Internet load balancing 21


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When it comes to your Internet connectivity at the office, there are 3 primary factors you should take into account:

1) Reliability

2) Performance

3) Cost

For the best reliability and performance with the lowest possible cost, an ideal approach is to “build” your own WAN (Wide Area Network) Internet connection, instead of getting an expensive single Internet service from a single ISP (Internet Service Provider). Here is how you can approach this mini project:

Choose a few ISP services in your area, ideally a DSL based service (VDSL, ADSLADSL2, or ADSL2+) and a cable based provider. You can also consider adding in 3G or 4G wireless for the utmost reliability. You can get a few of each and throw them into a link load balancer (load balancing firewall). This is not to be confused with a server load balancer, as link load balancers are simple networking devices that can spread your traffic into multiple WAN connections (in this case your DSL and cable Internet lines). The most advanced load balancing technology is the auto adapting Broadband Bonding. Legacy load balancers are limited in terms of their granularity of splitting the traffic as they aggregate the traffic at a transport session level, which means your Internet will not be faster with a session load balancer. However with the modern Broadband Bonding firewalls, the load balancing algorithms will work at a granularity of packet (even sometimes smaller than packets) and will auto adjust to your WAN links for aggregating even a single transport session. This means your bonded Internet will be fast, i.e. as fast as the sum of all your Internet lines.

With the Broadband Bonding approach, i.e. packet level Internet load balancing, the WAN Internet connectivity will be down only if all of your ISP services are down simultaneously. This provides a very high 9s availability for your office network. You now become your own meta-ISP with diversifying even between ISPs. Since your Internet speed is now equal to the aggregate speed of your various ISP links. The performance / cost metric is the highest you can achieve compared to a single Internet service from a single provider.

The modern packet level load balancers can return your investment in less than a few months and will provide an on-going cost savings.

 

Cahit Akin, CEO, Mushroom Networks, Inc.

Mushroom Networks is the provider of SD-WAN (Software Defined WAN) and NFV solutions capable of Broadband Bonding that enables self-healing WAN networks that route around network problems such as latency, jitter and packet loss.

https://www.mushroomnetworks.com


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21 thoughts on “Internet load balancing

  • Bhavik Dhebar

    I understand that when you send multiple IP packets over different browsers, they may be out of sequence when they reach the destination. How does the internet bonding device take care this? Is there an intermediate “data center” where packets are put back together in the proper sequence before sending them to the destination IP address? If so, do we need to buy any paid service on top of the buying the device itself?

    Also, Do you have any resellers in India?

    • drcahitakin Post author

      Hi Bhavik, thank you for your comment. Yes, indeed the broadband bonding routers will make sure that the IP addressing are taken care of. For the standalone operation (only one unit installed), there is no other server unit requirement. The broadband bonding device will bond all http downlink and all other traffic will be aggregated at a session granularity. If aggregation at a packet granularity is desired for all types of traffic (i.e. uplink, downlink, http, non-http etc), then a server unit can be utilized either at the Head Quarter office, or same functionality can be obtained via the Broadband Bonding Service, where you can leverage one of the Truffle Bonding Servers in the cloud, as a monthly service.

  • Keli

    Thanks Cahit for the great article.

    Does Truffle come with any tools to demonstrate ( and actively monitor ) Internet connectivity ( and their aggregation from the different DSL / 3G providers )
    To show
    1. Improved performance
    2. Improved reliability
    throughout your LAN;
    ( if not ; can you suggest any ? )

    Occasionally certain users in your LAN might need more bandwidth allocation for special purposes. eg video conferencing session; Does Truffle have a way of targetting bandwidth ?

    • admin Post author

      Hi Keli,

      Yes, indeed Truffle has a web based user interface with many detailed performance information, including performance of each individual link. We also have performance tab in the user interface where you can look at historic data from last minute, hour, day, week, month or year and get a graphical presentation of that data.

      • Keli

        Thanks for that, Cahil
        On a separate related matter.
        Performance on LAN could be due to Internet connectivity ( which Truffle addresses ). But likewise performance issues could also be brought about by issues on LAN’s individual user machines. ( eg Operating System or Hardware issues ).
        From this end user’s perspective, how would you measure these performance issues and understand their likely causes ?

        • admin Post author

          Hi Keli, Usually in terms of connectivity perspective. WAN segment is more likely to be the bottleneck compared to the LAN segment where GigE is not becoming standard. However being able to understand and control the traffic generated from the local PCs is also very valuable and can be handled at the WAN gateway point as well.

  • Quantum Telecom

    Hi, that´s very interesting speaking about load balancing. On the other hand, what about link redundancy when I have web servers that provide service to many users? Anything could be done with static IP addressing schemas?
    Regards.

    • Cahit Akin

      Thank you for the comment! Yes, there is a way you can have Internet failover redundancy for your servers via Broadband Bonding. There are 2 ways of doing this:
      1) If you have the Broadband Bonding device at your office peer to one of the Broadband Bonding Servers and have one of the static IPs at the data center (which hosts the Broadband Bonding Servers) mapped to your web server, then the bonded pipe will shield any individual link outages from the application. So one of the DSL lines may go down, but the web server will still be serving (even without loosing the ongoing sessions during the DSL failure).

      2) You can do dynamic DNS via the Broadband Bonding device without the Broadband Bonding service. This is not as good, because if you loose one of the DSL lines, the sessions on that link will be lost (unlike option 1 above).