Cable Load Balancing

Cable-based Internet is one that offers high download bandwidth at an affordable cost. However, they are not necessarily of business quality. There are a number of ways they can be utilized by businesses to provide the required bandwidth and reliability without having to invest on more expensive lines.

Cable load balancing can be effectively performed using products like Fatpipe’s WARP, and its MPVPN or IPVPN products for multiple locations. The cable modem can be aggregated to a DSL line (again a lower reliability but low cost higher bandwidth line) without the need of an ISP for aggregation. DSL and Cable lines cannot be bonded using BGP. So, the alternative is to use FatPipe’s Router Clustering technology, which does not require BGP or a box at the central office of the telco.

Another way to get reliability and redundancy to a cable line is to use local wireless technology. Wireless can be of two types high speed wireless of up to 11 mbps, to low speed wireless using standard 3D wireless products from ATT, Sprint or Verizon. FatPipe has the ability to bond wireless modems of all varieties into one “FatPipe.”

While bonding and load balancing cable modems is relatively easy using FatPipe, it is necessary to have Quality of Service (QoS) feature when using any of the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services over the cable lines. QoS enables to prioritize traffic so that critical high-end applications such as VoIP or video can be given higher priority. This ensures that these types of traffic are routed first. The latency between VoIP packets gets significantly reduced and the voice quality is better. When sending multiple VoIP sessions over the same cable line, make sure that you are providing adequate bandwidth for the VoIP sessions. QoS ascertains that the bandwidth is allocated for VoIP when needed, with the rest of the bandwidth being used for other low-priority traffic.

Load balancing multiple cable lines may depend on the load sharing by other cable users on the same cable. Typically cable can be 10 Mb/s or 100Mb/s. However, that bandwidth has to be shared by multiple users, and when many users get on the same shared network, then the bandwidth available for any user goes down. In such as case, make sure you do have QoS, so that your VOIP and video traffic get higher priority. Cable load balancing over multiple cable providers obviously, enables you to get better load balancing, however, you may not find multiple cable providers in the same neighborhood. If they are not available, then DSL or T1 lines can be used.

When using cable load balancing with DSL or T1, there is the additional advantage of working with multiple last mile connections, and hence better redundancy to the Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity. The same is true for last mile wireless connections as a higher degree of reliability can be obtained for your network. This is because the data connection for wireless is on the side or top of your building, while the cable connection is at the basement. If a backhoe were to cut the cable, your wireless line will always remain connected.

When hosting servers using cable modems, the uplink speed is lower than the downlink speed, and hence necessitates multiple cable connections. However, if cable is being used for data backup, then it is essential to have a second DSL or T1 to ensure that the backup does not fail during the process. FatPipe’s MPVPN and IPVPN products make certain that the backup continues, even if a line fails, by automatically failing over to the second line. This is especially important for data mirroring.

Wireless Load Balancing

Wireless load balancing is a technology area that calls for a close scrutiny of the functions. It is easy to install two wireless devices to point to an ISP and get technically double the bandwidth. The devices must be separated by a certain distance to prevent interference. In most cases, multiple devices can be installed at two ends of a building for low interference. When using multiple wireless providers it is important to ascertain which provider provides higher speeds and accordingly set up the load balancing algorithm on the load balancing device.

To load balance wireless modems and failover multiple wireless devices, you need a Fatpipe WARP for single locations, and Fatpipe MPVPN or IPVPN for multi-location or intra-corporate communications. Fatpipe works with wireless modems and bonds them to land line routers for t1/T1 lines or other modems such as cable or DSL modems. Since modems do not respond to BGP programming, FatPipe’s aggregation method eliminates the issue.