Saisei unveiled Net-Neutrality-in-a-Virtual-Box (yup, that’s the name) today, a less complex version of its FlowCommand Network Performance Enforcement (NPE) software. As you might guess, Saisei is trying to give FlowCommand a bit of publicity tied to the FCC’s pending fair Internet usage mandate.
Controllable via a REST API and integrated with OpenStack for NFV service chaining, Saisei’s new product is also integrated with a number of SDN controllers. It comes preconfigured with Saisei’s Host Equalization, which identifies, monitors, and controls every flow on a critical broadband link in real time with zero impact on network performance — or at least that’s Saisei’s promise.
With its Host Equalization feature, Saisei will give each user (or host) the same percentage of available bandwidth that everyone else has, no matter what apps they might be running. This means that high-bandwidth applications (think streaming services or large file transfers), will receive the same share of the pie as each of the other users on the network. Saisei does this by taking control of highly used critical links, then assigning every packet on a link to a flow, which allows Net-Neutrality-in-a-Virtual-Box to manage up to 5 million concurrent flows on a 10-Gb/s link in real time.
Net-Neutrality-in-a-Virtual-Box can be run either as a virtual machine under hypervisor control, or on an x86-based service that sites within the data plane. Jeff Paine, VP of marketing and business development at Saisei, says the new product is “asymmetrical in operation,” which means it only needs to sit on one side of a link to enforce rules on traffic coming from either direction, making it ideal for services like in-air Wi-Fi.
In its current iteration, Net-Neutrality-in-a-Virtual-Box is limited to 10 Gb/s links. Testing has started on 40 Gb/s, and Paine says it’s expected to scale to 100 Gb/s.
Of course, Saisei’s new software isn’t the answer to net neutrality, or even to a fair user experience. Today’s announcement guarantees the Virtual Box software will give “each hotel room, airplane seat, or university dorm room” equal access to the local Wi-Fi network — which might be true, but Internet quality is affected by the strength of the signal, not just by divvying up the bandwidth diplomatically. So if the signal is low, you and nearby users will all get the same amount of bandwidth, but it won’t do anything to enhance the poor connection. There is little Saisei’s “net neutrality” promise can do for that.
Net-Neutrality-in-a-Virtual-Box is available for purchase now as a recurring software license charged on a per-user basis or an aggregate bandwidth basis.