Keeping the ease of control and management of a single IP address on the WAN side can be an important factor for the IT team when implementing WAN virtualization, WAN optimization or WAN bonding solutions. Especially in non-green-field deployments of a WAN expansion via a Broadband Bonding or load-balancing router, the key element is to be able to have minimal impact on the existing network configuration. This may become a challenge with legacy load-balancers with multiple public-facing IP addresses with various ISPs, as this is a new setup compared to the single WAN IP address.
With a broadband bonding router, the IP addressing is managed internally and transparently so that any complicated implications are mitigated away from the local network. In other words, no changes are needed in the office local network including the existing firewall. In a peered mode operation, where the branch office bonds multiple WAN links through the headquarter / data center broadband bonding server, the HQ/DC unit maps a single static IP address to the branch office network, so in effect the data center IP address is an extension of the branch office LAN.
In this setup the branch office will have a single publicly routable IP address at the data center that utilizes the bonded IP pipe. The advantage of this approach is that if/when any of the WAN links within the bonded tunnel fail (and believe me they will), the IP address will remain up and the connectivity in and out of the branch office will not be disrupted. This approach, using broadband bonding, has a significantly higher ISP fault tolerance compared to a multiple IP multi-WAN load-balancing approach without broadband bonding, where losing an ISP connection will result in losing the IP address provided by that ISP as well as losing the active sessions on that ISP link. Unlike load balancers, with true broadband bonding routers, the sessions will be kept alive even if some of the links in the bonded tunnel fail. This includes having an MPLS connection within your WAN framework. With broadband bonding you can even bond MPLS with DSL or cable connections and therefore keep your MPLS alive even if your MPLS carrier has any outages.
Broadband bonding. That’s how you achieve the highest 9s reliability for your Internet connection.
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.