Belgian Provider EDPnet Adopts Packet Design's Traffic Explorer To Optimize Transatlantic Network

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Routing/Traffic Visibility Lets Broadband ISP Make Smarter Decisions About Peering and Transit Relationships

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Traffic Explorer is the only tool that combines routing and Netflow information with the level of detail we need to make engineering decisions. You can literally see where the money is flowing in your network and proactively make changes to reduce costs.

EDPnet NV, an international service provider based in Belgium, has deployed Traffic Explorer, an integrated routing and traffic (e.g. Netflow) analysis system from Packet Design, Inc., to manage their transcontinental IP network which provides its customers with retail broadband and wholesale IP transit services.

Since EDPnet installed Traffic Explorer, it has helped network engineers at the Sint Niklaas-based Internet service provider to:

  •     Identify and justify settlement-free peering opportunities
  •     Monitor existing peering relationships to ensure that EDPnet is meeting peering requirements by correctly balancing ingress and egress traffic
  •     Negotiate more favorable transit traffic contracts based on more accurate analyses of traffic requirements

According to Daan Kerkhofs, network operations manager at EDPnet, while there were other traffic analysis tools the company had tried, they couldn’t provide the depth of detailed traffic statistics and historical insight needed to make accurate business decisions.

"We needed better data to drive our network planning. If you don’t have the numbers, it is very difficult to make the right choices about peering and transit traffic relationships. In particular with transit relationships, it’s critical to make sure that we’re achieving the maximum diversity of Internet traffic. It would be silly, not to mention wasteful, to pay for a new transit provider link if it ends up serving the same traffic as an existing transit link.”

While researching at online technical forums, Kerkhofs learned about Traffic Explorer, which provides an integrated view of network-wide IP routing and traffic flow operations, both internally, as well as to and from the Internet. Service providers gain an end-to-end, "topology-aware" view of network traffic that helps them find hidden network problems, speed troubleshooting and plan network capacity more accurately.

Traffic Explorer Helps Optimize Traffic Relationships and Save Money
Traffic Explorer has made a significant impact on capacity planning at EDPnet. "We’ve already shifted around a lot of traffic to achieve a more optimal mix of peering and transit links,” said Kerkhofs. “For example, we were able to set up a lot of new settlement-free peerings that in the past we had never considered. Before Traffic Explorer, we had a good understanding of the source and destination Autonomous Systems (AS’s) for our traffic, but the problem was that most of those AS’s run their traffic through upstream providers, and we couldn’t see who those were. Now, with Traffic Explorer, we can see exactly which upstream service providers are serving large concentrations of our traffic. As a result, we can propose private peerings with those service providers and shift traffic away from costly transit relationships. With Traffic Explorer, you can literally see where the money is flowing in your network and then proactively make changes to reduce those costs. This has meant real savings for us.”

On a daily basis, EDPnet uses Traffic Explorer’s extensive analysis capabilities —including the ability to rewind routing and traffic data to any previous point in history and model changes to both — to understand which traffic sources and destinations are growing and continuously optimize the network to handle that growth. “Traffic Explorer is the only tool that combines routing and Netflow information and gives the level of detail we need to make engineering decisions,” Kerkhofs said. “Because it keeps a complete historical record that we can analyze as required, we can see emerging patterns such as off-hour traffic peaks that would normally not be noticed. This means we can anticipate trends and adjust network capacity to deliver more competitive and cost-effective services. We also plan to increase our use of Traffic Explorer’s modeling capabilities to improve our planning foresight.”

Traffic Explorer is the only IP network management system to combine traffic-flow data with network-wide "path awareness" to reveal the consequences of routing changes on application and service delivery. Users gain unprecedented visibility into layer 3 (routing) operations for troubleshooting problems, engineering networks for maximum efficiency, and planning for change and growth. Traffic Explorer consists of a small set of appliances that collect traffic-flow data (e.g., Netflow) at key points of entry into the network, aggregate and compute how those flows travel across the network topology, and monitor how traffic paths and loads change as routing changes. Historical traffic and routing data are stored in a database for analysis, diagnosis, modeling and planning.

About EDPnet NV
Belgium-based EDPnet NV was founded in 1999, and has grown steadily from a locally operating Belgian ISP to an intercontinental connectivity provider, with sales offices in Sint-Niklaas (Belgium), Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and Saint-Petersburg (Russia). EDPnet operates its own international, fully redundant fiber-based network with strategic points of presence in Europe, the USA and Russia. EDPnet offers IP retail broadband as well as wholesale IP transit, dedicated SONET/SDH, wavelength and MPLS services. For more information, visit http://www.EDPnet.net.

About Packet Design, Inc.
Packet Design, Inc., pioneered the field of route analytics and is the leading supplier of network appliances that provide routing-layer visibility into IP networks. The company's products create an accurate layer 3 topology map, analyze routing events, and provide a unique end-to-end, "path-aware" view of network traffic (including MPLS-VPN customer traffic), letting network engineers quickly pinpoint network problems and accurately model changes. Packet Design solutions help manage networks in hundreds of organizations, including many of the world's largest service providers, global enterprises (financial, retail pharmaceutical and other firms), government agencies and educational institutions.

Packet Design was founded in March 2003 by serial entrepreneur and former Cisco Chief Technology Officer Judy Estrin and former Cisco Chief Scientist Van Jacobson. For more information, visit http://www.packetdesign.com.

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