Giving Voice the Bandwidth It Needs

PBM Traffic Monitor

Network activity and cumulative bandwidth use are tracked by the PBM Traffic Monitor (see Figure 1), a dynamic GUI that displays these numbers in real time.Competition management, however, happens out of sight—and, for this version,at least, out of the user’s control.

“Propel PBM manages competition automatically, giving higher priority to the more time-critical applications,” Murray explained. “Our theory about that is that you just want it to work. We wanted to be sure we got the basic model right—that the automatic feature was there—and see if we can get mainstream users to adopt that.”

While he acknowledged that some degree of user override might be a useful feature to add to a later version, Murray told “Configuring all that stuff and keeping it up to date is not the sort of thing that your average user wants to do—or is even trained sufficiently to do.”

“All that stuff” includes numerous port settings, figuring allocation percentages,reading headers, and adapting to changing application behaviors, as programs update themselves. And then there’s the fact that some applications—Skype is a prime example—can generate multiple types of traffic: voice, video,IM, file transfers, etc. “This is complex stuff,” Murray said, and indeed, part of the offering is regular traffic-shaping policy updates that adapt to the constantly evolving application requirements.

With PBM on the job, PC users simply won’t have to worry about bandwidth competition.When a time-sensitive application becomes active on the network—whether planned or unplanned, it gets the bandwidth it needs.

Murray drew the hypothetical case of a Web designer “stuck between a rock and a hard place”—needing to upload some last-minute site updates and, at the same time needing to call the customer for whom the work is being delivered.

With Personal Bandwidth Manager, “before you launched the call—when there was no competition going on—the file upload would proceed at full speed.But when you initiate the call, the software would recognize that a call was going on, make sure Skype was getting the bandwidth it needed, and allow the file transfer to continue in the background with whatever bandwidth was leftover—without impacting the call quality.”

It seems likely that a sizable community of sophisticated PC professionals(not to mention avid gamers) will benefit from this utility. A license will eventually cost them $29.95, but those taking advantage of the current introductory offer will pay $19.95.

Article courtesy of Enterprise VoIP Planet

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