Frequently asked questions

The current options available to businesses and other organisations which have concerns about their connectivity capacity between locations are to:

  • implement SD-WAN (Software defined WAN), including WAN Acceleration and/or WAN Optimisation applications and/or
  • purchase more bandwidth.

SD-WAN solutions require dedicated hardware installed at each site location (e.g. Symantec’s PacketShaper product range, Riverbed, etc) to undertake the additional network computing tasks which apply the policy and rules that deliver the optimisation and network connection improvements across a range of connection environments such as MPLS back bone, ethernet, LAN and internet broadband connections. SD-WAN dedicated hardware needs to be installed at each of the client locations where improved network access efficiency is sought (i.e. replacement network routers).

SD-WAN evaluates the data being sent across the connection and applies rules and policies to meet required Quality of Service ("QoS") and other performance requirements based on the nature of the IP packets – the relevant details of which are included in the IP header of each packet. This means HD video streaming or VOIP, etc can be prioritised ahead of FTP data transfers, etc.

Netpump operates on a different level to these SD-WAN applications. Netpump can be used with or without SD-WAN application overlays, resulting in additional performance improvements when used with SD-WAN. Netpump improves the efficiency of each network connection (where it is installed at both origin and destination).

Netpump does not alter the information that is sent across a network connection, whether SD-WAN managed or otherwise. The information relevant to operating in an MPLS, SD-WAN or other environments is retained in the IP header of each data packet encoded and sent by Netpump, Netpump’s operation is transparent to these higher level applications. These higher level applications still work and perform in the same fashion, but Netpump allows each of the connections under the control of these applications to work more efficiently.

Netpump is expected to be typically installed to encode the data packet before reaching the origin SD-WAN hardware and similarly on the destination device. Each connection under the control of the SD-WAN application is able to work at the higher level of connection efficiency unlocked by Netpump.

Netpump is agnostic as to the network or connection environment in which it is applied. It enhances the data transmission efficiency of all data traffic using TCP protocol across any network connection whether LAN, WAN, MPLS, VPN, radio, satellite, cable, etc.

Other software only solutions for accelerated file transfer, such as Aspera and Hightail, require client files to be first uploaded to their servers in order to access their high-speed file transfer service. There are obvious limitations to this type of service offering.

Pacbyte Software is not aware of any software only offerings that allow direct origin to destination file transfers such as provided in the Netpump core functionality. Pacbyte Software have not come across nor been informed of software only solutions that may have similar performance and implementation benefits provided by Netpump.

Netpump’s core capabilities and performance improvement do not involve file compression at all. The material performance improvements unlocked by Netpump are a genuine increase in the transmission efficiency for a given size file across a network connection.

For some video formats and video streaming application opportunities, further performance improvements can be achieved through the use of Netpump Video’s lossless compression add-in. Unlike other loss-less compression algorithms such as Raptor or Fountain, the algorithm used by Netpump is not a "predictive" based algorithm. This means that there is a 100% certainty of delivery of the full uncompressed file at the destination when using Netpump Video’s lossless compression add-in.

Netpump utilises a number of proprietary features in addition to varying the packet size for transmission. The setting of optimal MTU size is typically determined across a particular single connection which is not always relevant for others. Netpump does not alter the MTU setting, Nonetheless, Netpump’s approach to chunking and restitching a data file delivers enhanced transmission delivery efficiency over that facilitated through a simple MTU setting alone.

Yes. Netpump uses a proprietary process of "chunking" data files into optimal packet size for transmission, which then requires it to "restitch" the packets back together at the destination device to deliver the complete file without error.

Netpump delivers similar or superior file transfer times to these other applications but does not require the files to be first "uploaded" to dedicated servers to access these highspeed links. Further, whilst these applications build in the protection and benefit of TCP/IP wrappers that track and correct packet-loss (which does not otherwise occur with UDP only transfers), the use of UDP results in "crowding out" of any other applications that may be required or sought to be run in parallel on the destination (and often the origin) device. Netpump operates within fairuse measure guidelines, which is typically not the case for other applications. Netpump overcomes many of the challenges typically associated with TCP/IP, and delivers data faster on an open network than UDP does on a dedicated connection.

Netpump Data can be installed on remote devices in the same way as operating system and services upgrades are rolled out on a controlled basis by the customer.

As with updates to virus definitions and other security type of updates, major and minor updates to Netpump, should they arise, can be delivered to all managed devices across a network in a similar coordinated manner by the customer. Timing and need for implementation is not dictated and/or managed by Pacbyte Software, but by the customer once provided with the relevant update files.

Yes. Netpump does not "read" the data or files that are being transferred using its protocol. Encrypted files will be delivered to the destination device in the same encrypted form as they depart from the origin device. Netpump can also be configured to add an additional layer of up to 2048 bit encryption to either encrypted or unencrypted files.

No. Use of Netpump results in very little additional overhead on either origin or destination devices, overhead increase will still typically remain below 2%.

Yes. Even on a low latency network connection of, say, 10mS, Netpump can improve connection efficiency by around 20-25%. In such applications, this benefit is really only noticeable at a user level when transferring very large files, although the network as a whole experiences noticeable productivity improvements.

High latency networks clearly deliver the most apparent benefits as the impact of retransmission time for correcting packet loss under TCP/IP is quite noticeable. Netpump does not change the probability of packet loss, but its approach to data packet transmission across multiple threads and restitching in cache at the destination device dramatically reduces the adverse environmental impacts of high latency network connections.

Netpump when idle, will effectively use 0% of CPU usage on both origin and destination devices. When maximum data transfer speeds are used with Netpump, then approximately 2% of CPU is used for the operation of Netpump. CPU usage will increase in addition to the operation of Netpump due to the increased amount of data being read from or written to I/O devices, and this will vary from system to system.

Typically, the fully flexible and functional version of Netpump Data is around 40MB in size. This file is required to be installed at all origin and destination devices between which network connectivity improvements are sought. Only one installation is required on a device, which allows Netpump to operate where the device is used as both an origin and destination device.

Netpump Video has two different files – one for an origin device and one for a client device, being approximately 60KB and 2MB in size respectively.

Paired down versions of each of Netpump Data and Netpump Video can be made available where "lite" versions are required for specific, typically Java based, applications. In these applications, Netpump’s file size can be brought down to a little over 100KB.

Netpump is able to be configured for use on "cloud servers" which provide the subscriber with access to their root directory, and thereby permits the subscriber to install additional services on the cloud. This is an increasingly common functional capacity being offered by many leading cloud service providers, including AWS S3 amongst others.

No. Netpump is a software only solution that can be installed on almost any existing device that meets the minimum operating system requirements outlined. Where required, a bespoke version of Netpump can be developed to work in specific environments and applications, such as those found in defence and intelligence market segments.

No. Netpump simply "chunks" existing data files into smaller (or larger) packets for optimal transmission efficiency. This means that there is 100% certainty of the file content and structure arrived at the destination device. As noted above, the application of the Netpump Video lossless compression add-in also ensures 100% file delivery certainty without errors.

It is generally expected that Netpump will operate on any network connection that utilises TCP/IP communication protocol. Netpump Data applications have been developed to operate on a wide range of common operating system platforms, such as Linux, Windows and MacOS. Netpump video applications have been developed to operate on Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android. If a particular connection operates on a different operating platform, then Pacbyte Software will be pleased to discuss this with you and determine whether the additional operating system can be accommodated.

Netpump will deliver similar performance improvements to those experienced in terrestrial communication links.

SSL creates a small amount of additional overhead as it is applied to each file, or for Netpump, each data packet. The SSL overhead is broadly a function of the total file size. Consequently, the use of smaller data packets does not result in a material difference to this additional overhead, nor in the decryption processing load at the destination device.

Netpump operates as a service and does not directly interact with the lower level functionality that controls the operation of multi-CPU routers and servers.

No. Netpump can operate on closed or open network environments where TCP/IP is used as the underlying network communication protocol.

Netpump Data operates as a service, and as a service it will require permissions (inherited from the user) to access through Firewalls.

Netpump delivers performance benefit improvement across all types of network connection. It is agnostic to the nature of the connection and environment in which it is applied.

For most installations, the customer will determine each of these in the settings that it applies to the installations of Netpump across its network. The size of the data chunk currently defaults to 10MB, but this is configurable down to 10KB. Similarly, the default number of threads is set at 8, but this can also be configured to a larger or smaller number as appropriate.

The same data packet size and number of threads must be consistent between origin and destination devices. If there are numerous connections across a network with differing origin and destination devices, then data packet size and number of threads may be varied between these devices.

No. The GUI is provided as a simple interface for testing its use in customer environments. It is expected that most if not all customer installation will have Netpump built in to its operating environment as a service.

Yes. If Netpump is installed on both remote machines, then control of files transferred between them can occur from a third location, using a common customer authorisation code.

Yes, the transfers are made sequentially.

If there is a drop in the connection or a crash, upon restarting Netpump will continue on with the file transfer from the last data packet copied. It does not require the entire file transfer to commence again. If the file transfer is paused, the current data packets being copied will complete before the process is paused.

Various levels of logging are available from verbose to minimal (including fatal) and are maintained in a localised file.

Netpump can be optimised to operate with other protocols, however the standard version is designed to operate on TCP only.

No. In addition to the expected firewall protection that a customer may have for protecting against third party access, Netpump requires the use of a common customer authorisation code at both origin destination devices. This customer authorisation code is set by the customer itself, and is not disclosed to or readily accessible by Pacbyte Software or any third party.

Yes. To download independent testing conducted by the University of Technology, click here.