Managed service providers (MSPs) are in a constant battle to maintain quality of service -- a fight that in recent years has become more difficult as demand for network bandwidth continues to increase unabated. Starting today however more MSPs may stand a fighting chance of winning that battle.

Saisei has launched a simpler version of its FlowCommand Network Performance Enforcement (NPE) software that enables MSPs to control precisely how much bandwidth any application receives.

Now deployable as a virtual appliance that runs on top of VMware or Kernel-based virtual machines (KVM) or as software that can be deployed on a bare metal server, FlowCommand NPE makes use of data flow control engine and the Intel Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) to maintain network connection no matter how much bandwidth is actually being allocated to an application.

Jeff Paine, vice president of marketing and business development for Saisei, said FlowCommand NPE data flow control engines make use of DPDK to bypass operating system kernels. The end results is an ability to maintain TCP/IP network connection states with as many as one billion external network hosts.


Addressable via RESTful application programming interface (API), Paine said MSPs can use FlowCommand NPE to stop, constrain or redirect network traffic across different classes of networks as they see fit without having to worry about dropped TCP/IP connections.

In effect, Paine said FlowCommand NPE gives MSPs to ability to enforce their own flavor of Net Neutrality. By being able to granularly control how much network bandwidth any given application receives, MSPs can make sure that network resources are even allocated across, for example, a dorm or hotel regardless of how much video for instance is being consumed.

Managing millions of sessions in real time

Paine said the proprietary data flow engine that Saisei has created makes it possible to manage millions of concurrent data, voice and video sessions in real time regardless of the source of the network traffic being generated.

In addition, Paine said that FlowCommand NPE allows MSPs to run network traffic at as close to 100 percent utilization as possible; thereby reducing the amount of money MSPs need to invest in actually acquiring bandwidth from wholesale Internet service providers.

Analytics, too

On top of that Paine noted that Saisei provides both real-time, in-line analytics and historical reporting on more than 40 different metrics, including user, application, geo-location and quality of experience.

Anything to do with managing network bandwidth these days is often a sore point for MSPs. More often than not they are getting blamed for quality of service issues that are beyond their control. The good news is that as networking software continues to get more sophisticated the balance of power on the network may finally be shifting back towards those MSPs.