Thursday, October 9, 2008

Networking : Bandwidth Splitter for Microsoft ISA Server 2004-2006

Bandwidth Splitter for Microsoft ISA Server 2004-2006

Bandwidth Splitter is a program extension for Microsoft ISA Server that supplements it with new features to allow more rational sharing of the existing Internet connection bandwidth and distributing it among all users and servers according to preset rules.

he principal features of Bandwidth Splitter are:

* Limiting of the Internet connection bandwidth used by individual users and hosts, as well as groups of users and hosts (traffic shaping, throttling)
* Setting up quotas for the maximum allowable Internet traffic use (in megabytes) for a set period of time (a day, a week or a month) for individual users and hosts, as well as groups of users and hosts
* Real-time monitoring of all users and their connections through ISA Server by the administrator, including the bandwidths used by individual users and connections

With Bandwidth Splitter you will get the following benefits:

* Great real-time monitoring abilities let administrator to effectively control traffic usage (see screenshot)
* Rational distribution of the Internet channel bandwidth (you establish the rules)
* Reducing Internet costs because of limiting non-priority traffic (peer-to-peer exchange, big downloads, etc)
* Comfortable work for important users
* Limit traffic usage of wasteful users
* Saving users' working time because of more guaranteed bandwidth allocation
* Users can track their internet activity in real-time using special utility (see screenshot)
* Save your time because you don't need to generate reports every time you want to know bandwidth usage details. Just see it in real-time.


* Full integration with ISA Server and its management console (remote control being possible as well)
* ISA Server arrays with multiple servers are supported
* Managing the traffic of all HTTP, HTTPS and FTP connections (for web proxy clients) and TCP/UDP connections (for FWC and SNAT clients). Version for ISA 2004/2006 is also capable to manage all TCP/UDP traffic of DMZ servers and all others that use ISA Server as NAT or router.
* Managing the traffic of published servers
* Setting up the allowable channel bandwidth for individual users (by AD accounts) and hosts (by IP addresses) and groups of users and hosts
* Flexible allocation of bandwidth depending on the time of the day or the day of the week (Schedules) and requested server addresses (Destinations)
* Even channel distribution for users inside groups (in case bandwidth is allocated to a group of users)
* Even distribution of bandwidth for the active connections of each user
* It is possible to set speed limits and quotas separately for incoming and/or outgoing, or total (incoming + outgoing) traffic
* Limiting the number of simultaneous connections from individual users and hosts
* For some types of web pages, you can set the download speed higher than the standard speed not to let the restrictions slow down the normal work of users (HTTP Boost)
* It is possible to set unlimited download speed for cached web content
* Setting traffic quotas for users, hosts, groups of users and groups of hosts per day, week, month or without any time limitations along with a possibility to automatically reallocate the unused traffic to the next period
* It is possible not to take the cached web content into account in traffic usage counters
* It is possible not to take the traffic to specified destinations or at specified time into account in traffic usage counters (this is useful if there is a high-speed connection with some networks and there is no need to limit that traffic while limiting traffic to other destinations)
* It is possible to not just block users' access to Internet when their traffic quota has been exceeded, but instead to use a different shaping rule, without blocking access to Internet
* Real time monitoring of all users and hosts that access Internet through ISA Server with detailed information on all their connections, including bandwidth usage graphs for individual users and connections
* Transparency for users: you do not need to install any software on client computers
* Users may use special client monitor utility to track consuming bandwidth and traffic quota remainder in real-time
* It is possible to customize web pages that users see when their quota exceeded
* Support of up to several thousands of simultaneously working users
* High performance and small extra load for the CPU
* Free if used with up to 10 clients

Connections Serviced

Bandwidth Splitter is built into ISA Server using web and application filters to control most traffic going through ISA Server.

Bandwidth Splitter has power to control:

* Outgoing web proxy connections (HTTP, HTTPS and FTP)
* Connections of Firewall clients (all TCP/UDP connections)
* Connections of SecureNAT clients (all TCP/UDP connections)
* Connections of published servers
* Connections established through application filters (the built-in SOCKS4 filter or third-party SOCKS5 filters)
* Connections of the Scheduled Content Download/Job Scheduler service
* Version for ISA 2004/2006 only: All routed TCP/UDP connections passed through ISA Server (from DMZ servers, etc)

Bandwidth Splitter do not control:

* Low-level, non TCP/UDP based protocol connections (e.g. ICMP)
* In version for ISA 2004/2006 only: Connections between the Local Host network and any internal network (any distinct from External). It is done intentionally because these connections are especially critical, and generally they do not need any bandwidth control.
* In version for ISA 2000 only: Routed IP packets (set up in IP Packet Filters) including all data going from/to the DMZ area

How it works?

Unlike numerous other tools for ISA Server that just count traffic by analyzing log files, Bandwidth Splitter deeply integrates into ISA Server to control most of the traffic. However it does not install any network drivers. Bandwidth Splitter operates using web filter to control web traffic (HTTP, HTTPS and outbound FTP), and application filter to control all other TCP/UDP traffic. These filters extend ISA Server functionality allowing you to count and shape traffic. This means that Bandwidth Splitter is just an add-on for ISA Server for traffic/bandwidth management. It does not brake or replace ISA Server security or functionality.

Because of that integration with ISA Server, Bandwidth Splitter can shape traffic based on user accounts (not only by IP addresses) regardless which workstations are used by clients.



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