Traffic shaping (also known as packet shaping) is bandwidth management technique that delays the flow of certain types of network packets in order to ensure network performance for higher priority applications. Traffic shaping essentially limits the amount of bandwidth that can be consumed by certain types of applications. It is primarily used to ensure a high quality of service for business-related network traffic.
The most common type of traffic shaping is application-based traffic shaping. Fingerprinting tools are first used to identify the application associated with a data packet. Based on this, specific traffic shaping policies are applied. For example, you might want to use application-based traffic-shaping to throttle peer-to-peer file sharing, while giving maximum bandwidth to a business-critical application such as Voice-over-IP (VoIP), which is especially sensitive to latency.
Many application protocols use encryption to circumvent application-based traffic shaping. To prevent applications from bypassing traffic shaping policies, route-based traffic shaping can be used. Route-based traffic shaping applies packet regulation policies based on the source and intended destination of the previous address a packet.
Limited network resources make bandwidth prioritization a necessity. Traffic shaping is the one of the most important techniques to ensure a high quality of service for business applications and data. It is an essential requirement for a network firewall.
The Barracuda NextGen Firewall provides strong QoS capabilities that let you apply granular policies to guarantee service for selected traffic flows within the WAN. QoS techniques supported by Barracuda NextGen Firewall include traffic shaping, traffic prioritization, and bandwidth partitioning, which assigns a bandwidth limit to certain types of traffic. To select traffic for different priority classes, the available real-time traffic analysis can be used to identify whether network traffic was sent by business-critical applications or by potentially unwanted applications.
Contact us get a free trial of a Barracuda NextGen Firewall as well as to learn more about how to apply traffic shaping policies to ensure quality of service in your organization.