Project Description

StifleR: Lightweight, Scalable, Real-time Software Distribution and Bandwidth Management

5-Second Visibility and Control Over Every Download, Even Across the Largest Networks. It’s not only smart, it’s truly Magic!

StifleR optimizes and visualizes all your software distributions via WAN or LAN by monitoring and controlling the built-in Microsoft Windows components that do most of the heavy lifting. Think of StifleR as the “Air Traffic Controller” for all your  content transfers..

Just Get Me Started!

Some Visual Inspiration

StifleR Components

The StifleR Server

Built on Microsoft SignalR platform. Monitors incoming BITS download requests, and only allows one “Red Leader” client system to download at a time per location. The other StifleR clients are instructed to calm the heck down and throttle back the download rate to almost zero. Can be massively scaled using either REDIS or SQL.

The StifleR Client

The tiny StifleR agent is launched whenever the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) service starts to download content. It simply monitors and reports on the BITS queue state, and responds to commands from the StifleR Server. It can pause, bandwidth-throttle, stop, cancel or reprioritize any content download in real-time in response to the StifleR server.

Them Dashboards

Of course you want visibility of your content downloads right? The StifleR Reporter can give you real-time stats on all your current location’s downloads, enabling you to see at-a-glance just how things are progressing. This allows you to make decisions based on what’s actually going on in your network.

StifleR makes your network go faster. It’s that simple if you want to leave it there, but no, you have to know more don’t you..

What Does It Do?

StifleR makes sure that your users get the content that they need from the most local source to them, in the most efficient way possible, without upsetting the network folks. Basically moving software from A to B like a complete boss is our business. Anywhere in the world.

Be it from the Cloud, local servers, or corporate datacentre, StifleR delivers content reliably over WAN, LAN, Wifi or HiFi (ok not HiFi but you get the idea).

Why Do We Need It?

Think of it this way. Would you get onto an airplane knowing that there was no Air Traffic Control in place? Nuff said. Without the StifleR your WAN and LAN traffic is ‘flying blind’ and potentially blocking business critical content such as Point-of-Sale data or whatever, with Jimmy in the Mailroom’s Game of Thrones download.

As we say – ‘How to be the Network team’s best friend in 5 minutes or less’

But How Do You Do It 2Pint?

Well we built  StifleR around some awesome Microsoft tech such as BranchCache, which is a WAN Accelerator that’s been built into Windows for 7 years now. We also use Microsoft SignalR (see what we did with the name there?)  which is a mahooosively scalable platform for real-time comms and all that. Pair all that with the mighty Background Intelligent Transfer Service and you got a marriage made to last.
Using all of the above, we built a solution that can pamper, whittle, slice, dice and make your precious software purrr like a cat all the way to the remotest of remote locations, or the CEO’s Surface Book. Windows Updates, Applications, Office files, even little Jimmy’s Game of Thrones download..awwww

Don’t Take Our Dodgy Word For It Here’s What Some Normal People Think

I saw StifleR working on top of BranchCache, that is some seriously awesome technology, lightweight and “just works”. Nice.
Rob Marshall, SMSMarshall Ltd

Standard? Nothing standard about this baby, here’s what you get out of the box..

Content Accelerator

StifleR accelerates content transfers by utilizing the Microsoft BranchCache service, which enables caching, de-duplication and Peer-to-Peer distribution of content on local networks.
StifleR with BranchCache can have a profound effect on where users actually source their content and the bandwidth consumed in retrieving that data.
It eliminates unnecessary round trips from the local computer to the datacenter for content by keeping an accessible copy of the content in the local computer cache which can then be shared with peer computers locally.Altogether, this results in a significant reduction in bandwidth used, and users will often be able to get the content much faster than retrieving it directly from the datacenter.

Bandwidth Control

StifleR allows almost limitless control over current content transfers from Windows client computers using the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS).
StifleR can automatically limit, pause, re-prioritize or increase the amount of Bandwidth used between your datacenter content servers and client systems at any location. This ensures that your business critical network traffic need not be affected by the day-to-day distribution of the many types of enterprise content that we are required to move quietly and efficiently every day.

Visibility

StifleR allows you to see where your content is while it is being transferred over the network, at any time via the Dashboards. You can link this with our BranchCache Reporting solution, to see where all global content resides at rest on disk in operational locations around the world.
Without those capabilities, you’re flying blind and you may be at risk when dealing with zero-day security patches, requests from high profile users, mission-critical fixes, etc.

Automation

StifleR will always attempt to do most of the above for you automatically and without intervention. Once configured with the relevant network and location data, StifleR is designed to run on ‘Auto-Pilot’ There may of course be cases where you want to change some settings manually, in order to expedite a certain deployment for instance, and that can also be easily automated and scripted via our WMI Provider and PowerShell. It’s an Administrators wet dream!

Enterprise, as in Starship. Tons of extra bells and we threw in some whistles too.

Wake-On-LAN

StifleR can use Wake-on-LAN tech to power on systems at the same location that may have the content that is being requested but are turned off. Obviously this saves bandwidth and time as the transfer then becomes P2P instead of a WAN transfer.

BranchCache V2->V1 Auto Detection

This will detect that you have a mixture of BranchCache V2 and V1 computers in your environment and allows the V2 machines to become Red Leaders, but still creating the hash data for the V1 clients. Given the fact that V2 machines are using de-duplication on the download side, it will speed up the transfer time for the V1 clients greatly.

Multi-VLAN/Subnet detection

Allows locations with multiple VLANs or Subnets to share one Red Leader instead of having one per Subnet.

Command Line Execution

Ever wanted to run a simple command line across many systems in order to fix something? Look no further my friend…

PowerShell Everywhere!

Same as the Command Line execution, but with PowerShell scripts on Clients instead. Each script is distributed to the client and executed. How very powerful is that!

Roll Your Own BITS Downloads

StifleR not only monitors BITS downloads, it can create them too. Uses? Sky’s the limit really but here’s a couple – Download the ‘top 10’ most accessed files from your corporate intranet into the BranchCache cache overnight – seed certain key systems in remote locations with Software Updates that can then be shared via BranchCache. Pretty kinky stuff no?

The nerdy but essential detail.

Software and Hardware Requirements

StifleR Server Hardware

CPU

StifleR is CPU intensive. Since StifleR does not use that many threads, a higher frequency (Ghz) is recommended. We recommend at least a 3Ghz processor with 8 cores. Don’t forget that most CPU’s also has to handle some of the Network connnectivy management.

Memory

StifleR doesn’t have any database, only in RAM memory objects. Since each connection and all connection data is stored in RAM, a descent size of RAM is recommended. But just 8GB of RAM should be plenty for 100K clients.

Disk

StifleR doesn’t write very much to disk, so it can be slow.

Network Connectivity

As each client has a non-managed SignalR client connection (web sockets) to the server, if you want to run 100k clients to a single server in ‘conneted’mode (i.e a constant connection to the server)  you may need to beef up the network connectivity.
If you are supporting a large number of clients, you probably want a dual or 4x super expensive 10Gb/s NIC’s for your StifleR server. This will ensure that tha NIC’s has enough power to manage the large number of connections.

StifleR Server Software

You need Windows Server 2012 as a minimum, with IIS and the .NET framework 4.6

StifleR Client

If the client hardware can run Windows, it can run the StifleR Client. CPU & Memory utilization is very low.

Is StifleR a Replacement For ConfigMgr?

Nope, there are a million things that ConfigMgr does that StifleR doesn’t do. StifleR does a few things ConfigMgr doesn’t do. That’s the difference. You really can’t compare the two. But they are great together.

Built on Microsoft SignalR

All communication between clients/servers and dashboards are done via SignalR. Understanding SignalR is therefore key in understanding how StifleR works.

Scalability

A single StifleR server is designed to support at least a 100k clients. The real number of course is dependent on hardware limits. See the hardware requirements.

SignalR Overview

ASP.NET SignalR is a new library for ASP.NET developers that makes developing real-time web functionality easy. SignalR allows bi-directional communication between server and client. Servers can now push content to connected clients instantly as it becomes available. SignalR supports Web Sockets, and falls back to other compatible techniques for older browsers. SignalR includes APIs for connection management (for instance, connect and disconnect events), grouping connections, and authorization.

What is SignalR?

ASP.NET SignalR is a library for ASP.NET developers that simplifies the process of adding real-time web functionality to applications. Real-time web functionality is the ability to have server code push content to connected clients instantly as it becomes available, rather than having the server wait for a client to request new data.

SignalR can be used to add any sort of “real-time” web functionality to your ASP.NET application. While chat is often used as an example, you can do a whole lot more. Any time a user refreshes a web page to see new data, or the page implements long polling to retrieve new data, it is a candidate for using SignalR. Examples include dashboards and monitoring applications, collaborative applications (such as simultaneous editing of documents), job progress updates, and real-time forms.

SignalR also enables completely new types of web applications that require high frequency updates from the server, for example, real-time gaming. For a great example of this, see the ShootR game.

SignalR provides a simple API for creating server-to-client remote procedure calls (RPC) that call JavaScript functions in client browsers (and other client platforms) from server-side .NET code. SignalR also includes API for connection management (for instance, connect and disconnect events), and grouping connections.

The StifleR Content Distribution and Management Engine advances the power of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, or any other system using Microsoft download and peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies, so IT professionals can securely speed enterprise-wide software deployments without adding costly servers or compromising on the timings of content delivery.
The StifleR Engine builds on technology you already own, like Microsoft  BITS, BranchCache, Delivery Optimization and from ConfigMgr, Peer Cache. Yes, that is right, every Windows system since Windows 7 already has P2P systems management technology built in. We use the software you already own, to better transfer and share content locally, eliminating the need for costly excess global server infrastructure. So you can feel safe to distribute any content while reducing the network impact. StifleR is also the only systems management product on the market today which provides real-time visibility (through them up-to-the-second updated tech-sexy dashboards) and control over every individual content transfer while ‘in-flight’. We also offer a traditional WMI provider so that all StifleR operations can be scripted and automated. There is also an HTTP web service interface, if you want to go nuts and customize it all.

Everyone that has tested StifleR has been more than satisfied, one of our favorite quotes is: “This is very next-gen computing”.

StifleR eliminates the need for local servers in most locations. This is empowering enterprises to do more with the resources they already own. StifleR keeps endpoints updated and managed worldwide by securely speeding content delivery to near and remote locations. StifleR can,  with ease,  deliver content over slow/poor connections, at a fraction of the cost of competing solutions.

How ’bout a few Q&A’s?

Oh yes. The BITS and BranchCache services are key to Software Distribution in Microsoft ConfigMgr. StifleR simply builds on this and improves Software Deployment success by better managing the downloads. No configuration changes are required to SCCM – just business as usual.

Ya, we do that too OK? So anything that’s downloaded via the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) in Windows – we got it covered.

Office 365, and other Cloud based stuff? You need to talk to StifleR’s MOM! That’s a separate add-on that handles Cloud based content. Have a look under the Products section on this page.
Yep, it scales magnificently, because it’s built on Microsoft SignalR, which is designed to scale to Everest-type proportions..
Oh no Sir! You can probably nuke a few servers, because we make downloads so efficient you won’t need them at low-bandwidth sites anymore. Hurrah – even more cash saved!
Of course! We made it configurable via good old PowerShell – cos we all know and love that don’t we? We don’t need no stinking GUI!
Of course you want to see where all yer content is. So we give you snazzy real-time updates on that. You’re welcome.
It really is. Because we’re simply managing what you already own – with no need for ‘Frameworks’, ‘Workbenches’ or any of that tedious gubbins.
So easy to install my dog could do it (if she had hands to operate the mouse..). Just install the StifleR Web Service, and push the StifleR client out to the devices that you want to manage, setup some rules and off you go!

Download A Trial Version Or Schedule A Live Demo Today!

StifleR - Trial Version

Request A Demo - See StifleR In Action!

Additional Downloads

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StifleR Dashboards Product Sheet 332.10 KB 24 downloads

This is a product sheet for the almighty StifleR Dashboards Follow this link for...
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StifleR Product Sheet 406.39 KB 29 downloads

StifleR main product sheet. ...
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StifleR Rules XML Guide 479.46 KB 36 downloads

How to setup them Rulez.. ...
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StifleR Overview (PowerPoint) 8.57 MB 109 downloads

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    So. How Much Is All This Going To Cost Me?

    Yearly Subscription - Standard*

    $069yearly per node

    Yearly Subscription - Enterprise**

    $138yearly per node

    All of our software is free to use for Public Education Organisations and Registered Charities. System Integrators (SI’s) or companies selling services to Educational and charitable organisations are also free to utilise our software. See it as our way of giving back to the World (awhh).

    Technical support is not included in the above and you must purchase the support option where applicable. All pricing is in US Dollars (USD) per managed endpoint (PC/mobile Device etc). Term pricing also available – Pay As You Go – Contact Us for more details

    See also our Pricing Option page for full details