Developers Club geek daily blog

3 years, 1 month ago
Optimization of communication links for mining in the north of Russia
When we went to mounting, nearby got tractor from ravine

There are such severe Russian men who extract different minerals which were meanly grouped in hard-to-reach spots. It is often simple to reach and pull out them from under the earth happens very much and very expensively. Therefore the developed infrastructure on site production — unusual occurrence. And so, in the Far East in many places optical fiber — the section still of science fiction, and the wire meets in the wild nature only if to bring it with itself in hands.

Communication is made via the satellite there. Respectively, requirements for the channel grow, but to extend very painfully and expensively — satellite resource not the scalablest, and through it to drive gigabytes it will not turn out.

We solved problem of optimization of the channel due to compression of traffic and prioritizing of applications in channels that the most important always went the first. The whole network detective story has turned out.

The input

There is channel on the satellite, and to expand it expensively. There are solutions of Riverbed which allow to squeeze traffic, to optimize exchange at the level of the protocol (that redundant data was not transferred), plus to cache pieces of the dictionary of compression on themselves. All this in general can give from 20% to 80% of prize on band that for data and as fly.

The task of that have asked to count us possibility of prioritizing of critical traffic that it was selected from all exchange that is on points has begun. After it has become clear that optimization too is very favorable because it is necessary to pay for the lifted satellite channel constantly, and for iron — only once.


Architecture of exchange — a little "wheels with spokes" with hubs in the large cities. For example, in Irkutsk, Magadan and Moscow. On hubs the optics or copper approaches. On remote points at the extracting enterprises in 90% of cases the station of satellite communication is used, there is literally couple of radio relay lines and on several points those who anyway dragged it by for the sake of the trunk share optics.

Have put the diagnostic system collecting data.

There is a lot of applications, and it is not enough users, the main exchange — technical. Here example of that can work at one of the enterprises somewhere very far behind snow:

The recognizable application

Interpretation of observed traffic

Microsoft-DS Active Directory

File interchange means of operating system
Windows (SMB Direct).

Microsoft Terminal Server (RDP)

Remote desktop


Outlook Web Access


Transfer of mail between the Exchange servers


Appeals to  the MS SQL server


Client connection 1C


Service of domain names (DNS)


 Internet access via the proxy server
All this, in general, well contracts, except for DNS and Internet access. Still there is Lync, VoIP and video conferencing which owing to features does not contract, but demands priority No. 1 — especially when the head of object is caused on VKS-meeting.

Mostly the common traffic — is file transfer, real time traffic, also there are data of control of production, accounting and crude data from sensors. Many applications which send information, "talkative", that is send many packets where it would be possible to manage one. Respectively, such things are solved Riverbed rather simply.

Here, compare as applications before optimization work:

Optimization of communication links for mining in the north of Russia

For example the "talkative" CIFS protocol known for all which is used for access to files. The file of 20-40 Mb in size on the local area network will be loaded for read seconds. If loading of the file is carried out from remote office on WAN to communication link, as shown in the scheme above, load time can be increased till 5 and more minutes.

Optimization of communication links for mining in the north of Russia

To reduce load time in remote office, it is necessary to minimize number of passes to both parties.

For prioritizing of traffic it was necessary to sort packets — it was necessary to lift analog of DPI and to look at the 7th level as it is simple to scatter on the used ports was obviously insufficiently — the same type of traffic could be both indications of the important sensor, and talkative exchange something noncritical. Or here it was necessary to select Exchange sessions and to give for them band at connection establishment stage.

Before, of course, have tried simply on routers, but there very difficult control, plus it is difficult to support all this config. That there was full understanding — in our case at the central office in Moscow there is no team of support. The main sat at the equidistant distance from points of production and parent organization. The place is so selected because of time zones — there are chances to find the working day both there, and there. There is also intermediate team for operational tasks, but none of these people did not need to create so many problems for manual adjustments at all. And without guarantee of the correct work in the future.


Here it is necessary to interrupt and tell that all this history smoothly sounds only on paper. Difficulties, of course, were — beginning from such banal thing as connection of the mirroring devices of the analysis of traffic. Simply imagine the extracting enterprise somewhere very much far where there is no road. It is possible to reach there on the ground only a few months in year. Respectively, iron after sending still somewhere reaches at least 1 month point. As will reach — it needs to be connected, and someone will connect local of customer support department.

All this was connected, fortunately, in gap on output from server through bypass therefore works went rather simply. The only moment — needed to be given all instructions Before the engineer on point pulls cable because the same telephony has been tied on it.

Optimization of communication links for mining in the north of Russia
The optimizer — the bottom

As a result such scheme has been fulfilled:
  • We received iron on the warehouse in Moscow
  • Did diagnostics and presetup that it was possible to manage right after connection the device.
  • Sent on branches
  • Played in "Avatar" further, helping specialists to do on site the movements, unclear for them, with cable. Sometimes all this was observed on video flow with big log. It was ridiculous to nobody.
  • Later, in year, the second part of quest has come — from some points the metering equipment should be removed and put on others.

Besides, romanticism of the North — one TsOD has reached to place on skids, it is good though not dogs. TsOD on skids, yes.


So, we have seen what traffic goes and in what volumes. With what delays that the business is critical that is not present. That for the company have important marked that it is possible "to kill" — "killed" if in band there was important traffic. Have selected 4 classes of service for different information types, have coordinated them with telecommunications operators. Actually, we "colored" with this traffic — and at telecommunications operator shaping on site became. There was still feature that on each object the telecommunications operator: somewhere it was necessary to pay in addition for service, somewhere it was not simple to sheypit technical capability correctly, it was necessary to keep within smaller quantity of classes of service and to think out different khaki.

Problems of networks governed. Our mirroring sensors became ideal debugging tool. Sensors were put on all regions, had the copy of traffic — it was possible to take the copy of traffic from several points from branch and from the center and to compare. It turned out that we had opportunity to record each packet here and there. As a result we could evaluate that happens at telecommunications operator to each of them really. Here example:

Optimization of communication links for mining in the north of Russia

Example of carrying out diagnostics at the customer:

Optimization of communication links for mining in the north of Russia
We see on what hop the packet on the way from the server to the client was lost

There was case — there has arrived the big boss to branch and tells supposedly something at you one terminal here specific falls off. "I come since morning to the switched-on machine — and it has fallen off". The engineer on site was simply connected to sensor and has taken away the last packets of session to look why connection has come to the end. For half an hour was in packets that the client himself tears off connection on timeout. In packet the reason is written — and it has hammered its code into Google — and at once has seen setup that it was not broken off.

What iron?

Optimization of communication links for mining in the north of Russia

Different models of optimizers were established beginning from younger, finishing seniors — depending on width of communication link and number of users and information resources on site. In more detail about Riverbed solutions I wrote here and here to theories.

What final economy of traffic?

Here example from one of points:

Optimization of communication links for mining in the north of Russia

Total optimization is equal 57,05 in week for the optimized traffic on one of large nodes here.

Actually, here such history. If parts specifically on your project are interesting — I can count approximately by mail Well it is also ready to answer any questions here or in mail.

This article is a translation of the original post at
If you have any questions regarding the material covered in the article above, please, contact the original author of the post.
If you have any complaints about this article or you want this article to be deleted, please, drop an email here:

We believe that the knowledge, which is available at the most popular Russian IT blog, should be accessed by everyone, even though it is poorly translated.
Shared knowledge makes the world better.
Best wishes.

comments powered by Disqus