I had the opportunity to deploy the Cambium/Bequant QoE on my provider’s network, and I found the platform to be fantastic. QoE is proprietary software with patented technology, including Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), Automatic Collision Management (ACM), and TCP/IP acceleration, along with other useful tools that I’ll comment on below.
QoE offers two basic commercial models:
- One is for traffic up to 1 Gbps, consisting of hardware with the necessary software licenses installed on your infrastructure.
- The other is a software solution that you install on your server, directing all traffic through it.
For the Packet Management and TCP/IP Acceleration functions, no additional configuration is needed. Simply enable these functions, and forget about them.
When I first watched the presentation and had the initial conversation, I was skeptical that it would perform as they claimed, but it does, and the difference is remarkable.
As an example, I took a high-traffic point in my network, with traffic ranging from 1.3 to 1.5 Gbps during peak hours (around 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM), and I set up the QoE. The results were quite satisfactory.
Regarding packet collisions, when I activated ACM, there was a 30% improvement. Yes, the software shows the BEFORE and AFTER state of your network. You can also identify, by IP address, each client experiencing high packet retransmission rates and address the issue individually.
Additionally, you can easily monitor which services each client is using and how much bandwidth they consume. This makes it simple to identify customers who might be sharing or reselling internet connections.
One of the major reasons for high packet retransmission is internal issues within the client’s home, potential problems with their equipment, or excessive distance or obstructions between the router and specific client devices. For example, we provide Gigabit routers, but some customers purchase cheaper, lower-quality routers to extend their Wi-Fi coverage. It was astonishing how many clients we identified with this problem, rectified it, and explained to them why their network was experiencing issues.
Another valuable feature is the ability to control streaming flows, which, for me, was the standout function. When a customer accesses a service like YouTube, it opens multiple flows, consuming a substantial amount of bandwidth and causing slowdowns for other applications being used by other household members. With QoE, I created a rule that limits streaming services to a single flow with a maximum of 18 Mbps per flow. With these 18 Mbps, the customer can comfortably watch 4K content without hiccups or problems.
This also leads to bandwidth savings. On a day with peak traffic of 1.5 Gbps (e.g., a rainy Sunday or Friday night), enabling this function allowed me to reduce bandwidth consumption to 1.1 Gbps, resulting in savings of 400 Mbps. For those with burstable contracts, this can translate into potential cost reductions.
In my case, at this specific point in the network, I have 2 CCR 1009 routers, both of which were operating at 55% CPU usage during peak hours. This dropped to 4% CPU usage with QoE enabled.
You can create numerous rules for a variety of services, prioritize plans for streaming, gaming, software updates, and more.
Another significant advantage is how QoE interacts with speed testing tools like Speedtest, for example. Even if the client is actively streaming and runs a speed test, the speed will always match the prioritization, ensuring a consistent experience.
I understand that this is a sensitive topic, but QoE allows you to control and limit various services by plan and time. This includes downloads, updates, torrents, streaming, and more. For instance, during peak hours, you can set a rule to limit each subscriber to a specific Mbps for torrent downloads.
QoE can also detect denial-of-service attacks, providing the source of these attacks for quick blocking, both from within your network and from external sources. Currently, it doesn’t block these attacks, but that feature is being developed for the future.
QoE needs to be installed on a DELL or HP server with Intel network cards. There is a compatibility list that the Cambium/Bequant team checks with the client to ensure smooth operation.
The software supports only VMWare as a virtualization platform, but it ran smoothly in our infrastructure with Citrix. I ran QoE in two scenarios: with Citrix and then directly installed on a DELL R710 server.
The official product website is: https://www.cambiumnetworks.com/prod...of-experience/. I promise to provide some practical QoE content in Portuguese in a few weeks.
If you have any questions, I’m here to help. It’s definitely a tool that adds value!