Ecessa Says Businesses Bonding Low-End Broadband for WAN Optimization - Page 2

 By Ted Stevenson
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So, save how much money, exactly? Breyer issued the obvious disclaimer: "It's very hard to say what's typical, because there's such a variety." But he went on to outline an illustrative scenario postulating an organization with a main headquarters and two satellite offices:

"With traditional frame relay networks, they're probably spending between $600 and $800 per month per line (i.e., from HQ to each branch)," he said. "We'll come in with our PowerLink, and they'll buy multiple broadband connections, at maybe $60, $70, $80 a month." Even factoring in the cost of the hardware ($3,000 to $4,000 at headquarters and $1,500 to $3,000 at each remote site, Breyer estimated) you're looking at a savings of $300 or $400 a month—possibly more.

"And," Breyer hastened to reiterate, "although these broadband Internet connections don't have the kind of SLAs associated with dedicated lines, we'll not only improve overall reliability [as explained above], we'll improve their speed with the site-to-site channel bonding, because we combine the speeds on each end."

This, as Breyer explained, is done by creating a GRE [generic router encapsulation] bonded tunnel. "We go from being a session-based load balancer to being a packet-based load balancer—we're sending packets over both connections. We combine the connection speeds of all the local broadband links and do packet-based aggregation at that point—using all the connections—to achieve greater speed." And he threw in a reminder that "if one of the WAN links were to fail, they don't even lose VPN session—because we're a packet-based load balancer in that case."

Breyer went on to point out that, where available, one of the broadband links could be wireless (WiMAX, LTE, or 4G), and not subject to the "backhoe" vulnerability (i.e., physical disruption of a wired connection). "We have a lot of success with that," he said, "and our customers love that diversity."

In closing, Marc Goodman jumped in with an instance of what we might call the unintended beneficial consequences of implementing channel-bonded WAN links: the enabling of centralized backup and disaster recovery solutions—which involve the transfer of massive amounts data between sites.

"A lot of companies are finding with solutions like ours that disaster recovery has changed from being something they thought was out of their reach to something they can easily accomplish," he said. "A solution like ours can really make the performance of thing like backups and replication between sites go very smoothly. "

This article was originally published on Oct 19, 2009
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