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Definition: traffic shaping

Using methods to keep traffic flowing smoothly in a network. Although the term is often used synonymously with "traffic engineering," traffic shaping deals with managing the network moment to moment, whereas traffic engineering refers to the overall strategies employed in a network. Typically deployed at the edge of the network, traffic shaping may be used to limit bursty traffic in general or to limit undesired traffic such as spam or peer-to-peer downloads. See traffic engineering.