Packeteer 1400 Lite

Posted 2008-04-03 Print this article Print

Packeteer 1400 Lite  

Packeteer got its start providing packet shaping for universities and colleges, and is the oldest and perhaps best-known vendor in the space. The 1400 Lite is Packeteer's entry-level device and is a small appliance, with four 10/100baseT ports: two main ports that act as a straight wire if the device fails and two secondary ports that can be used for a backup Internet connection.

The Exinda entry-level appliance competes against this Packeteer entry, and the feature sets are almost identical. The 1400 Lite offers monitoring and classification of traffic by deep packet inspection, can display captured data interactively over its Web interface and can prioritize that data. Users who purchase an additional license key can apply QOS with versatile and very granular control. Rules can be set to manage the amount of bandwidth allocated to a class of applications such as P2P, to a specific application like Kazaa, to a specific URL or IP address, even down to a specific workstation.  

The Bottom Line

In real-world tests of the Exinda device, I was able to identify various automated update services consuming disproportionate amounts of bandwidth, which led to the deployment of Windows Server Update Services and other centralizing mechanisms to minimize the impact. The Exinda device is a clear winner in the bang for buck category and is an elegantly designed, simple-to-use entry-level device.

In order to match the functionality of the Packeteer, however, you would have to move up the Exinda product line, narrowing the price difference significantly. The limited memory in the Exinda 1700 also restricted the traffic it could shape, for example, it could not block encrypted P2P traffic from the popular Limewire application. The Packeteer can be upgraded in place to provide application acceleration, whereas the Exinda device requires a forklift upgrade. 

Because of the constantly changing nature of Internet applications, you must buy the support/subscription service so that you can get updated application signature tables. Both manufacturers offer trials of the devices so you can test them in your environment. Be forewarned though: Have your PO ready because once you have access to a packet shaper, you can never go back.



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