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Traffic / Bandwidth Shaping Firewall Appliance

Posted on 2010-09-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I’m looking for a firewall appliance that has decent traffic / bandwidth shaping features. We have around $1,000 to spend but would be happy to pay less if that’s possible. This is for a small business that needs to prioritize a variety of different types of streaming media so that regular web surfing doesn’t impact the streams.

I am currently considering a Sonicwall TZ210 as it does have decent bandwidth management capabilities, however the controls aren’t as granular as I would like. Also, we don’t need a lot of the more advanced features of the TZ. We basically need a decent / low end firewall with good traffic shaping capabilities.

We are not looking for a software solution built around a PC, this needs to be an appliance.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Question by:willp2
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Expert Comment

by:digitap
ID: 33631574
What granularity do you need?
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Author Comment

by:willp2
ID: 33631765
I'm mostly looking to be able to prioritize protocols and traffic from specific IP's and networks. I can do some of that with the Sonicwall but the level of control or even managing the flow is a bit akward.
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Expert Comment

by:digitap
ID: 33631815
you have a sonicwall now?  with the enhance OS this is quite easy to do.  were you reviewing the interface using sonicwall demo site?
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Author Comment

by:willp2
ID: 33632374
I have worked with Sonicwall's with the enhanced OS for many years and am very familiar with the bandwidth management. It's just kind of a blunt tool with little visibility into what is actually happening. For instance most of the management is based around setting the max throughput on an interface then assigning a percentage of bandwidth or a min and max kbps for what you want.

In some environments with real available bandwidth that changes from time to time, you sometimes end up capping your entire connection when a provider has increased your available speed or based your percentages incorrectly if the available bandwidth goes down. Then to compensate for these variations we’ve had to allocate more bandwidth to the priority devices just to make sure they get what they need.

I do like the Sonicwall’s and use them all over the place, and I don’t know of anything better at doing this in the price range. I was just hoping to get features more like I would find in an enterprise class traffic shaping tool. I don’t need all the bells and whistles just hoping for a bit more control without involving bandwidth limits and more visibility.
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Expert Comment

by:digitap
ID: 33632429
OK...I like your assessment of the sonicwall and BWM and it's spot on.  It also sounds like you know your sonicwall stuff.  I'm only familiar with sonicwall appliances.  I'll step out and continue to monitor.  I'm sure other experts out there will provide valuable alternatives to the sonicwall regarding BMW.
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Expert Comment

by:ujitnos
ID: 33633674
I can suggest an apliance other than sonicwall.. its Bluecoat Packetshaper. ts pretty simple to setup and easy to manage.
http://www.bluecoat.com/products/packetshaper 
 
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Author Comment

by:willp2
ID: 33633710
I actually had something like a Packetshaper in mind, but I'm pretty sure they are well past my budget for this.
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Expert Comment

by:ujitnos
ID: 33634127
the license of Packetshaper is based on your internet badwidth that u want to shape....maybe your regional sales guy can give u a budget quote...
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Author Comment

by:willp2
ID: 33641565
Unfortunatly we are talking about 30+Mbps, which last i checked puts us in a pretty high bracket with Packetshaper
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Expert Comment

by:ujitnos
ID: 33653210
have you tried to configure QoS on your routers?
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Accepted Solution

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digitap earned 500 total points
ID: 33663210
I don't agree with your assessment to close this question.  I believe the sonicwall would be sufficient for your packet shaping needs.  I'm sorry that you don't believe it has the granularity that you seek.  I strongly disagree with you as we have implemented the level of packet shaping with the 210 without issue.

Additionally, you can 'Request Attention' from a moderator to adjust the zones AND alert other experts to your question to get further assistance.
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Author Closing Comment

by:willp2
ID: 33663428
Fine, squeaky wheel gets the points ; )
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Expert Comment

by:digitap
ID: 33663478
The points are unimportant...it was a matter of EE rules of engagement, but thanks for the points anyway.
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Author Comment

by:willp2
ID: 33663507
I was kidding. You had a good point. While I wasn't looking for the SonicWall answer, its a solid answer.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:digitap
ID: 33663788
No worries...I wanted to make sure you understood that you had more options available to you.  At this point, you can reopen your question and have a moderator help you get more exposure to your question.  I want to help you get the answer you want or need.
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