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iDirect Network Accelerator

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Oct 1st, 2008 at 8:47pm  
Anybody with any feedback on this device?
i would like to know how it would improve a 3100 OR EvolutionX3 network.

the pdf file for it brags about making vpn connections faster and so on.

the place i want to install it for can benefit from a boost in speed here and there. they especially use https sites (SSL) for webmail which is really never accelerated.

thx
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Reply #1 - Oct 7th, 2008 at 3:48am  
Does your provider offer client based solutions?  For example Accelenet, Riverbed, etc....

iDirects accelerator is decent, but I cannot get over the fact that it is 1U/19in form factor.
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Reply #2 - Oct 7th, 2008 at 5:22pm  
ya they use accelenet but it always disconnects for whatever.
+
i've already voiced my opinion about how bad accelenet is ... it really isnt all its hyped up to be.
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Eric Johnston
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Reply #3 - Oct 7th, 2008 at 7:19pm  
When I tested the Turbo Acceleration by Bentley Walker on one of their satellite networks, it worked fine for me with no disconnections.   Their acceleration is based on the Accelenet system and involves a server at their hub that compresses web page images and text files before they are sent over the satellite to the customer (and the other way also).  Obviously the hub server needs to be installed and configured correctly and maintained.   See my report BW turbo acceleration
I see no reason why an Accelenet system should not be provided by an iDirect operator but they need to understand that the configuration and operation of the server needs care and effort.  It is expensive but there are savings in traffic over the satellite.   If disconnection is a problem in an Accelenet system I would suggest looking into the operation of the server.

The separate box approach of the iDirect system perhaps avoids the need for each end user PC to be loaded with the acceleration/de-acceleration software package.

Best regards, Eric.
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Reply #4 - Oct 7th, 2008 at 9:45pm  
Its always great to see you take the time to reply, Eric.
Your feedback is always welcome.

My problem with Accelenet is its too purpose generic. besides the disconnections that I have reported to BW but got aboslutely no help in curing I decided to give up on it.

Now the time I did try Accelenet I found it to be (how do i put this lightely)... really really bad? if you want speedy web pages then you have to set the image quality to something pathetic like poor. every image WILL get messed up.
If you set the images all to "Perfect" then you really didnt do much and without being on perfect then you'll just stare at a deformed web page.

Accelenet should also offer the user a choice of what client software to have. For instance if i use a Mac i would want a OS X version and if i use a Linux system i would want that. I dont see why they limit you...

in any case; I am now on a DVB-S2 and am waiting for them to do the ip routing so i can test it again and see how well it performs.

P.S. I found these programs that do about the same and are at least controlled by YOU.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_accelerator#Most_Popular
I am currently testing RabbIT and am going to try Ziproxy.
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Reply #5 - Oct 13th, 2008 at 12:02pm  
I bet they havent upgraded to the latest software.  There is a new version out that is much better.....those pesky disconnects are not as abundant with the new version.
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« Last Edit: Feb 26th, 2015 at 12:16pm by Admin1 »  
 
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Reply #6 - Oct 15th, 2008 at 10:37pm  
the one that was given to me the other day was version: 3.3.1491 LSP

What version do you have?

I currently have the picture quality set to "Excellent". some images like the WAFA Advertisement above is heavily degraded however most sites are ok

there are a few hiccups for some odd reason .. honestly though if i close accelenet or keep it open i notice sites open at the same speed. hardly noticing a real visible difference.

by the way some browsers dont pick up accelenet. what port does it use? i thought it was 9022 or 9021 but if i feed that into firefox it doesnt load anything...
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Reply #7 - Oct 19th, 2008 at 9:36am  
cylent, back to your original question. "i would like to know how it would improve a 3100 OR EvolutionX3 network. "

My understanding is the the iDirect NA has the same TCP acceleration capability as you will find inside the 3100 or X3. It is meant to be used where you have hardware encryption such as a VPN between two Cisco routers. You can then accelrate the unencrypted traffic before it goes into the VPN. It would also work on a regular SCPC link where there is normally no acceleration.

The problem with all hardware accelerators is that you need a box at each side of the link.
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Reply #8 - Oct 22nd, 2008 at 6:48pm  
Note that acceleration is only required for TCP protocols such as HTTP, SMTP, FTP, telnet, etc.  TCP is a guaranteed transport protocol that requires ACKnowledgments from the remote side of the circuit to confirm that packets were received error free.  Because satellite delay slows these ACKnowledgments, performance is significantly reduced, since the sender won't send any additional packets till it gets the ACK back from the receiver.  TCP Acceleration provides local ACKs so that the TCP packets can flow at full speed over the VSAT circuit.  TCP is generally data such as browsing, email, file transfer, etc. This type of data must be delivered accurately.   

UDP is a "spray and pray" protocol.  It does not have Acknowledgments.  If a packet is lost, it shows up as pixelation, noise, static, etc., but since UDP is typically voice/video traffic, it doesn't make sense to stop the transmission and retransmit corrupt or lost data.

iDirect helped pioneer TCP and HTTP Acceleration integrated into the modem.  So you have this already built in.  The problem comes when you add a VPN.  The integrated TCP Acceleration process can't see the TCP headers because they have been encrypted/encapsulated, thus the acceleration features are unavailable.  The solution is to use an external acceleration appliance sitting in between the LAN and the VPN appliance to provide pre-acceleration and QoS prior to the encryption/encapsulation process.  So it fits together like this at the remote site:

LAN - Pre-Acceleration Appliance - VPN Appliance - VSAT modem - VSAT link.  The central site or data center must also have the same setup.  Typically the data center appliance can be sized to support a large number of smaller remote appliances. 

The iDirect Network Accelerator is being supplemented by the new SkyCelerator.

It integrates with SCPS-TP (Standards-based Space Communications Protocol Standard-Transport Protocol), provides automatic peer discovery, supports mesh networks, high ratio, real time data compression, enables HTTP Acceleration, fast start technology, fail to wire capability and/or hot backup.  It can be configured as bridge or router and provide one or two-way acceleration. It's much easier to set up than the original Network Accelerator.

It's designed for networks with VPN encryption devices that require stand-alone TCP Accleration and advanced compression. 

Note:  SSL does not require accleration as the TCP headers are not hidden through encapsulation/encryption as they are in VPNs such as IPSec and PPTP.  SSL VPNs only encrypt the data and leave the headers alone, so they can still be accelerated.

The SkyCelerator provides IP QoS and TCP weighted fair queuing QoS.  This is important because you can't prioritize data that is already encapsulated/encrypted, so you have to apply QoS before it gets encrypted.

So in response to the original question - it isn't going to enhance performance of a network using 3100s or X3s UNLESS there are VPN requirements.  It is not necessary for SSL VPNs such as Citrix.

I'm not positive, but I believe the original Network Accelerator was designed to be used only on iDirect networks with some 'hooks' into the iDirect modems, but I believe the SkyCelerator can be used on any VSAT service including SCPC. 

Pat Gannon
Business Satellite Solutions, LLC
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