How to Get Low-Latency WAN for Real-Time Applications Such as Voice, Video, and Other Chatty Interactive Apps

My blog post about VoIP reliability generated a lot of interest, so I wanted to talk a little bit more about the finer details and the larger real-time application set, namely, voice, video and other interactive chatty applications. Even though they all have their own unique WAN requirements (and therefore challenges), the common theme between voice, video and chatty applications is the need for a reliable and low-latency WAN.

Let’s take an example of an enterprise that is doing a VoIP implementation based on an IP-PBX in their main office/data-center, that has their branch offices connect to the PBX via the branch office WAN links. This application requires a low-latency WAN for reliable connectivity between the branch offices and the headquarter main office.

This exact same setup applies for a small standalone office where the IP-PBX is a hosted PBX and their SIP trunks at their ASP (Application Service Provider. In that case, their WAN link from the office to their service provider needs to have low latency and needs to be reliable.

The challenge is clear – if, the branch office network is down, their phones are down. A new type of WAN optimization that goes beyond caching and compression is required.

Historically, the primary challenge of VoIP over POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) has been the lack of five 9s reliability of VoIP and the lower quality as a result of uncontrolled transport (in the above scenario, the WAN link connecting the branch office to the main office/data-center or their VoIP ASP). A primary contributor to this unreliability is the WAN link that carry the VoIP traffic. By its nature, Internet Protocol doesn’t guarantee the timely delivery of packets. WAN lines can drop and they sometimes have spikes in latency – we all live through these well-known issues. If a single WAN link is just not quite there in terms of performance, being able to bond several WAN links will not only provide the required bandwidth for all applications, including VoIP for more simultaneous calls, but will also provide the high 9s reliability that VoIP, video, and other chatty interactive applications desperately need.

With various WAN connections with varying latency metrics, you really need a real-time, broadband bonding, WAN optimizer network box. This box bonds the available links and therefore provides the lowest latency path available in the bonded pipe, along with dynamic resource allocation, auto-failover and advanced QoS.

VoIP is just one type of interactive application that requires low-latency WAN. The same requirements apply for other chatty applications where the branch office employee is accessing the servers in the public or private cloud (e.g. Citrix, SharePoint, etc). Similarly, the real-time Broadband Bonding enables a low-latency WAN that is a reliable tunnel between the client and the server for any type of chatty application.

Next week, Mushroom Networks will be showcasing the Broadband Bonding technologies and its Internet bonding devices at booth #2352 during Interop trade-show. This is the new tunnel addition to the Internet bonding devices by Mushroom Networks that serves enterprises of all sizes.

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.


2 thoughts on “How to get low-latency WAN for real-time applications such as voice, video and other chatty interactive apps?

  1. I’ve been told by my carrier that I can not increase my WAN connection’s capabilities with your device. That seems to fly in direct opposition to your statements! Would you take a moment to arm me with a legitimate arguement to get them on board? I have several small officess with 1.5M WAN connections back to a Co-Lo center where my VoIP PBX resides. All incoming and outgoing calls, plus Internet plus Data traverse this single connection. I suggested we add your device, install a cable and a DSL connection into a Mushroom to increase our overall Bandwidth, and our soon to be Video application we have planned. Why won’t that work? The MPLS 1.5M has QoS, you can have that, right?; it has an Internet componant (Dynamically allocated circuit), and theircircuit hits both clouds… so what’s up??

    1. Hi Mark,
      Broadband Bonding is a relatively new technology and therefore some carriers and ISPs may not have heard of it. They are very used to the bonding that is done at lower layers, layer1 and layer2, which are some old technologies that require coordination with the Telco. However with Broadband Bonding, there is not telco involvement.

      I think your design idea is great – i.e. having a few lines bonded together to improve your VoIP reliability and capacity to your IP-PBX and is definitely a night and day difference compared to VoIP over single line which might have reliability and quality issues depending on that individual line.

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