Bandwidth Limits

We’ve recently had a few customers ask whether the license limits on the Netropy products were per-link or aggregate bandwidth limits. They limit the bandwidth that can be configured for each individual WAN link, not in aggregate, but this more in-depth explanation focusing specifically on the Netropy 10G1 model should help make this clearer.

The Netropy 10G1 has one pair of 10 GbE ports and is available in two versions: 1 Gbps per WAN link (N10G1-1G) and 10 Gbps per WAN link (N10G1-10G).

The hardware for both the 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps versions is identical, and includes the same 10 GbE ports and same 10 GbE full duplex capacity. The difference is that the configuration of each individual emulated WAN link is limited to a bandwidth of up 1 Gbps per link in each direction on the 1 Gbps version while each WAN link in the 10 Gbps version can be configured to any value up to 10 Gbps.

There are actually three separate independent limits that apply to the 10G1:

  1. The 10G1 can simulate 15 separate WAN links.
  2. Each of the 15 individual WAN link can be configured with a bandwidth up to the license maximum, either 1 Gbps or 10 Gbps.
  3. Aggregate throughput is limited only by the physical ports. The 10G1 has 10 Gbps ports, so total throughput is limited to 10 Gbps full duplex.

It is important to note the difference between bandwidth and throughput. Even if a WAN link is configured to a bandwidth of 10 Gbps, actual application throughput might only be a few Mbps or might not be in use at all. So the Netropy configuration does not limit the aggregate bandwidth to match the port speed. In other words, the 10 Gbps version of the 10G1 can be configured with 15 separate links, each with a bandwidth of 10 Gbps for a total of 150 Gbps of configured bandwidth, despite the separate physical limit of the ports at 10 Gbps.

Regardless of the license limit, any traffic that is not assigned to a WAN link is not limited and passes through at full line rate of 10 Gbps. With emulation turned off, all traffic passes through at full speed.

The license limit is simply a license key, and is upgradeable. Users can easily upgrade their 1 Gbps version of the 10G1 to the 10 Gbps version at any time. The 1 Gbps version of the 10G1 is therefore useful both for customers who want to simulate large numbers of 1 Gbps (or lower) speed links or who only need to simulate 1 Gbps links now but want an easy upgrade path to 10 Gbps for the future.

A similar licensing structure is used on all of the Netropy models. The 10G2, with 2 pairs of 10 GbE ports, is available in versions at 1 Gbps per link and 10 Gbps. The N61 and N91 models have one and four pairs of GigE ports and are available in license versions at 10 Mbps, 45 Mbps, 100 Mbps, and 1 Gbps. And the mighty 40G has one pair of 40 GbE ports and is available in license versions at 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps.

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