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4232 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 471141 19-May-2011 15:01
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ajross says:

So just for the interested on this thread, after five months, two formal complaints, 16 fault reports and over 16 hours of being on to my ISP's tech support they have basically admitted that they are oversubscribed on their international Internet pipe.


Slingshots email to you said:
‘It is difficult to answer that question without some history or context for the particular issue. However as a global answer, No, Slingshot’s international data pipe is not currently oversubscribed.


Without getting into a discussion abnout Slingshots performance which I think's pretty self evident... Did you have another email where they admitted they were oversubscribed? Or did you interpret "No, Slingshot’s international data pipe is not currently oversubscribed" as "Yes, we're oversubscribed"?

Cheers - N





--

 

Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


646 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 471473 20-May-2011 10:33
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Their handover links also need an upgrade.


Apparently the chch handover is one of the most congested.




NZ / AU Battlefield 4 Gaming Community
http://www.sonsofvalour.net/forums/forum.php

 
 
 
 




7 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 471911 21-May-2011 15:00
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Talkiet says:

Without getting into a discussion abnout Slingshots performance which I think's pretty self evident... Did you have another email where they admitted they were oversubscribed? Or did you interpret "No, Slingshot’s international data pipe is not currently oversubscribed" as "Yes, we're oversubscribed"?

Cheers - N



I said /basically/ they admitted it. The way they admit it is indeed convoluted, however if you read closely:

‘It is difficult to answer that question without some history or context for the particular issue. However as a global answer, No, Slingshot’s international data pipe is not currently oversubscribed. We carefully manage our international data use through the application and use of Google Cache Servers, Akamai Cache Servers, and Bluecoat Cache servers among other measures, which provide huge amounts of our customers data needs off local caching rather than international. This frees up large amounts of our international pipe to keep it available for when customers need it.’
 
What they are saying here is that they use cacheing to provide traffic to Slingshots customers (all ISPs do). This means that the cached traffic should be pretty fast (it is not unreasonable). However, an ISP is only good as the calculation that they have made over the bandwidth of the Internet pipe they have available for non cached or non-cacheable traffic. Slingshot reckoned that they should have enough for their customer compliment because most of their traffic is cached. This statement would have been true three to five years ago, however the web has changed a lot. Much of the web pages we visit have dynamic feeds on them (they update in real time, so they can't be cached), furthermore, most web users view video feeds from sites such as youtube, vimeo and so forth. There are millions of potential videos on YouTube and as a result, it is not possible to update/distribute these to local caches, in fact, almost all streaming traffic over HTTP, radio web sites, news tickers, financial updates are all not cached. Slingshot also took on a much bigger customer compliment in recent years which squeezed the ratio. They don't appear to have bought any/much more bandwidth and as a result, it's not enough.

At my place of work, where we have potentially 4000 web users. We use Fortinet as well as Squid proxies which is very similar to BlueCoat that Slingshot use internally and the Akamai and Google caches which are used externally) reports show that we cache around 20-25% of our International Internet traffic now, our users are no different to fairly average home users - some high users and some low. We need to calculate to provide enough bandwidth for our customers at up to 60% non-local cached bandwidth. This is far more than a few years back.

710 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 471918 21-May-2011 15:10
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You're spouting noise again - please refer my earlier post. If their international link was congested, you'd be seeing packet loss - not just slowness!!

The types of caches they're talking about are literally, local content mirrors. Go and do some research on the way Content Delivery Networks work. They improve performance, and reduce demand for international bandwidth as a result.

They are not, as you appear to be interpreting it, similar to 'squid' or other realtime proxies, in terms of handling dynamic content.

Further, the HTML (etc) that changes on a dynamic content website may well change but the embedded jpegs that make up logos, backgrounds and image-content can, and does, benefit from local caching technologies (nomatter what they are).

So an ISP who chooses to use Transparent Proxying technology may well introduce some 'oddness' but an ISP who chooses to host Content Proxies of the type used by Google, Akamai, etc, are going to serve you content from the remote site or from the local mirror (depending on whether it's been locally loaded before) and are going to reduce their costs (and thus what is passed on to you) by reducing the overheads that their International pipes require.

When international performance is poor there's a whole bunch of different influences, nothing that Slingshot have said in the correspondence you've quoted has any between-the-lines meanings I can pick up.




No signature to see here, move along...

710 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 471919 21-May-2011 15:12
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NZCrusader: Their handover links also need an upgrade.


Apparently the chch handover is one of the most congested.


This is probably closer to the truth, but depends on whether they own the local loop or are wholesaling on another telco's cabling (eg Telecom) and what the nature of the commercial arrangement with said telco is on the size of the handover.




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4232 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 471922 21-May-2011 15:17
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ajross:

I said /basically/ they admitted it.  [snipped HEAAPPPS]


So, they said they weren't congested, you THINK they are, and chose to represent that as "They basically admitted it"...

Read what Blakjak said above - he's on the money. An ISP is a world different from any corporate - the caching methods used are very, VERY different.

Again, not defending Slingshots performance here, but I am defending correct use of the English language and logic.

Cheers - N





--

 

Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.




7 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 471923 21-May-2011 15:21
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BlakJak: You're spouting noise again - please refer my earlier post. If their international link was congested, you'd be seeing packet loss - not just slowness!!


On the contrary, I believe it to be you who is 'spouting noise'. I saw your earlier post and I read this one and I disagree. Cacheing is cacheing is cacheing. If Slingshot don't allow enough International bandwidth for their customers they will see slow rates, other ISPs that do have enough won't have that problem. There are plenty of other ISPs that provide a fat enough pipe and provide consistent decent performance. I do agree that other matters sometimes do make a difference, but if you're not upgrading your bandwidth as your user base grows, then you're asking for bothers.
 

 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek

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  # 471926 21-May-2011 15:31
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Given that Slingshot have, as you posted, specifically stated that they are not oversubscribed internationally, you're basicalling tell us that you believe they're lying.


No, Slingshot?s international data pipe is not currently oversubscribed. We carefully manage our international data use through the application and use of Google Cache Servers, Akamai Cache Servers, and Bluecoat Cache servers among other measures, which provide huge amounts of our customers data needs off local caching rather than international. This frees up large amounts of our international pipe to keep it available for when customers need it.


They've said they're deploying caching technology in order to keep international capacity free. Somehow you've interpreted this as a deliberate ploy to reduce performance to their customers, instead of improving it. Because yes, that makes more sense than what I posted.




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wjw

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Master Geek


  # 472811 23-May-2011 09:48
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ajross: but if you're not upgrading your bandwidth as your user base grows, then you're asking for bothers.
 


This is only half true, deploying various CDN nodes has an immediate impact on international bandwidth requirements. From my experience with Google Caches they deliver about 10mbps worth of content for every 1mbit of international used.  So ask the question, should I spend my money on international bandwidth or get access to a local Google Cache and improve overall user performance?

155 posts

Master Geek


  # 472845 23-May-2011 10:46
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So in other words, if Slingshot is trying to get by with more than a certain amount of cacheing (as a percentage), then they're likely to run into trouble. At a minimum, they need to be able to cover the dynamic, changing content with actual international bandwidth. This might include more esoteric stuff that hasn't yet been cached as well as stuff like gaming (which is changing on the fly).

Caching might be a cost effective move resulting in a better customer experience and a lower price, but if it is relied upon too much without also having sufficient actual bandwidth for your customers...

My slingshot connection is basically unusable until about midnight - has been for the last month. It's worse (or not much better in practical terms) than dial-up a fair bit of the time. Speed test results rarely get me more than 1Mbps, but I know I'm not really getting that - for instance, 1Mbps would be enough to play WoW, but I regularly end up with 2 second ping (even though speedtest.net gets me about 60-90ms to Auckland). I rang tech support and after 35 minutes on hold they told me that they can't do anything about my problem because they have too many speed issues logged and are backed up for quite some time trying to fix them. So I made a formal complaint. In practical terms, the connection I'm getting is close to unusable. I wouldn't accept a connection this bad if it were free, if that meant I was stuck with this crappy connection and couldn't switch to Telecom or another network without having to pay over $100 in termination fees. I asked them to refund me the last month and let me exit the contract early.

This is just ridiculous. I'll see what they say. I don't have my hopes up because my experience thus far is that they make an art of poor service.

4232 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 472859 23-May-2011 11:08
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psk20: So in other words, if Slingshot is trying to get by with more than a certain amount of cacheing (as a percentage), then they're likely to run into trouble.

[snip] for instance, 1Mbps would be enough to play WoW, but I regularly end up with 2 second ping (even though speedtest.net gets me about 60-90ms to Auckland).
[snip]


Caching and content delivery is a lot more complex than just considering what they want to hit as a percentage...

'Ping' in WOW has little to do with actual latency. Sorry, it's true. It's a measure of ingame, application level communications responsiveness that's affected by a LOT more than network level issues.

Cheers - N




--

 

Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


155 posts

Master Geek


  # 472873 23-May-2011 11:32
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Talkiet:
psk20: So in other words, if Slingshot is trying to get by with more than a certain amount of cacheing (as a percentage), then they're likely to run into trouble.

[snip] for instance, 1Mbps would be enough to play WoW, but I regularly end up with 2 second ping (even though speedtest.net gets me about 60-90ms to Auckland).
[snip]


Caching and content delivery is a lot more complex than just considering what they want to hit as a percentage...

'Ping' in WOW has little to do with actual latency. Sorry, it's true. It's a measure of ingame, application level communications responsiveness that's affected by a LOT more than network level issues.

Cheers - N


Yeah, but the fact remains that you can only rely on cacheing up until a point. That point may be relatively high, but it's still true.

And yeah, I certainly know that the ping that wow reports is due to more than actual latency. Nevertheless, it's obviously something at my (e.g. Slingshot's) end and not at the server's end. My net has been slow for everything - wow is just one of the things that is suffering in a particularly dramatic way.

Any idea what the precise issue could be? According to the browser-based speed tests I've done, I have OK ping, stutter, and no packet loss, and although 1Mbps is slow for ADSL2+ it should be sufficient for WoW (for instance). So there's some other element of responsiveness, not measured directly by any of this, that's the limiting factor here. That's what I was trying to convey in my earlier post when I said "even though speedtest.net gets me about 60-90ms to Auckland." I guess I should check my ping to the ip adress for my WoW server too (using a tool outside the game itself). I get the feeling that isn't the issue though.

646 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 472874 23-May-2011 11:33
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BlakJak:
NZCrusader: Their handover links also need an upgrade.


Apparently the chch handover is one of the most congested.


This is probably closer to the truth, but depends on whether they own the local loop or are wholesaling on another telco's cabling (eg Telecom) and what the nature of the commercial arrangement with said telco is on the size of the handover.




Yea.

I was relaying what a SS network administrator had told me on SS forums.




NZ / AU Battlefield 4 Gaming Community
http://www.sonsofvalour.net/forums/forum.php

4232 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 472890 23-May-2011 11:46
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[snip]
Any idea what the precise issue could be? According to the browser-based speed tests I've done, I have OK ping, stutter, and no packet loss, and although 1Mbps is slow for ADSL2+ it should be sufficient for WoW (for instance). So there's some other element of responsiveness, not measured directly by any of this, that's the limiting factor here. That's what I was trying to convey in my earlier post when I said "even though speedtest.net gets me about 60-90ms to Auckland." I guess I should check my ping to the ip adress for my WoW server too (using a tool outside the game itself). I get the feeling that isn't the issue though.


WoW traffic can in some cases fail to be specifically categorised as gaming traffic, and MIGHT fall into an "other" category if the ISP is using DPI or complex traffic management. If this is the case, as unidentified traffic, it may be thrown to the bottom of the heap with ugly queueing and possible packet loss.

There's no easy fix, but WoW is a big enough customer base I would hope most ISPs do correctly classify the traffic.

It's entirely possible this isn't the case, but it has happened before around the world. Certainly if you can actually identify the server WoW is talking to, and if that server will respond to ICMP traffic it would be worth seeing if you see consistent RTT and low/no packet loss - but again, ICMP could be rate limited and the measurement might not be accurate - or might not work at all.

Sorry... Welcome to best efforts Internet. Your best option is to go to a better ISP - but I understand that parts of the Slingshot service should be attractive.

Cheers - N





--

 

Please note all comments are the product of my own brain and don't necessarily represent the position or opinions of my employer, previous employers, colleagues, friends or pets.


155 posts

Master Geek


  # 472891 23-May-2011 11:51
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It's entirely possible this isn't the case, but it has happened before around the world. Certainly if you can actually identify the server WoW is talking to, and if that server will respond to ICMP traffic it would be worth seeing if you see consistent RTT and low/no packet loss - but again, ICMP could be rate limited and the measurement might not be accurate - or might not work at all.



Cheers for the suggestion. In principle, anyone using Slingshot could do this and the result (if the test was conducted properly and it gives an accurate result) would apply to everyone using that ISP, correct?

If so, if anybody reading this is using Slingshot and knows what they're doing, I'd be interested in seeing the results. I have no idea how to do it myself, however >.>

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