the myIT blog

Excuse me, I'm a VIP and just passing through!

VIP: Very Important "Packet" (data). We're talking about many packets of data, among a mongo amount of packets of data. How do you define protocols, especially those that have related traffic but the ports are random? It's hard enough defining a port and using basic traffic shaping, but sometimes the recognition of new traffic (or sessions) when the connection is buried is somewhat prone to failure. If your Internet pipe is at 100% capacity, how quickly can your firewall make way for new, even miniscule, traffic that should get priority?

The two hardest parts of a VOIP installation:

  1. Firewall configuration
  2. Traffic prioritization
We recently started testing a new appliance that can sit "transparently" between your network and your firewall. It's pretty cool to watch it report how your network is used, by category. We started using PacketLogic equipment several years ago, before they were bought by Procera Networks. Their equipment uses a language they developed to immediately identify a datastream.
We explain it like this:  "You are sitting on a hill overlooking a very busy Interstate. You have a nerdy "car nut" friend with you. You take a picture of a car whizzing by and try to determine what it was. It takes you a while, since it was going fast. You explain it was a 1988 Chevy Cavalier Station Wagon. You also say what color it was. Your nerdy friend, who is fluent in DRDL says, "No, it was a 1987, they only made the wagon from 1985-1987 in that body style, then it changed slightly in 1988." He corrects you on the factory color name, tells you which trim level it had for the interior and which engine. He can do this without blinking for literally every vehicle passing up and down the Interstate without blinking, and not being wrong.  He's a Savant."
Traffic classification depends on packet inspection. It's one thing to say that the packet type was tcp and headed to a server on port 80 or 443, so it must be http or https traffic. Smarter stuff says "It's Netflix streaming services (as opposed to just browsing the site).Maybe its Google services or CNN news.  One is entertainment, another is communications and the other is news media.
EVERY firm, big and small has to start worrying about bandwidth budgets. You don't want personal dropbox stuff interfering with business VOIP services. One way to achieve that is with smart little appliances that take things up a notch and offer a simple interface to explain and show you what it has learned.
We now have one and two WAN port appliances available to us and can help you take back your pipe. These can be used as firewalls or placed behind your firewall and be used to monitor and groom traffic without direct interference or any programming changes in your network. Best thing is, we can ship them directly to you and when you plug it in, it auto configures itself.
Yes, we sold you our "nerdy friend". Only this one is made for the masses and not the ones that ISP's use to snoop on everything you do or handle a digital wiretap/intercept order for law enforcement, like the guys who wrote DRDL. These are in reach for any very small business who has a need to make their Internet service reliable for the right type of traffic that makes your business keep going. You shouldn't be slowed down because some employee decided it would be fun to download the new version of Microsoft Office to take home and play with, locked his PC and went to lunch, while you struggle to order materials online to run your business. Or worse, your phone calls turn every conversation into you sounding like Darth Vader to the person on the other end.
We can help you take it up a notch. Let's put the bouncer at the door who knows "exactly" which VIP's to let through and get this party started!