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Peplink and Pepwave SpeedFusion vs Typical Failover Routers

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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Peplink and Pepwave SpeedFusion vs Typical Failover Routers

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There are many companies that offer various types of internet backup hardware, each targeted at a different type of application ranging from M2M deployments to the distributed enterprise. The big buzz word you will hear surrounding discussions about backup internet connectivity is failover. In a nutshell, failover is the act of your router switching over from a primary to a backup connection.


Every business owner knows the importance or internet connectivity. Without internet access there would be no access to email or cloud connected apps and services, PoS terminals couldn’t process credit card transactions, VoIP phone systems would go dark, and lost productivity is also money down the drain. More and more businesses are implementing backup internet connections to increase uptime, but there are some very important things to consider before deciding exactly what your failover solution should look like.


First, let’s discuss the benefits of a failover router. The most obvious benefit is you have a backup connection if the primary internet connection goes offline. Every business has experienced an internet outage of some kind and there is no such thing as a perfect internet connection. An ISP can offer business vs residential internet connections, but there is no guarantee of 100% uptime. Dedicated fiber lines aren’t perfect either and while these are less prone to issues, there is inevitable downtime and the monthly costs of these connections can be in the hundreds to thousands of dollars per month. When, not if, an internet connection drops, failover is there to switch to a second connection. Failover is also automatic. This means that during an outage, the impact of the event is reduced without requiring manual intervention to reconnect on the backup. At this point in the conversation, many businesses will say “Great, where do I sign!” This isn’t the whole story about failover though. There are downsides to failover that need to be addressed.

 

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Typical Failover

 

The big downside to a standard failover router is when the primary connection fails and the backup comes online, ALL of the current sessions on the router are dropped! For a business using VoIP phones, every single active phone call will be cut off as the router switches connections. Imagine a being on the phone with an important customer (and let’s be honest, all customers are important customers!) and suddenly the phone call cuts out and ends. Now multiply that by every phone in the business and consider the impact this could have. Sure, your failover router will reconnect in a short time and you can redial the customer, hopefully, or they can call back in but what impression are you making when your business can’t even have a reliable phone call? It isn’t just phones though. Cloud connected applications that require a login of any type would also be disconnected during a failover event. Signed into an e-mail account? You’ll be back to the login screen when the backup connection comes online. Logged into online banking? Same story. Connected to a customer database, or trying to submit an order, in the middle of downloading a file? All of these things would be dropped in the event of a failover and have to be reconnected and restarted when the backup connection comes online. A single drop of an internet connection, even if it is just temporary, affects almost every aspect of a modern business.


Failover is great, but businesses that require an always an always on internet connection to function will never see 100% uptime this way. Pushing for the elusive “four nines of WAN uptime” is possible but unlikely as well. There will be outages, failover routers need at least a few seconds to switch connections in a best case, and what good is %99.99 uptime if switching to a backup is like hitting reset on the business as every internet activity is interrupted and has to be restarted?

 

Load balancing routers have the same issue. Running multiple active internet connections at one time is a great way to increase overall network bandwidth, but when one of those connections fails, all the users and activity that was balanced to that connection drop as the router has to then balance the restarted activity to the other connections. Failover and load balancing routers suffer the same major issues and again can never provide 100% uptime.


So what is a business owner to do? Typical failover and load balancing router manufacturers would have you believe their option is the best and there isn’t an alternative. This is where Peplink steps up to the plate and knocks it out of the park. While Peplink does have failover and load balancing routers for installations where connectivity isn’t critical, it is their SpeedFusion technology that is changing the way that businesses look at uptime. By utilizing SpeedFusion, 100% uptime is a reality. If a primary internet connection fails, there is a seamless uninterrupted transition to the backup connection, regardless of the application! Let’s go back to the previous example of that important customer phone call. Remember a failover router switching between connections would cause that phone call to completely drop. Now make that same phone call using a Peplink router with SpeedFusion, and when the primary connection fails, nobody even knows there was an outage! The phone call seamlessly continues on the backup connection without interruption. PoS terminals stay online and can process credit cards, phone calls continue, downloads or uploads in progress aren’t lost, you aren’t signed out of websites, and the list goes on. Peplink SpeedFusion is a true always on internet solution, and not just a bandaid on a broken network.


SpeedFusion has different levels depending on the application and can scale dynamically as a businesses needs grow.

 

SpeedFusion Hot Failover

HotFailover will automatically transfer your traffic to another connection while maintaining session persistence. For example, if a WAN connection breaks during a video conference, the video conference can still continue without having to hang up or call again.

 

 

3Gstore utilizes SpeedFusion Hot Failover in our day to day operations at our warehouse. Our primary internet connections is a wired Comcast connection, and we use Verizon LTE as our backup connection. We’ve created a SpeedFusion Hot Failover connection and run all of our traffic through that connection. All of our data flows over the wired connection first so we don’t use any unnecessary cellular data, but the instant that the wired connection fails, Hot Failover seamlessly switches all of our traffic to the LTE connection.


SpeedFusion WAN Smoothing

WAN Smoothing utilizes intelligent algorithms to fill in connectivity gaps, trading bandwidth for greater connection resiliency. WAN Smoothing minimizes latency and reduces the impact of packet loss. This is useful for times when you need connection reliability and responsiveness more than speed, such as VoIP or video conferencing applications.

 

 

WAN Smoothing uses two or more internet connections simultaneously for the purpose of increasing reliability and consistency of a connection. If you can’t afford dropped packets or need minimal latency for applications such as live streaming audio/video, WAN Smoothing makes that possible.


SpeedFusion Bandwidth Bonding

Bandwidth bonding combines data at the packet level, enabling you to combine the speed of up to 13 connections. This is useful for situations where bandwidth is scarce, such as at a remote site or in a moving vehicle. This technology also enables branch offices to connect to the head office at greater connection speeds.

 

 

If you are opening a branch office in a location where internet connectivity is slow or unreliable, Bandwidth Bonding can save the day. By bonding the speeds of multiple DSL lines, offices can experience increased reliability by utilizing multiple connections at once, and aggregate the bandwidth of multiple connections into one faster pipe.


When you look at other failover options vs SpeedFusion, there really is no comparison. Sounds good? SpeedFusion offers even more benefits than just session persistence and 100% uptime. SpeedFusion is also a powerful VPN technology to connect branch offices and headquarters. You can replace expensive VPN hardware appliances and costly licences with SpeedFusion as well. SpeedFusion Bandwidth Bonding is also a simple and scalable way to save money over high cost MPLS or fiber lines. Instead of paying for a direct fiber connection which can be thousands of dollars to install, and hundreds of dollars monthly for a slow connection, you can run multiple commodity DSL or cable connections and bond them. You’ll save money over the MPLS or fiber line, increase reliability by having multiple connections active, and end up with more bandwidth than those lines can provide!

 

We've created the video below showing a SpeedFusion enabled router vs a typical failover router. Think about how your business is affected everytime the internet drops.

 

As Peplink experts, 3Gstore receives questions everyday about SpeedFusion. What is it? How does it work? How can it help my business? We’ve put this information all in one place to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about this exciting technology.


Do you need to know more or want to discuss if a SpeedFusion deployment is right for you? Are you ready to replace your standard failover router with something that provides a truly seamless internet connection to your business? Contact the experts at 3Gstore and we’ll come up with with a solution for your business's unique needs.

 




Last Updated ( Tuesday, 10 January 2017 )
 
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