BONDING

 

Fusion Broadband Bonding is a way to build a very fast business broadband connection by aggregating multiple connections together.

 

We can bond any number of connections and any type of connections as long as they are fundamentally stable in their speed profile- meaning that they can sustain a relatively consistent speed over a period of around 10 seconds.

 

Unlike other bonding technologies, when we bond connections (or legs) of different speeds we are able to provide the TOTAL aggregated speed of all the connections bonded, not just the number of legs multiplied by the speed of the slowest connection (typical of other bonding technologies).

 

More importantly we are able to bond together connections, not only of different speeds and technologies, but also from different ISP’s. This gives the customer a true broadband connection built on multi carrier, multi technology redundancy.

 

Data Distribution

When we bond together three connections of similar speed all are running for the same period of time, you will find that the data is quite evenly distributed between each of the connections.

 

However, if you were to bond in two connections (for example one with a speed of 10Mbps down and 1Mbps up with another of 5Mbps down and 1Mbps up), you will find that in the uplink direction traffic volume is evenly distributed between the two connections as they are the same speed. However on the downlink direction you will have the faster connection (10Mbps) carry twice as much data as the slower (5Mbps) connection. Latency differences can also impact how the data is distributed but to a lesser degree.

 

A great deal of the work of the Bonder and Aggregation clusters is to reduce the amount of out of order packets. We have a number of algorithms and settings that we can apply to achieve the best result. By focusing on this we are able to provide a negligible impact on connection latency and in many cases you will find that a fully loaded bonded link has substantially lower latency than a fully loaded single link.

 

It is worth noting that we allow ALL traffic through the bonder,  we perform no port filtering blocking and are transparent to all VPN traffic,  HTTP and HTTPS traffic. In effect we behave as a transparent NTU (Network Termination Unit).

 

Network After Bonding

 

Additional Fusion Features

Each Fusion Bonding system has a few additional features that you can select via the Fusion Bonding admin portal.

QoS – Quality of Service

Compression

TCP Acceleration

 

 

QoS (Quality of Service)

QoS  refers to the ability of a network to offer an enhanced level of service to certain types of traffic. For example (in the diagram at right), Voice-over-IP (VoIP) traffic requires lower latency and jitter than web and email traffic. Fusion Bonding provides sophisticated QoS configurations that can be used to implement almost any type of traffic management strategy.

 

By enabling QoS on your bonded link, you are telling the bonder and the Fusion Aggregation clusters to manage the data flows through the bond according to the QoS profile.

 

QoS will be mostly used when you have various applications using the available bandwidth of the bond and also where one application can impact the functionality of another by dominating the available bandwidth. For example, if you had a Remote Desktop session running you would prefer this to have a traffic priority over a download of an SW image. In this instance QoS will make sure the Remote Desktop session has sufficient bandwidth to run effectively whilst also allowing the SW download to run/co-exist on the link.

 

Fusion has a standard default QoS profile in which will, in most cases, be very effective.  We also have the ability to adjust the profile if your NW uses different port numbers, protocols, source networks, destination networks, etc.

 

Compression

Compression is a feature which, when enabled, will cause all the traffic flowing through the bond  (in both directions) to be compressed. Please note that not all traffic is compressible. For example, a JPG image is NOT compressible as it is precompressed.  Text based files are very compressible.  Different traffic types are compressible by different amounts.

 

The effect of compression on highly compressible files is quite noticeable. Speed improvements in downloading or uploading highly compressible flies can be up to 400%.  Compression may not be for everyone though.  There is a small penalty in latency when it is on, however the speed improvement often far outweighs this. As an example, two ADSL2+ connections each giving 0.875Mbps uplink when bonded will provide just over 1.6Mpbs uplink. With compression enabled, if you were to send a highly compressible file it would upload in excess of 8Mbps!

 

TCP Acceleration

TCP Acceleration is a performance-enhancer that greatly increases throughput in some circumstances. It is helpful when bonding diverse types of Internet connections such as ADSL with cable or Wireless, or when a connection has high jitter or varying bandwidth. In these situations, the congestion control feature of TCP often reduces the available throughput on the bond to a small fraction of the expected throughput. With TCP Acceleration enabled the effect of TCP's congestion control is greatly reduced, giving you enhanced throughput.

 

As a general rule the default setting for TCP Acceleration is applied to ports 80 and 443 (http and https).

 

Like Compression, TCP Acceleration is not for everyone. The best way to see if it is effective is to try it and monitor the user's experience.

 

How a Fusion Bonder fits within your Network.

When we bond a number of connections, we hand off to the business router a single Ethernet based broadband connection; this is handed off as a single public static IP address. This IP address is NOT representative of the IP address of any of the underlying connections.  It is your new bonded IP address.

This is configured on your router as a static IP address: WAN IP, Gateway and Netmask. Fusion supplies this new IP address.

The Fusion Broadband Bonder connects to the broadband connections via Ethernet. This allows us to connect to any type of broadband connection as Ethernet is a good standard medium. So for ADSL we require that there is a Modem between the Phone outlet and the Bonder.

How we connect your Broadband Connections

In most cases this modem is configured in Full Bridge mode so the PPP authentication is performed by the Fusion Bonder.  However, there are three different ways we can connect to your Broadband connections:

 

PPP

This is the most common method of connectivity where we typically have a modem in full bridge mode between the bonder and the Phone jack (for ADSL).

Static

This is where your ISP provides the connection where no authentication is needed and the service is presented with a public IP address, gateway and netmask.

DHCP

In this scenario a modem will typically be performing the authentication and handing off to us a private DHCP derived address. Here  you could be using an ADSL modem to perform all the authentication. Or you may have a 3G/4G modem set up for failover and the connection is handed off to the bonder as a private DHCP address.

 

There is no real performance penalty in having the modem perform the authentication, however we have found that the less you ask of the modem the more reliable they become. Having a modem in full bridge mode is a very basic task for any modem.

 

The Fusion Bonding Admin Portal

Your login to the Fusion Portal allows you to see the current status of each of the configured services, their speed and status. The Fusion Portal allows you to manage a single bond or if you have multiple bonds, you can manage them all.

 

Bonding Admin is your view into your bonded connection.  From here  you are able to activate/deactivate:

QoS -  Quality of Service

Compression

TCP Acceleration

 

Additional details of this can be found in the Fusion Knowledge base.  You are also able to change broadband services from being active to inactive as well as selecting them to perform as a failover connection.  You can also restart the bond if required from here.

 

Also indicated is the actual speed passing through the bond/individual connections at that point in time.  To update, just click the ‘refresh’ button on your browser.

 

In addition to this you are also able to set Alerts on each of the connected services and of the bond. These alerts can be set to inform you if a single leg/connection has failed or if a Bond has gone down.  You have the ability to set alarms and who the recipient of the alarm is for based on different levels of severity.