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Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacity

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Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacity

After reading this thread: http://portal.plus.net/central/forums/viewtopic.php?t=35620&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

And this article at the register:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/08/plusnet_broadband/

I'm wondering whether all this traffic management stuff works out more expensive or cheaper than adding some new central pipes or segments? I know for a fact networking equipment isn't cheap and I imagine the equipment plusnet use for traffic management and shaping is no different.

It seems to me that there are two options plus.net have and had:
1) Add more of these traffic management boxes (that costs money and space to house them somewhere) and implement yet more " industry-leading network management techniques" using that equipment
2) Just buy some more pipes/segements, forget about all this extreme traffic shaping and management, and simply boot customers off who use a significant ammount of resources?

1 & 2 both achieve the same effect - you punish high users (either using good old fashioned email warnings like other ISPs or restricting them to dial up speeds) and eventually boot them off if they continue

HOWEVER, number 2 allows you to get rid of the high users while also increasing capacity, thus benefiting the majority of your existing customer base.

Even with traffic management, you will still need to increase capacity at some point, and so you are left with the expensive traffic management equipment and the cost of more pipes/segments.

If there is any logic at all to this, I'd love to hear from some fellow +net users and some staff to comment. I can quite understand if you won't give me the actual figures, but some sort of detailed response would be appreciated for a curious customer who recently migrated in.

I suppose the specific question is whether plusnet found traffic management (for example) 5% cheaper in the long run and completely ignored the benefits of adding extra capacity for their "normal", "well behaved" users?

(and before anyone asks, I'm a 512k premier user and use about 15-20gb total each month - by no means a heavy downloader)
18 REPLIES
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Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacity

Hi

Myself think that in order to save liteing another segment of 155 or whatever they brought the ellacoys in to along with the Gold silver bronze of the erx1440 to squeeze as much out of the capacity they have at the moment,

Why they need to do is is could be for a number of reasons ie

1...Makeing the company look more profitable for the benifit of shareholders etc
2...Holding of adding capacity of ipsteam when they are looking at LLU so that they dont have unused segments doing nothing if a lot of ipstream users swop over to LLU as most users still want speed,
3...Or both of above

Dont get me wrong im not saying that its not right afterall it is a business but its the way they are doing it that annoys me, if they said this is what we are doing then ok id know and i could go from there, but all the talk of the 1% bad boys etc which dosent add up with the figures they put about,

As for the ellacoys then im sure they will be put to future use anyway so i dont think its wasted money for plusnet,

That my own opinion

thxs
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacity

I don't know how much the "E-Coli's" cost but I suspect it's a lot less than centrals. A 622 costs 1.7 milion per year...

What I'd really like to know (i'm to lazy to do the math) is how many customers plusnet have to each 2 megabits of bandwith on the network including centrals!
Ben_Brown
Grafter
Posts: 2,839
Registered: 13-06-2007

Re: Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacit

Quote
It seems to me that there are two options plus.net have and had:
1) Add more of these traffic management boxes (that costs money and space to house them somewhere) and implement yet more " industry-leading network management techniques" using that equipment
2) Just buy some more pipes/segements, forget about all this extreme traffic shaping and management, and simply boot customers off who use a significant ammount of resources?


Although option 2 may provide as much capacity we'd need, just booting people off isn't what we want to do and upsets people. Also, it wouldn't give us the ability to manage our network efficiently, which is key at the moment with the new services and faster speeds on the horizon. If we kept buying more and more capacity so a small group of users can use a huge chunk of this capacity we wouldn't be able to grow as a company and provide these services to the majority of our customers.

Although with the Ellacoya kit we can manage our network efficiently, with the growth in customers we will need to buy more capacity, which we will do when it is needed. The Ellacoya's don't mean we will never light more segments.
Alecto
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacit

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just booting people off isn't what we want to do and upsets people. .


Sorry, this doesn't make sense. If you don't want certain people as customers, then that's fair enough. What is wrong with telling them so?

An honest straightforward approach as suggested by the OP would have upset far less people than your current approach is doing. You had far more people supporting you over the BBP than against you.

Discouraging people by heavy throttling such that they kick up a fuss and then eventually leave is a weaselly way to go about what is a perfectly acceptable business procedure. And that is not your primary motive.

What your ellacoyas are actually doing is degrading the service for everybody, until your powers that be decide that the service that is left will be just acceptable to enough people. The throttling will go a little bit too far to test this, then ease off slightly, and that minimum level of service will be maintained by lighting new pipes as necessary. Thus you will be supporting your userbase at minimum cost, which is what it is all about.
Ben_Brown
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Re: Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacit

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What your ellacoyas are actually doing is degrading the service for everybody, until your powers that be decide that the service that is left will be just acceptable to enough people.


I can't agree with you on that one. The ellacoyas enable us to actually manage our network efficiently, which is not something we could do before we had them. They are essential in building the best platform for the majority of our customers and to provide these customers with the services they want at a very competitive price and the faster speeds they want and still be profitable. With the faster speeds and emerging technologies like VoIP, TV/Video on demand doing all of the above is only possible with management. Without it it would be a bandwidth free-forall with the majority of our customers really loosing out to the few who use ther connections in an unsustainable manner.

Sure, we can kick these users out, but this is not what we want to do. Whenever we have done this in the past we have been heavily criticised for it and caused far too much ill feeling.

We may be one of the first ISPs to start properly managing their network, but we will certainly not be the last.
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Re: Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacit

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Sure, we can kick these users out, but this is not what we want to do. Whenever we have done this in the past we have been heavily criticised for it and caused far too much ill feeling.



Hi Ben,

Granted. And be that as it may, but looking round at the diabolical state of the forums as of late it doesnt look as though this move has done you too many favours either.
Just out of interest, how many people have left so far since the introduction of the throttling. Last I heard it was in the high thousands. Is this true?

Regards,
Alecto
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Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacity

Thanks Ben, that's spinspeak for what I said.

Ill feeling when you kick off heavy users? Hardly, apart from those concerned. I'd love you to throw off some very heavy users and give me more speed.

And of course others will be doing it too, which is why I suspect any improvement from changing ISP will be temporary.
Community Veteran
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Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacity

Ben, I don't know about the BBP scenario, it was before my time on these forums. However for the Wadev 2 it was a completely different situation, you had two customers wanting an e-mail to be sent out about the 4 and 8 mb products. The were too vocal for someones liking and got kicked off, I know of no-one who approved of this.
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Re: Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacit

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Without it it would be a bandwidth free-forall with the majority of our customers really loosing out
So did PN get it wrong when they withrew the April 2005 AUP and declared they would achieve "network management by contention"?
Ben_Brown
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Registered: 13-06-2007

Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacity

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So did PN get it wrong when they withrew the April 2005 AUP and declared they would achieve "network management by contention"?


No, we said what was right at the time. The UK Broadband market is very fast moving, and what was right then isn't right now. What's right now is making a scalable and sustainable managed platform that will provide the best service to the majority of our customers.
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Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacity

The ellacoyas are good in principle.

Basically were seeing uncontended Gold and Silver Traffic atm : GOOD!
Bronze traffic, though is heavily contended!

Based on the 30:1 contention ratio and ignroing exchange contention which often isnt a factor

on a 2mbit Line

2mbit = 2048kbit
2048/30 = 68kbit
68kbit / 8 = 8.5Kb/s

What this boils down to is this:

There is not currently enough central capcity to meet the advertised contention ratio. Sure the 15gig gives nice speeds, but after that u still are obligated to supply atleast 8.5k/s on bronze traffic for premier customers.... and ur not doing this.

So Another 1 or 2 155 pipes are infact NOW NEEDED!

Can i ask though, why the hell theres 100 odd mbit free during peak times according to the graphs?... is this overheard? Netowrk managment not allot 100% ustilisation to prevent gold or silver traffice dropping ? or jsut hte network cant manage the throughput?
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Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacity

Quote
Quote
So did PN get it wrong when they withrew the April 2005 AUP and declared they would achieve "network management by contention"?


No, we said what was right at the time. The UK Broadband market is very fast moving,.
Ah yes, even a mid-term strategy takes VISION. And that, of course is what PlusNet prides itself on.

That and PlusNet's peerless communication of it's "Vision" to its customers BEFORE the "vision" affects them - positively, or in several demonstrable cases, negatively.
Ben_Brown
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Posts: 2,839
Registered: 13-06-2007

Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacity

Quote
There is not currently enough central capcity to meet the advertised contention ratio. Sure the 15gig gives nice speeds, but after that u still are obligated to supply atleast 8.5k/s on bronze traffic for premier customers.... and ur not doing this.


We are not obliged to supply any sort of speed, however we want to supply the best speed to the majority of our customers, which we do by managing the network. Unfortunately we can't give the best speeds to everyone for every application so the speeds of bandwidth intensive applications used by a handful of customers may be reduced to give more capacity over to the applications that most our customers want to use.
Community Veteran
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Question to plusnet - traffic management vs pipe capacity

Ben I think you are ;-)

If you did not supply a decent connection ~PN would be in deep legal doggy right now ;-)