How to control the Bandwidth Usage

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Hi to everyone...

After talking about what codec is the best, last week, now I'm thinking... How can I control the traffic on my ADSL Line?
I don't know if there is a program or something else that allow me to watch the state of my connection...

Do you know something?

Mirko
 
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You need to investigate QoS - That topic in itself is a HUGE one ...

Look into pfSense, its a decent start :)
 
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Re:How to control the Bandwidth Usages

There is a a few different options,

If you want something quick and (free - always important) I'd recommend m0n0wall or pfsense or DDWRT, since its only an ADSL line, depends on the deployment of course.

www.m0n0.ch/wall
www.pfsense.org
www.dd-wrt.com

there is others like vyatta and untangle and more but I've not used them, I'd either use the above or Cisco kit,

I find the Traffic wizard on m0n0 and pfsense handy!

try and read up on QOS and traffic shaping!
 
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Re:How to control the Bandwidth Usages

I feel this subject (and NAT issues) comes up too often here (and in the Newbies Corner), maybe one of our esteemed moderators can post a "sticky" here (and there) that covers these two issues nice and concisely.

My two cents :-

Asterisk (and freepbx/elastix (by derivation/inheritance)) tags all packets sent to the network appropriately for both TOS and DiffServ/DSTP compliant routers.

Both Monowall and PFsense don't have a trouble with these network protocols, DDWRT/OpenWRT are often on boxes with a limited processing power, the code works but maybe the hardware is underpowered for a connection speed above DSL. However cheapo dlink/netgear/noname thingies maybe don't support these protocols at all, caveat implimentor.

So, in other words if you have a router that complies with "modern" specs. there should be no reason to go to the trouble of doing QOS on your Elastix box, truthfully QOS is perhaps the hardest thing you will have to mange on your network if you don't have decent hardware/router to do it for you.

The problem is, in the real world, not how to prioritize traffic but to limit the amount of traffic you are trying to send/receive to below "what you have to offer", because anything past that limit WILL cause unacceptable service.

Choose the right codec that support the call quality that you can accept, make sure your voip providers will honor this codec, choose a voip provider that is close enough(network wise) to give you a latency below 100ms. maximum, and if you try to connect a firehose to a garden hose then expect to get wet!

As Charles Dickens wrote a long time ago:- "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.".

My apologies to anyone who doesn't know who Charles Dickens is (or those who's colloquial Victorian English is a little rusty), to paraphrase: It's simple economics, If you try and spend more than you have (bandwidth wise), it ultimately JUST WON'T WORK.
 
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Re:How to control the Bandwidth Usages

Somebody mentioned untangle as a router. It is a nice product but I and others are having problems with voip on it. It is a bit touchy about forwarding rtp packets for me. I think they are trying to do too many things and haven't got the basics down but will get there. It also has QOS built in but not real vlan support. It seems to work well outside of voip arena and may be specific to my voip provider. Going to get around to trying another as time permits. If you look at it and like it don't rule it out, try it but don't beat your head against the wall like I have. B) I am not planning on changing as I have it working and doing 99.99 of what I need.

Don
 
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Re:How to control the Bandwidth Usages

You'd be surprised what DD-WRT can do on little routers, like the Asus WL-520gU and -gC models with the 200MHz CPU, they seem to handle QoS at DSL-speeds very well! :)

That said, I'd not recommend it for corporate real-world use in any way except for a testing lab environment ;)

dicko,
We had many routers, our problem was we were oversaturating our line both with upload & download. We get near perfect ADSL2+ speeds (Both in connection to our ISP and real-world throughput!), but the calls still were no good. This is even prioritizing the TOS / DiffServ values etc etc
Had to resort to a Linksys AM300 in half-bridge to a pcengines alix board which runs pfSense and does QoS, reserving a small amount for VoIP at all times but being flexible with the rest.
The pfSense forums were unhelpful and there was an absolute overload of info in the Wiki / Documentation. Nothing thats really n00b-friendly to say the least :(
 
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Ok guys... thank you so much.
I'm downloading pfSense... and finally I'll can analize my ADSL... Cause I want to know if G711 will be supported fine by my connection...

PS: I want to use it as a Live CD... is it possible? Because I have downloaded the Live CD Installer... but I don't want to install..

Mirko
 
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Yeah that'll work ... ideally you should have some dedicated hardware to try it on, its not the kind of thing you'll probably 'master' in 30 minutes ;) Took me about 3 weeks to get our current setup the way it is now, through a lot of trial-and-error. Hopefully it'd be much easier next time
 
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Ah, because my intenction is to try it in a network that alreafy has a fire-wall...

It can be a problem?

Mirko
 
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Well it should be OK, especially on the QoS side. Basically it'd work best if you had a box with 2x LAN ports:
1 for WAN (Or in your case connected to the network)
1 for LAN (Or in your case directly to the Elastix box)

You *should* be fine with it provided you're comfortable with setting up both the LAN & WAN on the same IP range it'll be dead easy :)
 
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All right... But I have a problem...

The LAN has SmoothWall Firewall PC, with 2 LAN Interfaces... the first for the WAN, and the second for the LAN...
I'm not very happy to change my fire-wall for a test..

Mirko
 
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Just build a box with 2 nics and put it in series with with your existing setup.

internet--existing firewall--new firewall--existing switch--lan

You only need to change 1 ip on the internal side existing firewall. And a little configuration on the new firewall to pass dhcp etc through on the new firewall. If it doesn't work change 1 ip and remove the new box. Its been a long time since I used pfsence but I think there may also be a bridge mode which wouldn't even need to change anything except to add the machine in series.

I think once things leave your network your qos has very little effect if any unless you are paying your isp for the service.

Don
 
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Question:
I know that some Cisco routers have a fancy little command you can run which automatically prioritizes VoIP / SIP traffic and uses the appropriate DiffServ classifications etc.
However, I dont know which models can do this.

Basically what Im interested in, is knowing if there's a Cisco router out there which can be used almost as a drop-in replacement for a regular ADSL PPPoE / PPPoA Router, except we can run this command and enable the QoS? I just dont know which make / model we should be lookin at...
 
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Except, unfortunately, that PfSense ( at least mine, 1.2-RELEASE) doesn't do "Traffic Shaping" in bridge mode (so says there forum)

You'll need to wait for 2.0
 
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Yeah that only works in the 2.0_Alpha stuff which there's warnings all over about use in a production environment ;)
 

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