Networking’s Kobayashi Maru Problem

When faced with the infamous “no-win” scenario in the Kobayashi Maru simulation at Starfleet Academy, James Kirk simply changed the rules — because he did not believe that there was a “no-win” scenario.

Attempting to play by the rules of how routed TCP/IP traffic behaves across congested links, network operators at enterprises and service providers alike wake up every day to their own “no-win” situation, as data loads from mobile, cloud and IoT flood networks around the world. (Arguably less life threatening than Klingon battle cruisers, but equally overwhelming.) Links fill up, data queues fill up, random packet drops start flying and user sessions crash repeatedly – and that’s before you even start to consider the impact of DDoS attacks and the like.

For the better part of three decades network operators have responded to all of this chaos by deploying dozens of expensive tools and technologies over the years to try and contain the random best-effort nature of IP packet delivery and, ultimately, by installing double the bandwidth they can actually make use of in order to make room for peak TCP/IP traffic loads. (The average large enterprise sports at least six pricey edge appliances in its network today.)

In fact, entire multi-billion-dollar industries, such as WAN Optimization, have sprung up simply to treat the behavioral tics of congested IP traffic, even though these appliances often add their own traffic and can actually mask underlying network issues. And the cost? Impressive. And, in the end, they have not solved the problem presented by the routed IP data flows.

Saisei decided to take a long, hard look at the situation and, like James Kirk, found a way to change the rules, in this case by fixing the underlying problem of TCP/IP’s random, chaotic packet delivery behavior rather than create a better bandage.

Without mucking about with the standard – routed TCP/IP data flows are standard entering the Saisei system and remain standard TCP/IP when they leave – Saisei has developed a patented software Network Performance Enforcement solution that allows us to completely eliminate the requirement for queuing and scheduling packets.

Using Saisei’s high-performance flow engine technology, random, chaotic TCP/IP data flows become guided and predictable for the first time. In fact, random packet drops are completely eliminated with Saisei, in contrast to all of today’s popular QoS queuing mechanisms that constantly drop packets as the queues fill up.

The immediate effects show just what you can do when the rules are changed so that they favor users and applications over traditional network devices.

To start, Saisei, in most cases, literally doubles the amount of data that can flow through an existing routed IP network link. By “domesticating” TCP/IP while under our control, Saisei can comfortably run network link utilization at over 95% around the clock.

But the corollary benefit is even more of a game changer as Saisei can run links at that level of utilization while concurrently guaranteeing that no user session on that link will ever drop or stall out again. We call this our “No Flow Left Behind™” guarantee.

All of this is arriving just in time for the data deluge demands coming from mobile, cloud and the IoT.

Network Performance Enforcement from Saisei represents a brand new technology suite and defines a new industry Best Practice for large enterprises and service providers worldwide, offering unprecedented control, visibility and scalability of users and applications across networks. These three pillars – control, visibility and scalability — comprise the essence of NPE.

Image by: NASA

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What people are saying

First Cagayan Converge Data Center “Fair usage was the biggest requirement for us, but FlowCommand has provided a number of other great benefits in terms of much more advanced and instantaneous visibility, analytics and control. The control of our bandwidth is markedly better across the board. We’ve improved bandwidth utilization by more than 30%, which has translated into a more than $80,000 bandwidth cost savings and delayed capex on upgrades for more than 6 months”

Edgardo Lopez, First Cagayan Converge Data Center, Inc. Chief Technology Officer

Sunway Information Technology “Saisei’s software has paid off in a number of ways. The two gaming operators who threatened to take their business elsewhere have decided to remain our customers. And we’ve been able to eliminate the 5-millisecond latency that can terminate a gaming session and its associated revenue.”

Daniel Soh, Assistant General Manager, Sunway Digital Wave

NHN Entertainment “Saisei’s software is critical for us. It’s helping us provide a high-quality gaming experience to our end users around the globe which is important to increasing customer loyalty and expanding our business. Saisei’s software is unique in its ability to do micro-flow level monitoring without packet capturing. It’s extremely easy to use. We looked at many of the top networking products but they were very costly and complex, and most were hardware based so we couldn’t utilize our unused servers in our data centers.”

Joohwan Kim, NHN Entertainment Infra Operation Team Leader

Fort Bend County Libraries “FlowCommand gives us great visibility and control, and also does an excellent job of augmenting the security on our network because we can see so much more. From the dashboard, we can now immediately see where traffic is coming from – and can really hone in on, for example, the top 25 applications being used and by which users, devices and locations – on a second-by-second basis. We’ve also gained a lot more control by using the software’s host equalization capability, which ensures every user has equal access to our local Wi-Fi networks and gets great applications performance, regardless of how many users are on the network or what applications they are running.”

Raymond Miranda, Network Specialist at Fort Bend County Libraries

network world testimonial “Saisei’s software suite brings order to chaos and makes the network a highly predictable system that can achieve utilisation rates over 95%.”

Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst, ZK Research

light reading testimonial “Using Saisei’s patented flow control technology, FlowCommand manages traffic without queueing, buffering, scheduling, or random packets drops.”

MITCH WAGNER, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading

it world canada testimonial“Vendors that make competing network optimisation solutions like Cisco Systems, Riverbed and Silver Peak have been trying to do something similar but haven’t put the pieces together yet the way Saisei has.”

Howard Solomon, former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada

ema testimonial“The combination of deep visibility plus granular, automated, policy-based control has long been sought as the holy grail of network capacity and performance optimisation.”

Jim Frey, vice president of research, Enterprise Management Associates