

SW.
--
3Mb FTTC
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
N/A

Broadband Platform Performance Update

Looks like you freed up enough traffic to feed, at best, three 8mb/s accounts.

And surely the filtering isn't based on port numbers alone? I thought elacoyas were supposed to be more intelligent than that.
Firejack
Grafter
Posts: 921
Registered: 26-06-2007

Broadband Platform Performance Update

If Plus.net can control the speed of Titanium Traffic. Why can't the current system of Traffic management be replaced with a system that throttles everyone's connections on a dynamic sliding scale when the network is in danger of being overload?

So everyone 8Mbit connections could be restricted to 7Mbit during peak hours or 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 depending on how strained the network was.
This has the advantage of all protocols working whenever the customers needs them. Although at some periods they may run slower. Which I think we all accept and understand.
Personally I'd rather have 1Mbit FTP downloads and 1Mbit HTTP downloads during peak hours instead of 0.001Mbit FTP downloads and 8Mbit HTTP downloads like we do now.

The reason I would prefer this is it would allow Plus.net to manage available bandwidth at peak times without having to dictate to customers on how they can use their connection. I myself would definitely be willing to have a slower connection at peak time if we didn't have this aggressive and invasive restriction on the types of traffic we use.
N/A

Broadband Platform Performance Update

squeezing out every last drop...

22MB/s is a far way off a 622 central.
mrsimonday
Grafter
Posts: 85
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Broadband Platform Performance Update

Quote


Surely if there is prioritisation, then the Gold would have improved before the Silver ... sorry my simple mind works this way if there some other obvious reason you could offer.

SW.


If there is more traffic in Gold than the weighting allows it use, packets get dropped. Silver has less traffic using it's share so performs better. Is that clear?
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,364
Thanks: 15
Registered: 06-04-2007

Broadband Platform Performance Update

Quote

Personally I'd rather have 1Mbit FTP downloads and 1Mbit HTTP downloads during peak hours instead of 0.001Mbit FTP downloads
and 8Mbit HTTP downloads like we do now.

... I myself would definitely be willing to have a slower connection at peak time if we didn't have this aggressive and invasive restriction on the types of traffic we use.


Afraid they have 3100MB/s of BT Central bandwidth to divide between 160000 users. Sad So a literal slicing of bandwidth like this is tricky, but yes you are right you would prefer to somehow control this yourself but that could be tricky too. Sad

SW.
--
3Mb FTTC
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
mrsimonday
Grafter
Posts: 85
Registered: 30-07-2007

Broadband Platform Performance Update

Quote

22MB/s is a far way off a 622 central.


But if there is only 20Mb/s missing from what is needed to support the FTP traffic on the platform it is enough. I'm not saying it is, but the principle is right.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,364
Thanks: 15
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Broadband Platform Performance Update

Quote

If there is more traffic in Gold than the weighting allows it use, packets get dropped. Silver has less traffic using it's share so performs better. Is that clear?


So now we talk about weighting rather than priority which opens up a different can o'worms.

Surely prioritisation means just that, in that if Gold needs more, it gets more from somehwere such as dropping more Bronze.

So, I am on PAYG, which by default is classed as Gold and also I am told "PAYG traffic is prioritised across the PN network at all times". But you have just told me it may get dropped! I find these comments both mutually exclusive and a cse of false advertising. I pay a premium on PAYG to NOT HAVE MY TRAFFIC DROPPED. Please deliver the as advertised features of your products.

SW.
--
3Mb FTTC
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
mrsimonday
Grafter
Posts: 85
Registered: 30-07-2007

Broadband Platform Performance Update

Quote

And surely the filtering isn't based on port numbers alone? I thought elacoyas were supposed to be more intelligent than that.


They are indeed, however I'm not going to go in to detail about how they do what they do. That is business sensitive information that we don't want to tell anyone.
mrsimonday
Grafter
Posts: 85
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Broadband Platform Performance Update

Quote


So now we talk about weighting rather than priority which opens up a different can o'worms.

Surely prioritisation means just that, in that if Gold needs more, it gets more from somehwere such as dropping more Bronze.


Gold has a better weighting and is serviced more often than either silver or bronze. It is prioritised over both Silver and bronze.

Quote

I pay a premium on PAYG to NOT HAVE MY TRAFFIC DROPPED. Please deliver the as advertised features of your products.


We know that gold drops are unacceptable. That is what out success criteria are, ZERO gold drops. We know it is not there yet, and we will not stop working the problem till we get there.
Firejack
Grafter
Posts: 921
Registered: 26-06-2007

Broadband Platform Performance Update

Quote
Afraid they have 3100MB/s of BT Central bandwidth to divide between 160000 users. Sad So a literal slicing of bandwidth like this is tricky, but yes you are right you would prefer to somehow control this yourself but that could be tricky too. Sad
Not everyone is going to be online and download at full speed though. So it shouldn't need to go below 1Mbit.
N/A

Broadband Platform Performance Update

Does this not mean the phrase "Up to xxGb - up to line speed" is now incorrect as games and voip are both throttled down to 512 and 128k respectivly?
N/A

Broadband Platform Performance Update

Quote
Quote

And surely the filtering isn't based on port numbers alone? I thought elacoyas were supposed to be more intelligent than that.


They are indeed, however I'm not going to go in to detail about how they do what they do. That is business sensitive information that we don't want to tell anyone.


Its called Deep Packet Inspection (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_packet_inspection), basically, plusnet's hardware will look at the data you are actually transferring and identify it based on a number of rules that make up a fingerprint.

So, for example, http may be identified by a combination of port 80, but also any data that contains a string match against "HTTP 1.", this would be a strong indication that it is normal web traffic.

There may be another rule that doesnt count port in the equation and just string matches, that wouldn't he as strong an indicator that it was normal web traffic, so may be slightly less prioritised than the rule that matched above (in case people we may messing with the system, or it may be slightly different data, like shoutcast for example).

By creating a whole lot of rules, for many different protocols, they attempt to identify all traffic running over the wire and prioritising it to their own specification.

The big thing recently was the use of encryption to hide traffic type from the fingerprint, which is what the 6.4 ellacoya update attempted to work around. This probably introduced a method of fingerprinting the handshake that sets up the encrypted connection, alternatively it could be possible to do a man in the middle attack on the crypto (this is very unlikely due to legal and overhead reasons).

Of course, all this is subjective. By looking at traffic that Plus are identifying as higher priority it is usually possible to tunnel connections so they appear to be different traffic, this is what has likely caused strange increases in VOIP/Game traffic for some individuals which is why plus have introduced hard limits on their speeds.