[nSLUG] traffic shaping and archive networks

Ian Campbell ian at slu.ms
Sun Nov 23 13:06:22 AST 2008

On Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 12:56:23PM -0400, George N. White III wrote:
> It seems that traffic shaping is here to stay:


It looks like you (and pc magazine and the globe and mail) only got
half the story.


The CRTC said Bell can keep doing what it's doing because it's not
shafting its resellers any harder than it's shafting its own

... while I'm not sure I agree with that (what bandwidth is congested
for ISPs like TekSavvy who aren't going through Bell for anything
other than the last mile?) ... the CRTC is still going to look into
traffic shaping in general in July.

So, uh, there's hope yet.
> How do you tell the difference between problems caused by conjestion and the
> effects of shaping?

You don't. Traffic shaping is just specific congestion, so you can
make a guess based on whether different traffic types have different
response times, I guess.

> Have NSLUG users encountered problems that can be attributed to shaping?

I can't say for certain whether it's shaping or if Eastlink just has a
crappy network, but jitter is a real problem with them.

> Is shaping causing problems for other archive networks?
> The Comprehensive TeX Archive Network is used with a new
> package manager, tlmgr, which first downloads a master
> database that gives the versions of the packages on the
> server,  If you don't get the database and packages from the
> same server you can run into difficulties if the two servers
> have different versions of some packages.  Thsi can  create
> problems for users with unreliable network access.

I don't see how this would be specifically affected by shaping. That's
just saying "don't pick two mirrors that are out of sync"
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