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Plusnet Usergroup » All Users - The Open Forum » Plusnet Network and Technical Issues » 00.40hrs and still waiting for management to come off
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Author Topic: 00.40hrs and still waiting for management to come off  (Read 13195 times)
CountryBumpkin

Posts: 72

« on: July 17, 2006, 12:45:54 am »

Fair enough; I've gone over my peak time limit but I am still being restricted to 1Mbps at 00.40hrs.

Elsewhere I have read that the Ellacoyas update usage every 30 minutes, which is why peak time sometimes runs past midnight. I assume the Ellacoyas also control management, so why is it that 10 minutes after the latest possible change time is my service still restricted?

This also begs the question; is the usage correct anyway? Should I actually be on restricted service?

Keep cow manure in the country and bull manure in the city.
Ultra

Posts: 777

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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2006, 08:09:48 am »

From what I read (written by Dave T of PN on ADSL Guide, I think) the changes to profiles start on the hours of 16:00 and 00:00 and it is the processing time which 'cannot be rushed' to make changes instant for all users.

Someone commented that it should perhaps be modified in the customer's favour (so remooval of restrictions would be completed by 00:00), but on the assumption that the elapsed minutes for any particular user will remain pretty much constant, you should always get 16 hours without restriction, just that a change is unlikely to take place exactly on the hour, except for a tiny portion of the customers.

I felt it might be possible to order the checking and changing in some priority sequence, based on how close to any threshold the user has reached (and there are many hours in the day which will allow for sorting accounts such that those most likely to be 'managed' are processed first, both for enabling and disabling any 'slowed down' profile, while the remainder, with minimal or no changes likely, are left to be processed in the remaining 40+ minutes).

Of course, if processing ever exceeded an hour, there'd definitely need to be a rethink.


Finally, far more important than 'enabling' and 'disabling' any change of profile, is how the usage is counted for PAYG customers because the BT data is known to arrive at intervals and therefore someone starting heavy downloads at 00:05 may well find up to 30 | 60 | 90 (you choose!) minutes of their 'free' traffic was not free at all. 

Should they start downloading at 02:00 instead ? 

It might depends on the type of traffic, of course, but while PN staff may say that the 'lag' works at both ends of the period, so a degree of 'balance' can be suggested, it doesn't seem to apply, if someone's downloads don't run right up to the end of the 'free' period.

Indeed, should they carry on after 08:00 for many minutes, in theory that may 'use up' the 'free' time, but the 'free' status cannot be easily documented or notified to the user, such that the 'free' time can be used without chance of penalty.
ianwild

Posts: 3979


Not to be confused with Mike, Wildmind.

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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2006, 11:00:50 am »

I'm goign to take a deeper look into this over the next couple of days - It does sound like something we need to find an answer to.

Ian

Regards,

Ian Wild
PlusNet Support
portmoak

Posts: 214


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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2006, 11:40:29 am »

Finally, far more important than 'enabling' and 'disabling' any change of profile, is how the usage is counted for PAYG customers because the BT data is known to arrive at intervals and therefore someone starting heavy downloads at 00:05 may well find up to 30 | 60 | 90 (you choose!) minutes of their 'free' traffic was not free at all.
Obviously this is quite difficult to get right.

I have to say though that I seem to get some of my 'normal' downloading charged as 'free', especially when it's close to midnight so it does seem that PN err on the user's side.

Accounts theadamsons and portmoak
F9 customer since 1998.
jelv1

Posts: 2130

« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2006, 12:59:52 pm »

The PAYG lag idea wouldn't work for me. If I have a large download I want I'll start it going soon after midnight and set it to turn off the computer when finished.

It's all well and good saying that some extra time after 8am will be free - but how do you know how long that period lasts and when to stop downloading?

It needs to do what it says on the tin! If not it must be tilted in the customers favour and if that means that the advertised start of the free time is midnight and Plusnet's systems start changing over before then to make sure that all usage from midnight is free, then that's what needs to be done.

jelv
Penny

Posts: 1781


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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2006, 01:18:20 pm »


It needs to do what it says on the tin! If not it must be tilted in the customers favour and if that means that the advertised start of the free time is midnight and Plusnet's systems start changing over before then to make sure that all usage from midnight is free, then that's what needs to be done.

I'd agree with you there, John.  Very succinctly put Smiley

Regards,

Penny.

Penny Rollo       Force 9 from 17/02/98       PlusNet from 2000 onwards     
Project HappyChild - free maths worksheets, free French-English
worksheets and 12 other languages http://www.happychild.org.uk
personal site www.pennymidasrollo.plus.com
Ultra

Posts: 777

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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2006, 05:30:44 am »

Yes, John - agree that's how it should be made to work, and the 'lag' thing is something I'd expect staff to suggest as a tangent down which to send the unwary, but I can also see it from the other side - the information comes in from BT and the 'when' isn't controlled by PN at all.

While policies for handling the Ellacoya profiles can/ should be made to fit into the timetable as advertised to users, I suspect that working out the customer's data usage for 'counted' and 'free' is actually a lot harder to do (and of course could also 'skew' whether someone gets management applied on a Premier/ BB Plus account, if 'non-peak' traffic was wrongly included into the 'peak' traffic counts).
mr_chris

Posts: 1927


« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2006, 08:55:48 am »

So I guess the thing to do is, say the profile change takes 30 minutes... that would mean that Plusnet would have to make all usage from 23:30 to 08:30 free...

If this then works out at 23:50 - 08:50 one day, or 23:05 - 08:05, then sure, PN lose an hours worth of chargeable data usage, but at least they can give a better guarantee that all usage between midnight and 08:00 (or 16:00 depending on product) will be free.

Of course if it takes longer than half an hour, then this isn't going to be very practical.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 08:57:24 am by mr_chris »

Chris
ianwild

Posts: 3979


Not to be confused with Mike, Wildmind.

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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2006, 11:54:14 am »

We can see from the thread title that some changes take longer than 30 minutes smiley

We are having a good discussion on this internally, but I think it will take a meeting of a few of us to get to the best answer for everyone. I'm trying to schedule that for the next couple of days.

Ian

Regards,

Ian Wild
PlusNet Support
CountryBumpkin

Posts: 72

« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2006, 11:59:08 am »

Ian

For your information it was at least 00.45 before management was lifted.

Glad it's being looked at though. Thanks

Keep cow manure in the country and bull manure in the city.
Penny

Posts: 1781


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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2006, 04:20:34 pm »

I can also see it from the other side - the information comes in from BT and the 'when' isn't controlled by PN at all.

I don't quite understand this - sorry  huh - is it not possible to require BT to perform whatever operation this is, at the same specific time each day?

If someone could just clarify here, exactly why BT can't guarantee to do this, I would appreciate a bit more detail. Words of one syllable, please Smiley

tia

Penny.

Penny Rollo       Force 9 from 17/02/98       PlusNet from 2000 onwards     
Project HappyChild - free maths worksheets, free French-English
worksheets and 12 other languages http://www.happychild.org.uk
personal site www.pennymidasrollo.plus.com
Ultra

Posts: 777

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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2006, 04:55:37 pm »

It's (AFAIK) the data from BT which tells the ISP how much traffic has gone each way for some user's line.  I *think* they sent this out at 2 hourly intervals, and while it may be a nice idea to have them all in sync sent on even hours at minute 00 it would be a pipe dream to expect several million records to be sent to ISPs on the hour, every other hour!   Sending data once a day would be
  • extra work (have to store lots of totals to be able to report traffic every 2 or 3 hours)
  • extra to lose (a corrupted report holding just the last 2 or 3 hours is less significant than losting all info for the full 24 hours) (and extra storage required on disk, too)
  • a pain for BTW, as the faster it can pass the packet to the ISP, the less it has to worry about any corruption or loss - just becomes a problem for the ISP
Penny

Posts: 1781


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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2006, 05:22:50 pm »

It's (AFAIK) the data from BT which tells the ISP how much traffic has gone each way for some user's line.  I *think* they sent this out at 2 hourly intervals, and while it may be a nice idea to have them all in sync sent on even hours at minute 00 it would be a pipe dream to expect several million records to be sent to ISPs on the hour, every other hour!   Sending data once a day would be
  • extra work (have to store lots of totals to be able to report traffic every 2 or 3 hours)
  • extra to lose (a corrupted report holding just the last 2 or 3 hours is less significant than losting all info for the full 24 hours) (and extra storage required on disk, too)
  • a pain for BTW, as the faster it can pass the packet to the ISP, the less it has to worry about any corruption or loss - just becomes a problem for the ISP

Appreciate the detail NetGuy Smiley

Being decidedly a non-techie-type, though, I don't actually see why BT couldn't group its traffic reports (say) 2-hourly or 4-hourly (and start a new batch of logging at the next timeslot, eg exactly at 8pm or 12midnight).

How quickly they do or don't send the packet to the ISP shouldn't be relevant to exactly when that packet begins and ends. eg an 8pm-12mn packet might not get despatched till 12.15am, but the data it contained should be exact for 8pm-12mn.

I can't (exactly) see why they can't (by auto-setting) have all packets start and finish at the same times for all the ISPs they deal with, and just stagger the actual "sends" to make things viable from their end.

As far as I can gather this info is only required for usage/billing purposes (?) so providing it was an accurate measurement of usage between exactly-defined times, would it matter if any given ISP had to input the information slightly late because at least it would still be *accurate* (assume here that packets could be subsequently allocated to the correct time band, by PN).

Apologies in advance if I've misunderstood something vital here Smiley

Regards,

Penny.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 05:25:18 pm by Penny »

Penny Rollo       Force 9 from 17/02/98       PlusNet from 2000 onwards     
Project HappyChild - free maths worksheets, free French-English
worksheets and 12 other languages http://www.happychild.org.uk
personal site www.pennymidasrollo.plus.com
Ultra

Posts: 777

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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2006, 07:45:45 pm »

OK, Penny, I surrender...  I don't know enough about what is being collected + reported, nor how, to give any reason it cannot be done...  (I've based what I've written on the very limited information that has previously been posted, partly from a rival ISP aa.nu though the old pages used to say the 'peak traffic' was based on the BT-provided data and the search I did earlier had some mention of the firm's new kit, which handles the logging itself, and is accurate and tracks on the time periods they want.)

It may be there's a memory limitation within the kit (OK, we take a snapshot of 250,000 connections, and start spooling the reports to the different ISPs, meanwhile keeping the new counters up to date...  maybe someone at PN towers could actually show us what one report contains, so long as it's not "commercially confidential" !!
mr_chris

Posts: 1927


« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2006, 12:04:58 am »

We can see from the thread title that some changes take longer than 30 minutes smiley
Ahem.. I knew that *cough cough* embarassed

Chris
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