Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Open discussion regarding technological or telecommunication issues
Ravenous
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Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by Ravenous » Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:18 pm

why not reinstate a midnight to midday off-peak period, reduce the amount from 60GB to 20GB, but deem 3am-9am as a "super off-peak" with 40GB additional quota
So in a nutshell, instead of two seperately metered download periods, three seperately metered downlaod periods are proposed? This has merit.

I would still like to see the option available to choose the off-peak period, fix the 3 am - 9 am bonus "40 GB super period" in stone certainly, but it would be nice to have the flexibilty of the off-peak period restored in the future. I really thought this was a neat feature and a great initiative.

ForumAdmin
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Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by ForumAdmin » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:16 am

For those of you who have looked at the various MRTG reports since midnight on Friday you would see that the change of the start of the off peak period has accomplished what 4 years of various different efforts by Exetel's management and engineers couldn't accomplish - no contention at any time of the off peak period.

For those people who said, presumably unthinkingly, that all the change would do would be to make 2.00 am to 2.30 am contended you would now realise that would never have happened because far less people use the service for general browsing and other activities at 2 am in the morning as do at midnight.

So far this change, apart from being welcomed by the non "must P2P download on the stroke of midnight" users has accomplished what was intended....for which I, personally, am very grateful......and I doubt that I'm alone.

We will monitor the continuing results for the balance of August before determining what else can be done to improve the service for all users. One thing that will almost certainly never again be permitted is unrestricted P2P downloading in the midnight to 1 am 'slot'.

dbr
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Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by dbr » Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:17 pm

CoreyPlover wrote:Summary of current proposals (and some additions of my own) to bring it back on-topic:

<snip>
I don't think I put my tiered suggestion on this thread. Here it is anyway:

Remove on peak and off peak.

Introduce three Tiers of traffic, as follows:

Tier 1 - Business Continuity - 0700-1900 - current peak quota
Tier 2 - Evening Extravaganza - 1900-0200 - current peak quota
Tier 3 - can't-think-of-a-name - 0200-0700 - anywhere from T1+T2 to unlimited.

So quotas could look 1:1:2 => T1:T2:T3 or some variation thereof.

This would provide a good spread throughout the 24 hours. Making T1=T2=current quota may need to be redefined so as not to put everyone into uneconomical. The 'extra' value to the user for T2 compensates for the reduction of the free data period (now T3) to 5 hours.

Anyway, the times and quotas can be moved around to suit. I liked the elegance of the 12 hour T1 and provides well for operations during the business hours of the working day. T2 allows for people to consume their interactive traffic in the busy evening period. And T3 gives the heavy downloaders a chance to fill up the dead hours in the MRTG plots.

Something for everyone :)
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Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by ForumAdmin » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:43 pm

I have been following the various suggestions made here with interest in case there is some better way of providing the 12 hour 'free' period than the one we have in mind.

It should be obvious to anyone who has looked at the MRTG reports since 12.01 am on Saturday morning that the ONLY issue with the provision of 12 hours of 'free' off peak for the past few years is the fact that something less than 1,000 users refuse to consider their fellow customers and insist on starting torrent/P2P downloads at 12.01 am every day (90% of which finish at between 15 minutes and 25 minutes past 12 the same morning).

The solution can be one of a number which would include simply cancelling the services of the 1,000 current customers who are so senseless that they don't start their downloads at 3 am when the bandwidth is unused.

I assume that if we did that there would just be another 1,000 new customers who would do the same.

The most logical conclusion we have reached after so many years of trying is the one we have now implemented which can be seen from the MRTG reports as resolving the 'congestion problem-' there isn't any if people don't start torrent/P2P downloads until 2 am (or later).

Problem solved apparently now that those 1,000 senseless customers have now decided that they can work out how to start a download at 2.00 am (notice the vertical usage climb at that time).

So...the solution is simple.

No P2P is allowed in the 12 midnight to 2 am period if it is 'free'. If someone wants the 12 midnight to 2 am period to be free they have to accept they can't use download managers/torrents/P2P in that time period.

This is easy to do now because the 12 midnight to 2 am is designated as 'peak' and a user can download/P2P/Torrent to their heart's content - they are paying for their data usage in this time - they can do what they want - however they have now proved to themselves that they don't NEED to do that - 2 am onwards is more than sufficient to download all their 'torrents/P2P'.

Have the 1,000 users learned their lesson?

I doubt it but it must be obvious to every other customer that if more consideratin was shown then the benefits of a 12 hour 'free period' would be possible.

Simple really - but like so many other things in modern day life a few selfish and uncaring people ruin thngs for tens of th0usands of others.

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Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by jokiin » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:52 pm

given that the peak really doesn't last that long I wonder if given the choice if those 1000 problem users would exchange their 60GB of off peak quota over 10 hours for 120GB but only available for 5 hours, say from 2am to 7am or some other similar dead window of bandwidth and just shift all the leeches into their own pool period when little else is happening in the network anyway

lkml2000
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Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by lkml2000 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:00 pm

jokiin wrote:given that the peak really doesn't last that long I wonder if given the choice if those 1000 problem users would exchange their 60GB of off peak quota over 10 hours for 120GB but only available for 5 hours, say from 2am to 7am or some other similar dead window of bandwidth and just shift all the leeches into their own pool period when little else is happening in the network anyway
Yes, to change ones habbit is either
1. give bonus for the change or
2. punish them if they do not change.

And I think 1. is better than 2.
My suggestion is to create another type of accounts that cost the same as the normal type, but has off peak time between 3am to 9am and 1.5 to 2 time off peak quota. Then email the 1000 or so customers for such a great deal... :-)

jokiin
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Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by jokiin » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:24 pm

lkml2000 wrote:
Yes, to change ones habbit is either
1. give bonus for the change or
2. punish them if they do not change.

And I think 1. is better than 2.
My suggestion is to create another type of accounts that cost the same as the normal type, but has off peak time between 3am to 9am and 1.5 to 2 time off peak quota. Then email the 1000 or so customers for such a great deal... :-)
along similar lines to what I was thinking, pretty poor really when 1% of your user base can cause so much of an issue for the other 99%

JasonM

Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by JasonM » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:54 pm

jokiin wrote:along similar lines to what I was thinking, pretty poor really when 1% of your user base can cause so much of an issue for the other 99%
That's an interesting point to raise.
ADSL2+ connections are faster, and some users likely get them for performance, others for quota. The users getting them for the quota are simply maxing out the supplier links at that point in time. I guess this is why other providers are setting off peak at ridiculously late times where no one is affected (or no one will care).

I think the best solution seen so far is to split the periods or, as has been suggested, provide incentive.
The easiest incentive to implement would be to change off peak back to 12am - 12pm, and then change the counters: From 12am - 1am, the data has a 3x penalty, 1am - 2am, the data has a 2x penalty, and 2am onwards, you have your standard off peak until 10am, where the penalty is 2x.

This is simply another way of saying off peak is 2am - 10am, but it allows flexibility, whilst imposing some controls in the busier times that cross over with off peak (which as can be seen on the MRTG graphs, 12am - 2am WAS busy, and 10am - 12pm is starting to show as a busier time frame). The idea is a little complicated for all users to grasp (it's not as simple as saying '60GB between 2am and 12pm').

It's unfortunate that the link is underutilised at midnight to 2am, and again at 12pm to 6pm, the capacity is paid for - it's not being used. Saturday and Sunday in the weekly graph show an ideal trend - never dropping below 75%.

lkml2000
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Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by lkml2000 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:44 am

Another way to deal with this problem is going back to something like “FAIR PLAY”.

For all users, the standard off peak time should be 2-12(or 2-2). They do have an option to move the off peak time to 12-12, but by doing so, they would be moved to a group that have limited BW allocated. If they want to have a different off peak time, then they have to acknowledge that they will have to struggle with the other 999 users for the BW allocated and agreed to have slower speed, longer ping time …..

lkml2000
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Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by lkml2000 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:55 am

To use up the under utilized BW, why not create a plan that have only 1-2 G peak quota, and with a special off peak-time (3-9am), or multiple off-peak time periods. You can introduce the plan when needed and only accept say 200 applications at a time, first come first serve. This way, you can monitor and fine tune your BW usage at will.

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Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by ForumAdmin » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:25 am

Midday to 2 pm can NEVER be considered as 'off peak'.

vk3xem
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Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by vk3xem » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:13 pm

Great to see this forced change has basically had the desired effect.

I like the idea of returning to off-peak of 0000-1200 for traffic except P2P downloads and the like that can be kept as a peak until 0200. That would be a good comprimise to ensure bandwidth and keep things very simple.
The views I present are that of my own and NOT of any organisation I may belong to.

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CoreyPlover
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Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by CoreyPlover » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:43 pm

vk3xem wrote:I like the idea of returning to off-peak of 0000-1200 for traffic except P2P downloads and the like that can be kept as a peak until 0200. That would be a good comprimise to ensure bandwidth and keep things very simple.
Not sure how effective this would be in the longer-term.

"P2P" is the current protocol of choice for large sized file downloads, but as time goes by P2P could end up encapsulating data in port 80 / HTTP traffic packets, or download sources like Rapidshare / Megaupload will start becoming popular (if they haven't already). I do not think that any bandwidth management protocol that depends on hardware power or technical know-how should be a preferred option as it will continually require new modifications as new technologies or behaviours come to light.

Surely the problem can be summed up as "too many non-time critical downloads saturate the midnight to 2am time interval" and not that "too many P2P downloads saturate the midnight to 2am time interval" so why try to implement a specific policy that targets only P2P traffic when you can target ALL traffic. For instance: phased in off-peak times, or generic download penalties for the midnight to 2am and 10am - midday intervals, or a 3 tiered "peak","off-peak" and "super off peak" system all address the concerns directly and strongly encourage users to schedule any and all downloads (P2P, operating system updates, remote backups, etc) into underutilised times.

dbr
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Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by dbr » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:29 pm

CoreyPlover wrote:or a 3 tiered "peak","off-peak" and "super off peak" system
Hey, that sounds like a good idea.
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Re: Practical alternatives for managing off-peak and congestion

Post by CoreyPlover » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:14 pm

dbr wrote:
CoreyPlover wrote:or a 3 tiered "peak","off-peak" and "super off peak" system
Hey, that sounds like a good idea.
I elaborated on this concept a little in http://forum.exetel.com.au/viewtopic.ph ... 15#p253015

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