Broadband Bonding Network Appliance TRUFFLE BBNA6401

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1 Broadband Bonding Network Appliance TRUFFLE BBNA6401 White Paper In this brief White Paper we describe how the TRUFFLE BBNA6401 can provide an SMB with faster and more reliable Internet access at an affordable cost. The return on investment, compared to alternative service offerings when available, is often only a few months. The Problem: Speed of Internet Access for Small and Medium Sized Businesses TRUFFLE BBNA6401 is the only one-sided broadband bonding network appliance that enables SMBs and enterprise to network bond multiple Internet access lines together as a standalone device. Companies looking for cost effective ways to bring a more reliable and faster Internet WAN pipe, can do so with TRUFFLE BBNA without requiring any provisioning from their service providers. Many small and medium sized businesses (SMB) currently rely on DSL or T1 for providing Internet access to the company premises. Ironically, many employees may experience slower Internet access at work than through a broadband connection at home. The speed of Internet access for the SMB may be insufficient for a number of reasons. For example, the speed of a DSL line may be too slow, due to the long distance from the company premises to the Central Office. As another example, the data traffic over a T1 line may be shared with reserved channels for voice over a PBX system, and hence less bandwidth is available for data. Increasingly, due to the large volume of spam s, the capacity for carrying useful Internet communications is greatly diminished. Faster Internet access for the SMB may either be unavailable, or too expensive to justify the recurring expense. A single T1 line may already be too expensive, and Bonded-T1 service is even more expensive. DS3s or partial DS3s, when available, can have prohibitive costs. Often, a business already has an investment in computer networking infrastructure, and desires evolutionary, incremental growth with maximum utilization of existing resources, in order to reduce operating costs. This creates the need for these businesses, or the solution providers that serve them, to find innovative ways to address these problems. Document# BBNA6401whiteV1.4 1

2 The Solution: Broadband Bonding Network Appliance, TRUFFLE BBNA6401 Mushroom Networks, Inc. has developed the TRUFFLE BBNA6401 Broadband Bonding Network Appliance. The TRUFFLE BBNA6401 provides intelligent aggregation of multiple (up to six total) Internet access resources, such as DSL lines, T1 lines, cable modem, satellite, etc. This for example enables file download speeds that reflect of the total bandwidth of all Internet access lines available. The graphic on the right is an actual screenshot of a third party download speed test, obtained using the TRUFFLE BBNA6401 and three low cost DSL lines. The TRUFFLE BBNA6401 is capable of providing download speeds of up to 50 Mbps, depending on the total speed available from all of the available Internet access lines. TRUFFLE BBNA6401 Functionality The TRUFFLE BBNA6401 is a unique standalone device, with multiple Ethernet ports. It can operate without any coordination with an ISP, and does not require any new software or reconfiguration on the client devices. Six of the Ethernet ports on the TRUFFLE BBNA6401 are Wide Area Network (WAN) ports, and plug into DSL modems, cable modems, T1 modems, etc, which provide Internet access. The remaining 4 Ethernet ports of the TRUFFLE BBNA6401 are Local Area Network (LAN) ports. The active WAN ports are intelligently aggregated in order to provide high performance Internet access to any device connected to a LAN port of the TRUFFLE BBNA6401. Document# BBNA6401whiteV1.4 2

3 The TRUFFLE BBNA6401 provides an unmatched level of intelligent aggregation. For example, a single HTTP-based file download will often have a speed which is close to the sum of the downlink speeds of all the available Internet access lines. For non HTTP-based downlink traffic, as well as all uplink traffic, the BBNA provides session level load balancing, in order to utilize the available Internet access lines. The TRUFFLE BBNA6401 has optional router and firewall functionalities built in. A cellular data card module is also available to add one more WAN option for TRUFFLE to provide an unmatched reliability of the various wired connections and the cellular data card. Configuration of the TRUFFLE BBNA6401 can be accomplished through a web based management interface. Router and firewall functionalities include support for port forwarding, DMZ, blocking of outbound traffic per destination port and/or per source IP address, allowance of inbound traffic per destination IP address or port, and a DHCP server. Often, however, an SMB may have existing networking infrastructure it wants to use, including routers, firewalls, switches, etc. In an optional installation mode for the TRUFFLE BBNA6401 called Pass Through, the BBNA can be installed without any modification or reconfiguration of the existing networking hardware and software. This enables the TRUFFLE BBNA6401 to be installed easily and quickly, with minimal disruption to an already operational network. In the following, we describe some common use case scenarios for the TRUFFLE BBNA6401. Scenario: Speeding up Slow T1 Access In this scenario, an SMB uses a T1 access line for Internet access. As suggested in the example illustration below, the T1 line is used for both data access as well as for providing voice communications through a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system. Because of this, only a fraction of the bandwidth available from the T1 line may be available for Internet traffic. Considering in addition the volume of traffic that may be consumed by incoming spam , this often leaves little capacity available for Document# BBNA6401whiteV1.4 3

4 useful Internet communications. The TRUFFLE BBNA6401 can be installed in-line between the T1 modem and the firewall/router, without any reconfiguration of hardware or software in the existing network. It is necessary to configure the TRUFFLE BBNA6401 through the management interface, to specify the IP addresses of the T1 modem and the firewall/router. After installation of the TRUFFLE BBNA6401, additional Internet access resources can easily be added as bandwidth requirements dictate. In the illustration below, a single DSL line is added to the network. As a result of the TRUFFLE BBNA6401 and the additional DSL line, Internet access for users within the LAN is greatly accelerated. File downloads are usually http-based, and these receive the benefit of all available Internet access resources, simultaneously. Other traffic is distributed over the Internet access resources at the session level, so that efficient utilization of all resources is achieved when there are a large number of concurrent traffic sessions. A notable feature of the TRUFFLE BBNA6401 is that it allows graceful growth. Up to a total of six Internet access lines can be aggregated, and these resources can be added as needed as bandwidth requirements increase. The Internet access lines do not need to be of the same type or even from the same ISP, and indeed no coordination with the ISP is necessary. It may be desirable to use Internet access lines from different carriers, in order to increase overall system reliability. Document# BBNA6401whiteV1.4 4

5 Scenario: Speeding up Slow DSL Access Due to geographical distance between a company premise and the Central Office, the speed of a DSL line available may be limited. In any case the speed and reliability of a single DSL line may be insufficient to meet the needs of the SMB. In the illustration here, the network of an SMB before installation of the TRUFFLE BBNA6401 is shown. The SMB receives Internet access through a single DSL line, which feeds a wireless access point/router/firewall. The DSL line may not provide sufficient speed for Internet access due to distance from the central office, large volume of spam traffic, or large number of users. The illustration below depicts the network after installation of the TRUFFLE BBNA6401. In this case, the legacy DSL line had a static IP address assigned to it. The new DSL line has a dynamic IP address associated with it, through the DHCP protocol. Document# BBNA6401whiteV1.4 5

6 In this scenario, inbound traffic (i.e. traffic initiated from outside the office network) flows only through the legacy DSL line with the static IP address. Outbound traffic, i.e. traffic initiated from within the office network, can user either DSL line. For example, an HTTP-based file download may utilize both DSL lines simultaneously in this case. Outbound upload traffic will be load balanced at the session level across the two DSL lines. Scenario: Virtual Fiber Access In some cases, an SMB will already have affordable high speed DSL service available, but wishes even faster Internet access service, comparable or better than costly or unavailable fiber-based Internet access services. The illustration here depicts an SMB network in this case before installation of the TRUFFLE BBNA6401. A DMZ is used to handle all incoming external traffic, for security purposes. The illustration below depicts the same network after the installation of the TRUFFLE with 4 additional high-speed DSL lines. In this case, the total capacity of 5 DSL lines is available. For example, if the downlink capacity of each of the DSL lines is 6 Mbps, then close to 30 Mbps will be available for http traffic. Document# BBNA6401whiteV1.4 6

7 In this case, each of the DSL lines is configured with a static IP address. The TRUFFLE BBNA6401 supports dynamic DNS, so that with proper configuration of external DNS servers, inbound traffic (i.e. traffic initiated from outside of the office network) can be load balanced across all of the DSL lines. Scenario: Making the most of spare resources In this scenario, an SMB may already have a spare DSL line, for back-up in case a primary Internet access line fails. In the case illustrated below, a network with a T1 access line is shown, with a spare DSL line also illustrated. Document# BBNA6401whiteV1.4 7

8 When the primary T1 line fails, the spare DSL line can be used for Internet access. This is implemented by manually plugging in the DSL modem, in place of the T1 modem, upon failure of the T1 line. A disadvantage of this approach is that the spare DSL line is not used unless the T1 line fails. The illustration below shows the same network after installation of the TRUFFLE BBNA6401. This new configuration allows for automatic failover protection. When one of the access lines fails, the other access line is automatically used. Moreover, the use of the spare DSL line is maximized. Specifically, the capacity of the DSL line is now available during normal network operation. Http-based file downloads, for example, will simultaneously use all of the available bandwidth from the access lines. Scenario: Transitional Provisioning of Internet Access The BBNA enables flexible provisioning of Internet access resources. For example, often a business subscribes to a long term contract or lease for Internet access. The business may have the ability to upgrade the service during the term of the contract or lease if the upgrade is through the same service carrier. However, without the BBNA, the business is effectively locked in with the legacy carrier and is limited by whatever services are offered by the legacy carrier. With the BBNA, the business may retain the service of a legacy carrier for the remainder of the contract/lease or longer, and allows the business the flexibility of adding additional Internet access sources in an incremental manner. Document# BBNA6401whiteV1.4 8

9 The flexibility of combining different service offerings, from the same carrier, or from different carriers, allows the business to adapt quickly in the most cost effective way to the many service offerings available. For example, it allows a business to combine the reliability and upload speed of a T1 line with the cost effective download speeds of a DSL line, to obtain dramatically increased download speeds and reliability. During a transitional period, the services of a legacy carrier can be continued for the original contract/lease period and combined with the service(s) of a new carrier. ROI Analysis:TRUFFLE pays of itself within months We will compare two scenarios for a small/medium company that has a T1 line (1.5Mbps) and they would like to increase their office connectivity speeds equivalent to a normal residential broadband Internet access (6Mbps or faster). SCENARIO A: The IT person considers upgrading to a fractional DS3 or bonded T1 (with multiple T1 lines). The per month subscription for these type of services are anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 per month (we will assume $1,000 per month). These services sometimes have setup fees (assumed to be zero for this analysis) and/or require long term commitments. The setup times may also vary from several weeks to months, if the service is available. SCENARIO B: The IT person considers bringing in one or two business class DSL lines and Broadband Bond those two lines with his T1 line via TRUFFLE BBNA6401. His monthly total subscription fee is $250 (for T1) plus $80 (for 2 DSL lines). His one-time investment in the TRUFFLE unit is around $3,000. Document# BBNA6401whiteV1.4 9

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