Time is money for every business, and in the digital age, far too much of it is wasted hanging around waiting for screens to load. Fortunately, where there is demand, there are innovators working tirelessly on solutions – and if you’re looking for such things, then you’ve come to the right place.
Many companies think that they’ve got a great broadband package – the price of it, at least, sure makes them hope so. But too often price doesn’t reflect quality, speed and reliability when it comes to internet providers, and sluggish networks prevail.
A lot of the time the problem is due to an inefficient and unbalanced distribution of resources that are guiding traffic in and out of the businesses’ network – and that’s where WAN load balancing comes in.
Very simply, load balancing is the practise of distributing traffic and processing evenly across a network so that no single device is overwhelmed. This, of course, is just common sense. If, say, there were 10 of you going on a camping trip, you wouldn’t really expect just 2 people to carry all the tents, the boots, the food for the week, the cooking equipment, the kitchen sink and all other supplies. If you were all hiking to the base of a mountain to camp for the night, then you could reasonably expect that the 2 beasts of burden would probably be lagging about a day and a half behind the 8 freeloaders. Naturally, this is not the most efficient way to handle the mission – not only are 2 people going to be pretty much out of action for the rest of the trip, but, until they arrive, the other 8 have got nothing to do, nothing to eat, nothing to wear, and nowhere to sleep. It’s a disaster.
Comparable scenarios happen in many offices that are in operation today. Let’s say a business has 10 routers, but only 2 of them are handling 90% of the work. The broadband – and therefore the business – as you will expect is running inefficiently as a result, and money is being lost.
What really ought to be happening is that all 10 routers should be handling roughly 10% of the work load each. This way the network would run much faster and business would improve. It’s a similar situation, in fact, as when a company has an extremely busy website with thousands of hits every second. A single server would struggle to handle all this traffic efficiently, and so the solution is to split the traffic between multiple servers.
What Is WAN?
WAN simply stands for Wide-Area Network, and refers to a collection of computers and network resources connected via a network over a geographic area. WANs are commonly connected either through the internet or special arrangements made with phone companies or other service providers.
The Business Benefits Of WAN Load Balancing
SMEs might not have their very own server or servers, and so turning to a solution like WAN load balancing makes the best business sense. There are numerous benefits for the business owner who wants their broadband performance to improve, and we list them for you here.
Load balancing means that you can essentially have more than one internet connection, the second acting as a failsafe should the other become compromised. A special router (see below) is required for this process to function. The router will automatically switch to the working ADSL connection if the other connection fails (for example, due to a line fault or a failure in part of the ISP’s network).
Using multiple broadband connections also has other benefits. SMEs may often struggle with poor broadband speeds. But with dual or multi-WAN load balancing this problem is eradicated. With the balance of traffic and processing distributed evenly and efficiently, the speed of the network will be greatly increased, which means that productivity rates can also be improved, and less time will be wasted by your staff hanging around waiting for pages to load.
Several years ago, the costs associated with rigging up multiple lines were prohibitive for many SMEs. But today, these solutions are much more affordable, and the reality is in fact that it is more than likely that you will not have to pay any more than you are already for your present service – it’s as good as a free upgrade in reality.
Load Balancing Routers
In order to get started with load balancing, you will need a load balancing router. Load balancing routers typically accept two broadband connections, though others are available that can support multiple connections. If there is ever a fault on one of the lines, the load balancing router will detect it automatically, and re-route all processing and traffic through one of the other remaining live connections.
WAN Link and Load Balancing Hardware – Truffle Broadband Bonding Router
Here at Velocomms, we offer a range of products and services that provide WAN Link Bonding and Intelligent WAN Load Balancing. These technologies enable organisations to maximise the performance of their WAN links, improve resilience and reduce WAN connectivity costs. Different line types can be utilised and typical applications include WAN bandwidth aggregation, leased line bandwidth increases and backup, lines consolidation and cost reduction.
As for routers, we recommend the Truffle Broadband Bonding Router for its support of the aggregation of up to 12 broadband connections, and its compatibility with xDSL, SDSL, EFM, E1 leased lines and similar high-speed WAN connections.
The Truffle has been developed over a period of more than 10 years to provide market leading bonding, load balancing and data aggregation capabilities.
Capable of supporting aggregated bandwidth in excess of 900Mbps, the Truffle is ideal for multi-site, branch office and central site connectivity.
In an ever-changing business environment, your small business network has to be powerful, flexible, accessible, and highly reliable, especially when growth is a high priority. Get in touch to find out how we can help your business get growing with WAN load balancing.