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Flexible Shaping / Bandwith Control with ProCurve 5300xl Series?

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Christian Reiter
Frequent Advisor

Flexible Shaping / Bandwith Control with ProCurve 5300xl Series?


I am looking for a way to bandwith-limit some ports on our 5308xl Switches.

I've already found "port-rate-limiting" but it only seems to limit inbound rates. As well it doesn't support limiting the bandwith in kilobits (limitation is only possible in percent).

I am looking for a solution which allows to limit bandwith in steps of kilobits (or a few kbits) and which allows to limit inbound as well as outbound traffic asynchronous.

Is that possible with ProCurve?
Are there any alternatives?

Matt Hobbs
Honored Contributor

Re: Flexible Shaping / Bandwith Control with ProCurve 5300xl Series?

Hi Christian,

As you've noticed you can only limit the inbound rates as a percentage with the 5300 series.

One trick is that you can force the port speed down to 10Mbit by using the 'speed-duplex auto-10' command. This way when you set the rate limit to 1%, you're effectively setting an inbound rate of 100KB/s.

The 9300 series gives you a lot more flexibility in regards to rate limiting, including the ability to limit outbound traffic.

Dmitry G. Spitsyn
Trusted Contributor

Re: Flexible Shaping / Bandwith Control with ProCurve 5300xl Series?

Christian !

In fact there is no sense to limit outbound traffic - you waste system resources to forward traffic which then will be discarded.

Traffic which is inbound at one side of a link is outbound at the other side of this link.

Also when you calculate a limited bandwidth in kilobits please take in account that percentage implies the minimal packet size (64 bytes).

Good luck,
Regular Advisor

Re: Flexible Shaping / Bandwith Control with ProCurve 5300xl Series?

I addressed this a long time ago, but there seems to be no way to do this. Moreover, when measuring the rate-limit with an high end tool (IxChariot) it clearly states that the rate-limit is crude, and that TCP connections have a saw-tooth rather than smooth graph.
This is due to the fact that when TCP traffic is gently asked to back off due to bandwidth limitations, the rate is dropped to the half, and builds up again.
There seems to be difficult to give additional burst for burst traffic. Thus, the response is not smooth.
The only way we found is to use some intelligent CPE (for instance Allied Telesyn RG series) or a switch meant for the SP market (Extreme, Cisco).

Sergej Gurenko
Trusted Contributor

Re: Flexible Shaping / Bandwith Control with ProCurve 5300xl Series?

The ultimate market leader in traffic shaping is Allot. This solution is usually used by the all ranks ISP to create Internet usage profiles, control and limit bandwidth usage. Such boxes are placed on the Internet upstream pipe. Cisco have its own solution (former PCube product). The biggest Allot advantage over Cisco is that Allot have all ranges boxes - from really small to the big ones. Cisco boxes are for big pipes only.

Some customers are using intellectual switches and/or firewalls with Shaping enabled.
More details about deploying QoS (policing and shaiping end-to-end) here - www.cisco.com/go/srnd "Enterprise QoS Solution Reference Network Design Guide Version 3.3" This PDF is about 95% the same as paper $50 book "End-to-End QoS Network Design: Quality of Service in LANs, WANs, and VPNs" and must read for all who want to catch Enterprise LAN/WAN QoS idea (http://www.ciscopress.com/title/1587051761)

There is also freeware Allot alternatives:

The MasterShaper is a web interface for Linux network traffic utilities. It provides an â easy2useâ web interface around the Quality of Service (QoS) functions available in the Linux 2.4 2.6 kernel series. Users can define their own rule sets for handling network flow and also get feedback through graphical statistics about current bandwidth usage and shaping situation.

Mastershaper's goal is to make traffic shaping possible for users who know about networking and the traffic shaping capabilities, but have not much experience with Linux, scripting and other tools needed to do this job.

In the end, the shaping features should be compareable with commercial shaping products like Allot's Netenforcer (http://www.allot.com/html/products_netenforcer.shtm) or Packeteers shaper (http://www.packeteer.com/).

Currently it's only a shaper utility. It's doesn't include a network traffic analyser like the commercial products. It will not display what's going on your network. It will only display the things happens according your rule set.

MasterShaper can be used on a router and also on a transparent bridge.