The traffic shaping system according to the principles of the present invention increases the connection-carrying capacity of a network node by shaping the data cells to increase the admissible number of connections. In accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention, the traffic shaping system uses a data buffer at the ingress of the network node to selectively buffer classes of data cells. As such, the traffic shaping system exploits differences in delay tolerances between traffic classes to shape the less delay sensitive traffic classes to reduce the effective bandwidth of a connection of the particular traffic class and thereby increase the nodal connection-carrying capacity. Certain embodiments of the traffic shaping system operate within a framework to provide parameters for the traffic shaping system which increase the connection-carrying capacity for the node while meeting quality of service requirements for the data cells. In accordance with certain embodiments, an integrated regulator and shaper is provided which concurrently regulates and shapes the traffic cells to increase the nodal connection-carrying capacity.
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