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Sandvine CEO Says Internet Monitoring a Necessity 171

Posted by kdawson
from the for-his-business-model-maybe dept.
Khalid Baheyeldin writes in with a CBC interview with the CEO of Sandvine, Dave Caputo (bio here). Sandvine is the Waterloo, Ontario-based company that provides the technology that Comcast and other ISPs use to overrule Net neutrality by, for example, injecting RST packets to disrupt Bittorrent traffic. Caputo says, among other things, that Internet monitoring is a necessity. Some of the comments to the interview are more tech-savvy than the interviewee comes across.
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Sandvine CEO Says Internet Monitoring a Necessity

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  • by compro01 (777531) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:50PM (#23888435)

    And we can sell you just the product you need for that.

    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:19PM (#23888737)

      CBCNews.ca: Has the internet always been managed, because this idea of network management almost seems recent?

      Caputo: I had dinner with Vint Cerf [a U.S.-based computer scientist often called the father of the Internet] probably a year back and I think he'll be the first to admit that he's surprised and shocked at what his authoring of TCP/IP has meant. If you look at that underlying transmission protocol, when you send a flow of packets -- if they're getting through -- they get bigger until you get congestion, then the packets get smaller. The idea of flow control in the internet has been a tenet of it since day one.

      It really depends on where you draw the line on what management is. The service provider has to figure out the business model of how much service they're going to give a subscriber and how much bandwidth they're going to provide to the internet. That oversubscription ratio is their business model.

      For every five megabits they sell you for $40, they buy a quarter of a megabit because they're planning on you not using your computer 24/7. They count on you being away at work or being asleep. They simply cannot provision that five megabits because that costs way more than what they're selling it to you for. They need people not using the internet for it to work at $40 a month. Now CBC may buy its one-megabit connection for $800 a month because it's a dedicated one-megabit connection.

      ...and...

      CBCNews.ca: So theoretically an internet service provider could sell customers a dedicated peer-to-peer router?

      Caputo: Conceivably. The beauty is to let the market figure it out, and it will.

      So he wants to sell technology that allows the ISP's to OVERSELL their bandwidth while LYING to their customers and he refers to that as "the market".

      How about just telling the customers EXACTLY what they're paying for?

      For $40 you get a guaranteed MINIMUM bandwidth of X with a potential to burst to Y.

      If you want more, you pay for more.

      • by abigor (540274) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:44PM (#23888989)

        All ISPs oversell, with our without Sandvine's products. Your ISP tells you you're getting a certain amount of bandwidth, but you aren't, at least not 24/7. This has always been the case from day one.

        This company isn't doing anything particularly brilliant. ISPs have been doing ad hoc versions of it for years and years.

        • by legirons (809082)

          All ISPs oversell, with our without Sandvine's products. Your ISP tells you you're getting a certain amount of bandwidth, but you aren't, at least not 24/7. This has always been the case from day one.

          Sure the label said that our can of beer contained 18oz. But it actually contains just 6oz - we were expecting you to fall asleep while drinking it and not notice.
          • by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @06:32PM (#23889749)

            Its more like selling access to the keg, telling everyone they can drink the whole thing, and expecting everyone to blackout before they notice its gone

            • by Free the Cowards (1280296) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @06:43PM (#23889857)

              Everybody in my neighborhood picked up the phone at the same time and half of them couldn't get through!

              Overselling is not a bad thing. It can just mean that you sell based on statistical maximums rather than theoretical maximums which never happen. When done this way, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it.

              When 90% of your customers are offline at any given time, there's no point in provisioning more than one tenth of the bandwidth you would need to support all of them downloading at the maximum rate simultaneously.

              The problem is not overselling. The problem is that some ISPs oversell too much. They aren't willing increase capacity to match actual use, but instead try to reduce usage to match actual capacity. This is wrong. But the simple fact of overselling is the only sane way to do business.

              • Oh i know, its called statistical multiplexing :D

                I just think, as you noted, they are cheap and do it too much, and they bitch and complain about heavy users because they want to find new ways to extract money from their networks.

                • by Free the Cowards (1280296) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @07:31PM (#23890147)

                  Exactly right. So complain about insufficient capacity, and not about overselling which is necessary, common, and entirely reasonable.

                  It just gets me how it seems like everybody in these discussions does not actually understand reality. "Ooh, the evil cable company promised 100 people in my neighborhood 5MBit connections but they don't actually have 500Mbit of bandwidth serving us! What a bunch of liars!" Sorry guys, but that's not actually how it works!

                  Now if people will complain about a lack of capacity then I'll be right there with them. But everybody just jumps straight to complaining about "overselling" and it makes them look like a bunch of fools.

                  To take your analogy, if you know from past behavior that you can sell beer "subscriptions" and only purchase half the beer that your subscriptions would require because most of your customers won't drink their full subscription, this is just good business practice and it's a good thing to do.

                  • by Dr. Donuts (232269) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @09:40PM (#23890905)

                    That's all true, however, the point being made is that companies are not selling/telling their customers this. They are advertising it as unlimited.

                    To build on the analogy, you can have unlimited beer but if we see you drinking more than a six beers a day we'll cap how much beer you can have. See how ridiculous that is?

                    Overselling is not unreasonable. Advertising as unlimited is.

                    • by Free the Cowards (1280296) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @10:17PM (#23891139)

                      I disagree. Advertising as unlimited is perfectly reasonable, if you can provide it. There's nothing that says you can't. This should be obvious simply by observing that a huge number of ISPs over a very long period of time have advertised and provided unlimited access with no problems.

                      The problem comes when you no longer want to provide it but still want to advertise it, which is what these large US ISPs are beginning to do, and this is indeed unreasonable.

                      Back to the beer analogy, let's say you sell a beer subscription that's limited to 1 beer an hour but is otherwise unlimited. However you only provision your restaurant for 10 beers an hour despite the fact that you've sold 100 subscriptions. Nothing wrong with this so far. If you worked out your numbers to see what your peak demand is and that peak demand is 10, then you're in good shape!

                      The problem comes when people start drinking more, and so your peak demand increases past 10 beers per hour. At this point you have two honorable choices. One is to say, sorry, we can no longer offer the unlimited subscription, would you like a subscription which comes with 30 beers per month, and a charge per each beer after that? Another is to increase your supply of beer. If your subscribers are now peaking at 15 beers per hour then arrange for that amount to be delivered. Unfortunately these US ISPs are taking a cowardly way out. They are, essentially, continuing to offer the unlimited beers but are finding all the guys who constantly come in for one beer every hour nonstop, intercepting them on the way out the restaurant, dragging them into the alley, and beating them up.

                      But if you just increase your supply to match the actual demand, there's nothing wrong with overselling while advertising unlimited service, since that is in fact exactly what you are providing.

                  • by DarkOx (621550)

                    True, but you should be keeping some idea of how much beer is being used. If you start to notice that your saftey stock is beeing almost completely consumed, or hell you have even run out on multiple ocasions; you would start ordering more beer. Maybe people are drinking more in the economic down turn or whatever but you would start ordering more beer. If you had to order a great deal more beer you would probably start charging higher rates for beer subscriptions too.

                    The ISPs on the otherhand have been

              • by TheLink (130905)
                Really? How do you oversell and not monitor and throttle if all of your customers start using P2P and leave their computers online all the time? It'll be like everyone picking up their phones and connecting to each other just to listen to music all day long.

                If ISPs could set up "super" caching peers for P2P on their network that'll help a lot - but the MPAA and RIAA might give them problems, and also ISPs would still have to throttle inter-ISP P2P traffic (and prioritize traffic to their super peers - so th
                • Really? How do you oversell and not monitor and throttle if all of your customers start using P2P and leave their computers online all the time? It'll be like everyone picking up their phones and connecting to each other just to listen to music all day long.

                  How do you oversell if all of your customers turn into faeries with giant butterfly wings? Your statement is nonsensical. Not all customers start using P2P and leave their computers online all the time. Even with the current rise of P2P, most customers are offline most of the time. Your peak rate is still vastly lower than what you would need if every single user were downloading at the maximum rate simultaneously. Overselling still works fine in this environment as long as you provision the infrastructure

      • by Dan541 (1032000)

        How about just telling the customers EXACTLY what they're paying for?
        Because that's not how fraud is supposed to work.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        How about just telling the customers EXACTLY what they're paying for?

        Because most people want their router to be a little box the telco sends them that enables them to get to CNN, Yahoo mail, and donkeyporn.com . If you want to try explaining 95 percentile billing, BGP peering, settlement-free transit, backhaul, TE at the edge, Netfllow, CEF, OSPF, "tier [n]", eyeballs versus content networking, CDMA, MPLS, tag switching, jumbo frames, latency vs packet loss vs RTT, asymmetrical routing ILECs vs CLECs vs

        • by jonaskoelker (922170) <jonaskoelker@NoSPAM.gnu.org> on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:34AM (#23891863) Homepage

          Could you explain what would be lost if such as page was clearly marked as highly technical, and was optional to read?

          I'm thinking something along the lines of the link text being "high technical information" and the page having a header that goes "The information on this page is meant for people who want to know the technical details of how internet service is provided by $ISP. It's written with the assumption that the reader knows what TCP window sizes, anycast routing and best-efforts networks are and which practical implications they have. If these terms are new to you, you probably want $USER_FRIENDLY_DOC."

          I'm with you on the point that you shouldn't try to force your users to understand the technology (just as the car stereo salesman doesn't wax on/wax off about how frequency modulation works and the benefits of optical versus magnetic storage). But not having to explain something is different from having to not explain it. Why not make both groups of users happy?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Jerry (6400)

        For $40 you get a guaranteed MINIMUM bandwidth of X with a potential to burst to Y.

        And "backward" countries like China (Hongkong) offer 100MB of bandwidth for $48. That's their "entry" offer.

        Taxpayers funded the gov organization (DARPA) which created the Internet. How did it come to be "owned" by the corporations? The same way the White man stole the land from the Indians. When you own the law you make the rules.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Its needed like another hole in the head, hmm thats not a bad idea.

  • Beating Sandvine (Score:5, Informative)

    by Misanthrope (49269) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:54PM (#23888479)

    http://redhatcat.blogspot.com/2007/09/beating-sandvine-with-linux-iptables.html [blogspot.com] [blogspot.com]
    If you are running linux or a linux based router with iptables give this a try. My speeds returned to pre-sandvine levels.

    "If you are using a Red Hat Linux derivative, such as Fedora Core or CentOS, then you will want to edit /etc/sysconfig/iptables. First, make a backup of this file. Next, open this file in your favorite text editor. Replace the current contents with this, substituting 6883 with your BitTorrent port number:

    *filter :INPUT ACCEPT [0:0] :FORWARD ACCEPT [0:0] :OUTPUT ACCEPT [0:0]
    -A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
    #Comcast BitTorrent seeding block workaround
    -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 6883 --tcp-flags RST RST -j DROP
    -A INPUT -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT
    #BitTorrent
    -A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 6883 -j ACCEPT
    -A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m udp -p udp --dport 6883 -j ACCEPT
    -A INPUT -j REJECT --reject-with icmp-host-prohibited
    COMMIT

    Reload your iptables firewall with service iptables restart. You should now see a great improvement in your seeding.

    If you are using Ubuntu or another non-Red Hat Linux derivative, then place the following in a file and execute that file as root.

    #!/bin/sh
    #Replace 6883 with you BT port
    BT_PORT=6883

    #Flush the filters
    iptables -F

    #Apply new filters
    iptables -A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
    #Comcast BitTorrent seeding block workaround
    iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport $BT_PORT --tcp-flags RST RST -j DROP
    iptables -A INPUT -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT
    #BitTorrent
    iptables -A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport $BT_PORT -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m udp -p udp --dport $BT_PORT -j ACCEPT
    iptables -A INPUT -j REJECT --reject-with icmp-host-prohibited

    Your firewall is now configured and you should have great upload speed now. You will have to run this script every boot, by the way. One easy way is to call the script at the end of /etc/rc.local."

    • by mikael (484)

      What about the existing firewall commands? Surely, by just deleting the existing commands, you would be reducing system security?

      # Firewall configuration written by system-config-firewall
      # Manual customization of this file is not recommended.
      *filter :INPUT ACCEPT [0:0] :FORWARD ACCEPT [0:0] :OUTPUT ACCEPT [0:0] :RH-Firewall-1-INPUT - [0:0]
      -A INPUT -j RH-Firewall-1-INPUT
      -A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
      -A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -p icmp --icmp-type any -j ACCEPT
      -A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -p 50 -j ACCEPT
      -A RH-Fi

      • I use my linux box as a one user desktop, as such I do not run a firewall normally due to the fact that I have no running services/daemons.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This doesn't work. Sandvine sends RST to both sides of the connection, so even if you drop the packet the other end most likely will see it and end the connection.

    • Aren't you going to end up with a large number of dead TCP connections still going? You're blocking ALL RST, right? not just the fake ones?

      • Right. I don't see any way that distinguishes between fake RST packets and real ones. Sure, they'll timeout eventually, but I really wouldn't want to see this adopted by a large population of torrent users.

  • by jeiler (1106393) <.go.bugger.off. .at. .gmail.com.> on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:55PM (#23888497) Journal

    From TFA:

    For every five megabits they sell you for $40, they buy a quarter of a megabit because they're planning on you not using your computer 24/7. They count on you being away at work or being asleep. They simply cannot provision that five megabits because that costs way more than what they're selling it to you for. They need people not using the internet for it to work at $40 a month. (Emphasis added)

    So let me get this straight--poor planning on their part somehow does constitute some form of emergency on my part?

    • by cdrudge (68377) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:03PM (#23888589) Homepage

      Poor planning on their part doesn't make it an emergency on your part. Poor planning on their part makes a problem that Sandvine's CEO wants to sell a "solution" to fix the problem.

      • by jeiler (1106393)
        Yeah, I know--but it's occasionally refreshing to vent when stupid people make stupid mistakes, suits like the jerkwad at Sandvine want to sell them a "solution," and people like me get stuck with the bill.
    • So you can't provide those fantastillion megabits per sec for 40 bucks. Ok, I can see that. How about ... I dunno... selling what you can sell?

      Trying to sell something and hope that the customer won't use it is at the very least false advertising. Personally, I'd call it fraud.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Trying to sell something and hope that the customer won't use it is at the very least false advertising. Personally, I'd call it fraud.
        Perhaps you would. Some people, however, find that it suits their purposes to refer to it as "marketing".
      • by spottedkangaroo (451692) * on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:32PM (#23888865) Homepage

        So you can't provide those fantastillion megabits per sec for 40 bucks. Ok, I can see that. How about ... I dunno... selling what you can sell?

        The problem is, that a megabit still costs $300/mo or $700/mo. There's no way around that.

        You can get un-fucked-with bandwidth for that price, or you can live with the fact that your concentrated. You can't have it both ways.

        The more you buy, the cheaper it gets, so you could order a T3 or something for like $5000/mo and then sell it to your neighbors for like $200/mo... (not including the cost of the routers).

        ... but one thing you couldn't do is sell unfiltered unconcentrated bandwidth to your neighbors for $40/mo.

        I don't know about you, but I'm happy to have 3megs part of the day for $30/mo instead of my old ISDN line for $145/mo. Or maybe dialup? No thanks. I'll take the concentrated 3megs for $40.

        It's just not realistic to expect to get more for your $40 than they get for their $300.

        • That's a given, no doubt, but it irks me to no end that we get sold "promises" of insane speeds at insanely low prices. That it cannot work out is a given, at least for everyone who didn't sleep through his business classes. Or at least has lived in any capitalist society for longer than a month.

          Now instead of telling people that no, you can't use the insane speeds we promised you, selected services get cut off or crippled. Sure, email and www are love children of every ISP, email is entirely local traffic

        • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

          by whoever57 (658626)

          The problem is, that a megabit still costs $300/mo or $700/mo. There's no way around that.
          Actually, it is something less. I recently put a couple of machines into a Colo facility. For $200/month, I get a bandwidth allowance equivalent to a continuous 1MB. Since I am also paying for space, electricity, overhead, etc., one can assume that the cost to the Colo facility of that 1MB for a month is a lot less than $200.
          • No... try setting up a bit torrent that maxes out your 1mb for a month or so. They'll talk to you about it. That 1meg they're allotting to you is concentrated too. The real cost of bandwidth is much higher, but in most situations servers and people don't really use it all. If it wasn't for that we'd all have our own crappy 360k for the money.

        • by Wildclaw (15718) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @06:27PM (#23889717)

          http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Cogent-McBandwidth-Gets-Cheaper-95203/ [dslreports.com]

          $7/mbit (of course talking about decent volumes here with the cheapest provider and I guess with fiber already in the ground)

          However that should give you a clue how much everyone is overcharging everywhere. The expensive part is the digging, but it is good (money earning) business to charge big money for small traffic volumes on lines that in reality could support far higher volumes. Not to mention how inefficent a big part of the industry is.

          Atleast that is the only way I can explain how some countries are managing to supply such nice bandwidth to their citizens without getting economically ruined.

        • by ady1 (873490) *

          >>The problem is, that a megabit still costs $300/mo or $700/mo. There's no way around that.

          Costs? Costs? How the fuck does a megabit costs anything at all? The infrastructure does have a running cost, no doubt but each megabit which passes through DOES NOT costs anything.

          Now if they (aka large ISPs) stop fucking paying advertising companies and lobbying firms large sums of money to amend laws to their suiting and instead learn to spend this money on upgrading their network. But that would make them l

  • With every service you've ever churned in your life, be it your bank, insurance company, cellphone service, why did you churn that service?
    This guy is using 'churn' in the most bizarre places. Is this some weird Canadian thing or what?

    I'll admit I only skimmed the article so maybe it's explained earlier that he's had some kind of stroke that's messed with the speech centre of his brain resulting in this problem. Or maybe he's just an idiot.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      There was an article in Mobile Tech Today, uh today that used the same word in the same context over and over again. Weird.

      http://www.mobile-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=11100AWYI8ZX
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Let's hope that Caputo goes Kaput.

      (sorry, someone had to say it!)
    • by hedwards (940851)

      That's just verbing the noun, I suspect he really means screwed.

      Allow me to translate:

      With every service you've ever churned in your life, be it your bank, insurance company, cellphone service, why did you churn that service?
      Means:
      With every service you've ever screwed in your life, be it your bank, insurance company, cellphone service, why did you screw that service?

      The truly bizarre thing is that it really ought to be the other way around.

      • With every service you've ever churned in your life, be it your bank, insurance company, cellphone service, why did you churn that service?
        The truly bizarre thing is that it really ought to be the other way around.

        Lesson: fuck 'em for as long as you can and escape once they want to return the favor.

        Sigh. This will probably be modded funny or, worse, insightful. :(

    • by Zerth (26112) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:21PM (#23888759)

      Churn is an industry term for the percentage of your users will leave for somebody else and the percentage of their users that leave for you. Frequently these users are the same damn people swapping back and forth.

      So despite gaining and losing lots of users, everyone's base stays roughly the same, like a churning ocean, but each one of those churners costs you $X every time they switch sides(freebies, paperwork, number portability, etc).

      Apparently this is now the superlative of "discontinuing service", i.e. "you guys suck, I'm leaving for your competitor."

      • by grahammm (9083) *

        So despite gaining and losing lots of users, everyone's base stays roughly the same, like a churning ocean, but each one of those churners costs you $X every time they switch sides(freebies, paperwork, number portability, etc).

        So why do so many companies (not just ISPs, but credit card, insurance companies, banks etc) have "new customer only" deals to attract people to switch to them rather than making an effort to encourage existing customers to stay? They seem to encouraging churning.

    • It has been used for quite a while in the service industry.

      Churning means the loss of customers to other service providers. In other words, the opposite of customer retention.

      Service providers can combat churn by having some sort of mechanism to make it hard to switch. For example, an email address tends to keep you using the provider of that email address because people don't want to go through the hassle of changing.

      • by springbox (853816)
        That's the dumbest term I've heard since people calling single enemies "mobs" in online games.
        • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:54AM (#23891923)

          That's the dumbest term I've heard since people calling single enemies "mobs" in online games

          That's MOBs for you, not "mobs". It is an ancient MUD game engine acronym which stands for "Mobile OBject". One of those archaic game lingo terms which still survives but the origins of which most of the young whipper-snappers do not have clue about.

          Now about that lawn of mine ...

  • by kandresen (712861) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:58PM (#23888517)

    As stated in the article is that the ISP's are selling you 1 megabyte while really buying you 1/4th of a Megabyte... Network monitoring is in other words necessary to ensure you in other words only use 1/4th of a Megabyte for every Megabyte you buy. It's right there in his argument!

    • That is a pretty great analogy. I like where it is going because it points out the obvious flaw in the deceptive marketing tricks of the ISPs with plenty of clarity for a judge to understand. I hope.

      One thing I do not quite understand is that even if 1-1/4 is the expectation, I don't know or see enough people actually utilizing max bandwidth 24/7. Most people I know use the internet as 'expected', so the realistic offset from the actual 24/7 P2P use is probably noticeable but probably not that bad.

      In ano

  • Yes and no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mensa Babe (675349) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:58PM (#23888519) Homepage Journal

    Yes, Internet monitoring is a necessity.[1] [jhu.edu] No, injecting anything into someone who doesn't wish to have his stuff interfered with is not only not a necessity but quite frankly an outrage. Remember people, just because one thing is a necessity doesn't mean that something more must also be necessary. This is a slippery slope. To be honest I was expecting more logical integrity from Dave Caputo whom I've always respected and liked personally but who has apparently started to be blinded by his corporate agenda. What a shame, Dave. What a shame.

  • TFA

    There used to be this honour system on the internet called "published ports."

    It's an antiquated honour system now because there's plenty of application developers that have no honour.

    Oh yeah? Well back in my day we had an honor system called "don't screw with my freaking packets while they travel over your routers that I'm paying you to use". If y

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:10PM (#23888659)
    NEWS FLASH! CEO of company that makes money helping ISPs throttle the Interweb says throttling the Interweb necessary!

    Honestly, I'm SHOCKED!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DaMattster (977781)
      I am shocked because Sandvine is a frequent supporter of Open Source Operating Systems and has contributed to BSD Conferences. I would have thought that they would support the openness of the internet too. Apparently, their monetary sponsorship of open source conferences are just a PR Stunt.
      • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:49PM (#23889013)

        I am shocked because Sandvine is a frequent supporter of Open Source Operating Systems and has contributed to BSD Conferences. I would have thought that they would support the openness of the internet too. Apparently, their monetary sponsorship of open source conferences are just a PR Stunt.

        Sandvine is one of many telecomm gear companies that strongly support OSS. I used to work at a similar company with at least one ex-Sandvine co-worker. Basically, they build "devices" which they sell to ISPs and other big network operators. They build those devices with custom or off the shelf hardware combined with on OSS operating system, toolchain, and applications, plus a few closed source applications that contain their core competency and money proposition. This is often referred to as the "secret sauce" code.

        These companies do support OSS and build their entire business model around it (in combination with some closed source). They aren't OSS zealots, but most of the employees are strong supporters of OSS and the companies are very good about contributing code back. A lot of the code in Linux and the BSDs is contributed by these companies. They support OSS conferences and the like, because they want to promote OSS, because it is a good way to recruit new talent, and because the improvements that come out of those conferences are often beneficial to their bottom line. A lot of people think OSS is created by hobbyists, but really Sandvine is a good example of who really makes up the OSS community and contributes code. It is mostly businesses who use it to make money in conjunction with hardware, services, or additional closed source software.

      • I am shocked because Sandvine is a frequent supporter of Open Source Operating Systems...
        A number of notable heavy-hitting Open Source guys have made pacts with The Devil of Redmond. Big stacks of money can be attractive.
    • Here's my whole wallet right now!!!!!!
  • I think that blocking bittorent is a horrible offense against net nuetrality and that Comcast really is just falsely advertising. They try to sell you a connection for a ton of money and than not let you use it....how is that fair.

    Comcast is simply ripping people off and refusing to upgrade their network.

    I blame comcast but I don't really blame sandvine. Someone is going to make the software whether its sandvine or "Network Management Unlimited" (wow not a bad idea for a new startup :P). He is just making s

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:13PM (#23888691) Journal
    That I have talked about several times in the past. When you combine corporate greed,the ease of buying off congress,and the desire by the telecos not to bother sinking any of their massive profits into infrastructure upgrades even though the taxpayers shelled out for them,you have the "perfect storm" that in the end will leave the Internet nothing but a crippled former shell of itself.


    After all,it isn't but a single step to go from "We are doing RSTs to save our network!" to "We can use this technology to "guide" our customers to our services and to our affiliates and to "discourage" them from using our competitors and make even greater profits!".


    Mark my words,the Internet will end up a bunch of "walled gardens" like in the days of AOL and Compuserve. The amount of bandwidth they give you for "non-affiliated" services will be so pathetic as to not matter. They will offer the few big boys like Google a free pass to keep them from fighting it while the rest can just starve. The days of a wild and free Internet are coming to a close IMHO. And the world will be a much worse place for it. After all I'm sure that each "garden" will have their own "free" news feed where only approved views will be heard and the corporate spin will always be considered gospel. But that is my 02c,YMMV

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Inquisitor911 (935895)

      Mark my words,the Internet will end up a bunch of "walled gardens" like in the days of AOL and Compuserve. The amount of bandwidth they give you for "non-affiliated" services will be so pathetic as to not matter. They will offer the few big boys like Google a free pass to keep them from fighting it while the rest can just starve. The days of a wild and free Internet are coming to a close IMHO. And the world will be a much worse place for it. After all I'm sure that each "garden" will have their own "free" news feed where only approved views will be heard and the corporate spin will always be considered gospel.

      Unfortunately, what you said paints a frighteningly accurate picture of what the future may hold. I've taken a screencap of your comment so that someday we can tell everyone that we knew that this beast was coming before it reared it's ugly head.

      Screenshot Link [tinypic.com]

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hairyfeet (841228)
        Thank you. Despite what Mr. Coward has so rudely said earlier,I am speaking from personal exp. In my area you have the choice of 20Gb for $35(WISP) or 36Gb for $33(cable). The DSL here is so damned slow you might as well be on dial up. I used to use a lot more FLOSS and try out newly released distros,but not anymore. I simply can't waste my bandwidth.

        As to the earlier Mr. Coward...This is how the wall works.It isn't some giant "great firewall" that you bash against,they simply starve you out for bandwidt

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:15PM (#23888713) Homepage

    ISPs should never muck with a TCP stream. They're entitled to send ICMP messages. ICMP Destination Unreachable has codes for things like "(13) Communications Administratively Prohibited" and "(10) Destination host administratively prohibited". Then at least the user knows 1) that somebody along the route didn't like the packet, and 2) who to blame. There's a right way to do this, and sending an RST isn't it.

    Client software may not pass all the ICMP info up to the user, but that could be fixed easily enough.

  • This isn't about companies saving money on provisioning.

    This is about a deep fear in some circles of people
    getting together in egalitarian groups to do mysterious
    and no doubt evil things.

    This is about preventing people from having the power
    of independent thought and action.

    This is about spying to identify those who try to
    move out of their assigned channel.

    Clearly, a cold war is going to be needed here, and
    the key weapon is going to be steganography.

  • by redelm (54142) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @05:29PM (#23889355) Homepage
    It rather bothers me when vendors and other strong advocates push their points (whatever those might be) without the slightest consideration of objections, as if there were none possible. The technique of the BigLie.

    Of course a netadmin has to monitor traffic. How else to assure good service? But what information is necessary and how it should be used ought to be carefully governed by ethics. Unfortunately, these ethics [lopsa.org] are not well known, and frequently violated by the concept of "owner privilige" (often might makes right). Essentially ignoring any notion of customer rights and treating employees as serfs. Both have been known to rebel for cause.

    It is the deplorable state of IT ethics that is the root cause of many of these controversial actions.

  • Stop with the damn caps and the unknown variables. I want to see an ISP with a basic monthly fee and pay-as-you-transfer rates.

    Exemple: you pay 10$/month for your connection if you do less than 10 GiB of transfers, and you pay 1$ per additionnal 10 GiB.

    You make less than 10 GiB download+upload during the month, you pay 10$. You upload+download for 100 GiB, you pay 19$. Not expensive enough? I have no idea. Change the price per GiB as needed, I have no idea how much ISPs are paying for their bandwidth.

  • I strongly suspect the CEO is hoping to do another PixStream... sell out to a big player and walk away with a small fortune as the former company gets ripped to shreds by the new owners. He cares not about the words coming out of his mouth, he's a sales guy. He sells businesses, takes his golden handshake and moves on to the next target.

    The funny thing is a lot of Sandvine employees were former PixStream employees, so either the perks are fantastic, or these people are easily duped.

  • Full of $*&$% (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) * on Saturday June 21, 2008 @07:31PM (#23890139)

    I think the beauty of it is the net neutrality debate is something that is going to be solved in our lifetime and, like I said before, I think it's going to be laughable in the next two or three years that people used to say all packets should be treated equally.

    All packets MUST be treated equally. That is the first mistake. When an ISP says that they will deliver "unlimited" Internet to you, they must actually do this. "Unlimited" is not vague or ambiguous in the context in which they have used it. They must give me unlimited service, or a service without limitations, boundaries, restrictions, or controls. I did not come up with the unlimited part, they did.

    I was sold a 6 Mb/s connection from Embarq, which means that with unlimited service I should be able to transfer 6Mb/s * 60 seconds * 60 minutes * 24 hours * 30 days, which is right around 2 TB of data transfer per month.

    My neighbor was also sold this same package. We pay the same price. How can you determine which of our packets get priority? Can our packets be anything but equal?

    This is why the "bandwidth hog" argument is so ludicrous. I cannot "hog" the bandwidth, nor can my neighbors. We all paid for a service, we all have equal rights to it.

    Do you see dedicated connections ever becoming the norm for residential users?

    Caputo: It's absolutely mainstream in the business environment. That's the way CBC or Sandvine buys its bandwidth. In residential, no, because what do people want? They want 10 megabits, 30 megabits, 100 megabits. Because that's going up, there's no way you can afford to ever provide that in the network. (emphasis mine)
    .
    .
    They need people not using the internet for it to work at $40 a month. (emphasis mine)

    This SHITHEAD just said it right here in plain English. Their business model is based on not actually delivering what they sold you. The "more" they don't deliver the more profitable they are. No wonder the ISP's have such an interest in figuring out the "problem". He is even more of an ass with his cavalier attitude about it. "Well that is just the way it has always been and it's okay". That attitude is why nobody trusts their ISP and these companies. It is so clearly greed that drives them.

    The subscribers that use large amounts of bandwidth are the leading adopters of what everyone is going to be doing on the internet. They're the first people on YouTube or Facebook. We can learn a lot [from them] and we certainly love consumption kings as they're very good for Sandvine's business.

    What an ass. If you read between the lines here, he is basically saying that the fact ISP's are trying to figure out how to more effectively deny us the service we have been sold leads to greater business opportunities for his company. I'm shocked.

    I hate to be somebody that just complains about a problem without offering solutions. Well the solution to this is very simple. Stop selling unlimited Internet. START being honest with your customers.

    It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that 10 homes in a neighborhood each with a 10 Mb/s connection require a 100 Mb/s pipe connected to all of them to deliver the bandwidth. Telling each one of them that they have unlimited use of those 10 Mb/s connections is a flat out lie. There is no way that could work without raising the price by 10 times.

    If the reality is that there is only 20 Mb/s coming into the neighborhood then they should sell it with a 2 Mb/s floor and a 10 Mb/s ceiling. They will guarantee that you can at least get 2 Mb/s dedicated just for you, but be able to burst up to 10 Mb/s "depending on conditions". That would be honest at least. You would know that if your neighbors are not using the connection, you might be able to get some pretty good porn 5 times faster than normal, but the worst

    • by Chirs (87576)

      All packets MUST be treated equally.

      I was sold a 6 Mb/s connection from Embarq, which means that with unlimited service I should be able to transfer 6Mb/s * 60 seconds * 60 minutes * 24 hours * 30 days, which is right around 2 TB of data transfer per month.

      For your first part, I agree with you that they shouldn't mess with the packets.

      For the second, how would you see that working since they're not going to change their profit margin? Assuming a 10:1 oversell currently, would you prefer that they change their advertising to guarantee you an unlimited 600Kbps account (which would only happen if all their competitors were forced to do the same), or that they charge you 10x as much so that you can use the full 6Mbps?

      • by EdIII (1114411) *

        For your first part, I agree with you that they shouldn't mess with the packets.

        For the second, how would you see that working since they're not going to change their profit margin? Assuming a 10:1 oversell currently, would you prefer that they change their advertising to guarantee you an unlimited 600Kbps account (which would only happen if all their competitors were forced to do the same), or that they charge you 10x as much so that you can use the full 6Mbps?

        I would prefer that they be honest, and that t

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Look, it's really very simple. If you really want *unlimited* bandwidth, - well, you don't, you probably want to top out at 8Mbps or whatever the headline number is, and be able to run that flat out both ways 24/7. Here's a little exercise for you. (1) calculate your 95th percentile usage rate. (2) research the cost of transit or backhaul to a proper NSP (rather than a retail ISP). I think you might get a rather unpleasant surprise. THAT is the market rate for what you are demanding.

      Now divide that number

  • If the CEO of a company tells you that the world needs things that serve the purpose that his companys products can provide and you don't find something wrong with that, then you get a big fat "FAIL" tattooed across your forehead.
  • CBCNews.ca: So theoretically an internet service provider could sell customers a dedicated peer-to-peer YouTube/Myspace/ESPN router, that runs passably well for corporate sites, and like shit for the self-published web?

    Caputo: Conceivably. The beauty is to let the market figure it out, and it will.

    There - FTFY

  • As the security folks have been telling us from the start: What's "necessary" is end-to-end encryption for all traffic.

    Yes, this costs a bit of extra cpu time on both ends. But any other "solution" is bogus. Any unencrypted packet allows your ISP, and anyone else along the path between two sites, to examine your traffic and "manage" it.

    To encourage this, we should be teaching everyone to always use https:// at the start of all URLs.

    Maybe we could encourage the apache people to make port 443 the default,

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