NBAR vs Packetshaper

Unanswered Question
Sep 4th, 2009
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Hi Friends,


I Hope I can ask this question here in this forum. It is purely a desing

question


I know NBAR can automatically discover application flowing in the network

and QoS policy can be applied to those traffic.


Is this equivalent to BLUE COAT PACKETEER PACKET SHAPER device. How NBAR

feature differs or have advantage / disadvantage over BLUE COAT PACKETEER

PACKET SHAPER.


I believe you can share your work experience .


sairam

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Mohamed Sobair Fri, 09/04/2009 - 10:50
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Hi,


NBAR or Network Based Application Recognition discovers application using PDLMs. and yes, you can say it provides some feature provided by PACKETEER.


However, from design prespective, I would consider the CPU amd memory resources as NBAR is CPU intensive.


If you require a box that can provide QoS based on Layer-3 to layer-7 info with QoS to prioritrizing traffic over another and shaping capabilities , I would choose Packeteer but its still based on your requirment.


You should first determine the total throughput required and what service level agreement you provide to your customers including QoS.


Bluecoat on the other hand, is mostly used as a cache engine , as well as Some security policies and access permissions. So basically its for Application acceleration and security policies features.


So, NBAR would provide you a QoS at applicatiol layer but i wouldnt rely on NBAR for big infrastructure.


Also , depends on the Traffic load and throughput, there is different series of Packeteer and bloacoat.


May I ask what exactly your requirment, and for which environment you need to deploy NBAR/Packeteer or Bluecoat ?



HTH

Mohamed

snarayanaraju Fri, 09/04/2009 - 11:01
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Hi Mohamed,


Thanks for your response. I am trying to use a QoS device that should do packet shaping and bandwidth management. That is different bandwidth prioritization for different applications.


I am going to use this at the Internet gateway.


Can you shed some light, what Packeteer does extra that Cisco NBAR does not do. I learned that NBAR does protocol discovery, Application based reorganization, Layer 7 control over traffic. Using this data, I will use MQC and apply bandwidth to each of the application that is sensed by NBAR. Is it right?


It is also shown the same thing in Packeteer packetshaper datasheet. How it differs?


Thanks


Sairam


Mohamed Sobair Fri, 09/04/2009 - 11:42
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Hi Sairam,


Here are some feature provide by Packeshaper:


1- You can configure burstable bandwdith for customer whenever there is a congestion.


2- you can priotrize the traffic at layer-3 or layer-7 for particular subset of subnet and applications.


3- you can priotrize the traffic for the whole box whenever there is a congestion, what should be sent and how much bandwidth its guranteed.



Packeteer is normally used by ISPs due to thier requirment and QoS features for high volume of traffic provided to thier customers.


If NBAR would do what you are looking for without helming your CPU (Small deployment ) then no need to deploy Packeteer.



HTH

Mohamed

snarayanaraju Fri, 09/04/2009 - 11:54
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Hi Mohamed,


I agree your points mentioned. Thanks again.


Please note I am just trying compare NBAR with Packeteer. This is to explore the features that NBAR do not have.


Your mentioned:


"1- You can configure burstable bandwdith for customer whenever there is a congestion."


I Believe Cisco also does this using Bc and Be parameters. Am i right?


"2- you can priotrize the traffic at layer-3 or layer-7 for particular subset of subnet and applications."


I Believe Cisco also does this using MQC and NBAR. Am i right?

"3- you can priotrize the traffic for the whole box whenever there is a congestion, what should be sent and how much bandwidth its guranteed."


I donot understand what you meant by "whole box".


I also, like to add a point here. Packeteer can be configured in wired mode (passthru mode) which cannot be done on Routers applied for QoS


Am I in sync with you


Sairam


Mohamed Sobair Fri, 09/04/2009 - 12:24
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Hi Sairam,


what you are saying is correct.


what I meant by the whole box, is that whenever there is a congestion the box defaults to gurantee minimum bandwidth as configured for all classes. You could have priority for even who should get his burstable bandwdth and who shouldnt at layer-3 within the whole classes , what class has priority more than othe class.


Another option in Packeteer, that it provide you the ability for bandwidth managment on specific timing which is not available in Routers. For example you gurantee specific subnet x.x.x.x/x 512kbs during the day while 1MBps during the night.


As for design prespective, as I said before, the whole idea depends on the capacity of the total throughput and the Overall bandwdth to be managed.


Besided the CPU intensive problem, some packeteer Boxes could handle QoS for a total throughput that a normal cisco router (lower to medium end series) cant handle, SO in the end it depends on the Volume of the traffic and your needs.



HTH

Mohamed

Joseph W. Doherty Fri, 09/04/2009 - 16:35
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I haven't had any hands on with Packeteer, but have "some" experience with Cisco QoS including using NBAR.


From what I've read of about Packeteer's specs, the product appears to be capable of much more then what you can accomplish on a Cisco device, so the question then becomes, do you need those additional capabililites?


An interesting capability (if I recall correctly) is Packeteer's ability to spoof TCP RWIN, in either direction, to regulate TCP flow rate. Other than this, and perhaps more featured matching and traffic manipulation, and of course better reporting, I've found Cisco's QoS "good enough" if you manage both sides of a link's egress.


If you only manage one side, Packeteer might be wonderful for TCP traffic, but it might not be of benefit for non-TCP traffic.

snarayanaraju Fri, 09/04/2009 - 21:31
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Hi Mohammed & Joseph,


Thanks for your reply.


Refering to Mohammed comment on timebased bandwidth control, even using NBAR applied in MQC with timebased ACL it is possible.


I found a product available in Cisco called IP SERVICE CONTROL ENGINE (SCE 2020) does this job.


Any comments is welcomed


sairam

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