Why optimized bandwidth aggregation?

Most public IP connections such as ADSL, VDSL or Cable come with unpredictable performance and stability issues which should be managed in a smart and efficient manner, as these issues can be a serious bottleneck for the performance of various Internet applications running in a corporate network.

Even if a company chooses to utilize a bandwidth aggregation solution which is able to use  multiple IP connections concurrently in order to increase network performance and stability, the result could be unstable when the available connections face performance and stability issues. Most bandwidth aggregation implementations may face such issues even in cases where just a single IP connection has performance and stability issues. For example, the selection of a traditional “session load balancing” bandwidth aggregation solution has an inherent flaw as even a single IP connection with unpredictable high packet loss or high latency, that occurs randomly over time, may deteriorate the performance and the stability of the applications in a corporate network. This flaw is based on the fact that session load balancing route each session from a single IP connection, which means that when the load balancer device selects the unstable connection to route a user session, the user will notice that its application is not working properly.

But what will happen if a packet-level load balancing (broadband bonding) is selected as the bandwidth aggregation solution in a corporate network? Such solutions route sessions over multiple IP connections and as someone would believe, these solutions would not be affected by the instability issues of the available IP connections. The truth is that if the solution does not implement real time WAN monitoring and optimization techniques within its traffic distribution algorithm, the resulting performance of the virtual bonded WAN link would be as poor as the performance and stability of a single unstable IP connection. Most bandwidth bonding products on the market have not dealt with these issues effectively and they only offer a business grade solution when combined with stable IP connections such as Internet leased lines.

A smart bandwidth aggregation approach that involves WAN optimization techniques to perform real time intelligent traffic engineering decisions to effectively manage the packet loss, latency and jitter of the available IP connections can result in an incredibly stable bonded connection which does not expose all the aforementioned instability issues to the end users of a business network. So, if your company is using unstable Internet connections, just make sure to ask your bandwidth aggregation vendor if the proposed solution manages the performance and stability issues of the bonded IP connections, before you make your choice.

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