Tuesday, August 24, 2010

DPI/QoS Announcements: Meraki's Traffic Shaper

Although not targeting the broadband market, the new announcement from Meraki, a vendor of 801.11 access points, could be interesting as a solution to education and residential campuses which are very similar in needs and traffic patterns to commercial broadband services.

See "Meraki Debuts First Cloud-Based Application Traffic Shaper" - here.

The leading DPI vendors are also addressing this market (mainly education - see a recent Procera press release "Higher Education Keeps Moving to Procera Networks" - here). For campuses with 802.11 wireless access only, this may eliminate the need to add a DPI appliance - as Meraki's traffic shaping feature is embedded in Meraki's access point device "with no additional hardware or software, and at no additional cost. Traffic Shaper is currently in beta, and will be generally available September 30."

"Traffic Shaper enables administrators to: 
  • Analyze network traffic by application or application class
  • Enforce traffic shaping policies (e.g., limit each user’s peer to peer traffic)
  • Stay up to date with hundreds of constantly updated application signatures
  • Prioritize critical applications using QoS policies"
"Traffic Shaper" is also the name of a freeware product for Windows (here).

"Traffic Shaper operates through a custom-built layer 7 packet inspection engine running on each Meraki 802.11n access point. Meraki Traffic Shaper recognizes hundreds of applications, including recreational applications such as YouTube and BitTorrent, and business applications like Salesforce.com and Google Apps. Traffic Shaper provides extensive visibility and control into network usage. Administrators may view and control bandwidth consumption by application, by content type (e.g. video, audio, text), and by user. Meraki Traffic Shaper runs at line rate, with no loss of performance. "

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