Fiber/Cable/ADSL ISPs

We installed Bequant for a trial, but we were initially very skeptical, because we had tried similar solutions in the past from other vendors, and they didn’t work at all. The story was completely different this time: we fell in love with the streaming quality benefits our customers got in all the different access technologies we have: wireless, ADSL/copper and fiber. A satisfied Bequant customer.

Overview

The Bequant TCP Acceleration (BTA) in the Bequant BQN product overcomes TCP performance issues in fixed networks (fiber, cable or ADSL) and domestic WiFi access, to provide tangible improvements in the quality of experience (QoE). Better QoE increases customer satisfaction and loyalty and reduces support costs, leading overall to higher profits for the ISP.

TCP has difficulties to reach fiber high speeds, specially when combined with a WiFi wireless access at customer premises. The BTA tackles these performance issues and raises the effective speed with real applications closer to the high nominal speed of fiber access.

The Bequant DPI functionality provides information about what services are being used by subscribers. That information can also be used to identify specific services and to control their speed when there is congestion, using the Bequant Bandwidth Managment (BBM) functionality.

Acceleration Results

This section shows the acceleration obtained in one of our customers using GPON FTTH fiber in commercial service. Our product usually leaves around 1% of TCP connections, at random, without optimization, to measure the speed of those downloads (and uploads) and to be able to compare them with the speed of the rest of TCP conenctions, which are being optimized, and to obtain the acceleration percentage (the increase in average speed). Additionaly, you can also look at our Netflix results in different kinds of ISPs.

This chart shows a comparison of the downlink mean speeds for different services.

This chart shows a comparison of the uplink mean speeds for different services.

Bandwidth Savings Results

The following graph shows the effects on the network throughput of limiting streaming video speed to 4 Mbps per user in a WISP network, identifying the video streaming traffic with our DPI Analysis functionality. The 4 Mbps limitation per user was enforced by our Bandwidth Management functionality during even hours of the day, while no limitation was set on odd hours of the day, and the total volume of traffic sent every hour, for the whole network, was measured for four days. It can be seen that the overall volume of traffic was significantly lower (around 15% lower), and that the peaks in traffic were also lower when limiting to 4 Mbps. All these results were obtained with no customer complaints due to quality. In a fiber ISP, it would probably be more appropriate to use a higher throughput limitation, like 10 Mbps.

In the previous experiment, we also measured the average latency from our equipment up to the network subscribers, and found it to be significantly lower, by around 5 milliseconds, during the even hours, when video streaming traffic had a speed limitation, as can be seen in the following graph. This is due to the fact that video stremaing tends to take all the available bandwidth, and that can fill up buffers in the network, which increases latency. By limiting video streaming total speed per user to a value below the subscribers' plan limit, we ensure those limits are not reached and some bandwidth is left for applications like online gaming or voice-over-IP, which will benefit from the latency reduction.

Deployment

The Bequant software runs on Bequant Nodes (BQN), which are transparently deployed as a bump-in-the-wire between the edge router/switch and the next router/switch towards the Internet. The BQN supports PPPoE and it can also be deployed between the Edge router/switch and the users.

The BQN only needs to be on the path of the traffic to optimize and it is compatible with other network elements such as traffic policers or shapers. It can also be deployed between clients and the edge router/switch, for example. The BQN supports PPPoE and VLAN traffic seamlessly.