What is Traffic Shaping and How does it work

Traffic shaping is a congestion management technique that protects networks and applications from traffic increases, controls abusive users, and prevents network attacks. Traffic shaping prioritizes crucial data flows by delaying less crucial or desired packets.

It performs the task by managing the rate at which packets are transmitted and making sure that high-priority traffic has sufficient bandwidth while lower-priority traffic is delayed. 

This article will explore traffic shaping in detail and how it works.

What is Traffic Shaping and How does it work

Traffic Shaping 

Traffic shaping, commonly referred to as packet shaping, is a bandwidth management strategy that slows the flow of specific types of network packets for optimal network performance for higher-priority applications. 

It restricts the amount of bandwidth available for specific types of applications. Its primary purpose is to achieve a good quality of service for business-related network traffic. The most widespread type of traffic shaping is application-based traffic shaping.

How Traffic Shaping Works?

Traffic shaping operates through a series of systematic steps to manage and optimize network traffic.

Packets Grouping 

It initially classifies the various types of traffic on the network. This involves identifying and grouping packets according to their type, source, destination, and other characteristics. Click here to check your IP address and see how IP traffic manages and optimizes network traffic.

Bandwidth Management

Once classified, an Application Delivery Controller (ADC), regulates bandwidth to and from the network. It temporarily holds the packets in a buffer to avoid exceeding the specified rate limit when traffic density is high. This buffer briefly stores packets before forwarding them without exceeding the desired data rate.

Traffic Shaping Methods

Traffic shaping includes the following methods:

Generic Traffic Shaping (GTS)

Generic traffic shaping in routers allows for traffic shaping on a per-interface basis, prioritizing traffic with access control lists. It adjusts to available bandwidth by combining shapes and ECN at predetermined rates, providing responsiveness to Resource Reservation Protocol signals through virtual circuits. 

Frame Relay Traffic Shaping (FRTS)

FRTS removes congestion in frame relay networks that have high-speed connections at the main site but poor speeds at the branch sites.

Class-Based Traffic Shaping

Class-based traffic shaping allows consumers to apply traffic shaping on a per-traffic basis, which means that network professionals can apply the shaping to one or more data types. Additionally, users can use class-based shaping to improve available bandwidth by choosing an average or peak shaping rate. If bandwidth is available, this allows more data to be transmitted across the network than the configured rate.