Aggregation

Introduction

Our platform is an established SD-WAN solution for SMBs and Enterprises. Our products help improve both the speed and reliability of broadband for an array of business environments including branch offices, corporate headquarters, coffee shops, hotels and airport lounges.

The current enterprise SD-WAN space is crowded, with a variety of vendors competing for the large, multi-site, high-value accounts, typically replacing MPLS with multiple low-cost xDSL connections. CPE often costs thousands of dollars, which many larger customers may be happy to pay, but there’s the other 99% of the market, those without big budgets, that also require SD-WAN. This is where our offerings for SMBs and enterprise are focused.

How It Works

Like other SD-WAN solutions, we allow multiple broadband connections to work together to deliver a better experience for customers. Most SD-WAN solutions use intelligent load-balancing, whereby each session will be sent down a particular connection based upon latency and speed requirements. Our SD-WAN solution, however, performs per-packet aggregation allowing, for example, a single download to use whatever capacity is available across all of the connections.

As most service providers already have traffic management and identification systems deployed in their network, our SD-WAN solution leverages that existing investment. Traffic can be steered to a particular connection based upon the DSCP markings applied by traffic management solutions, such as Sandvine, that most service providers already have deployed in their network.

SD-WAN for enterprise – multi WAN port device



SD-WAN for SMB – multiple single WAN devices


The traditional approach to SD-WAN hardware is to have a single CPE device installed at the customer premises, which has multiple ethernet WAN interfaces. This then, in turn, connects to any modems that wish to be combined. This single CPE device has a number of limitations;

  • Potential single point of failure
  • Increase CPE overhead
  • Expensive – limiting the market
  • Larger device required when WAN ports used up

Our solution uses a patented virtual CPE method, allowing multiple low-cost modems, typically xDSL, to intelligently and seamlessly come together to act like one virtual router. There are a number of key advantages of doing this;

  • Reduces the number of customer CPE’s
  • No single point of failure; if a CPE device fails the solution re-organises in seconds
  • Reduces cost
  • Can scale up or down as required

All customer traffic is tunnelled through an aggregation server, where IP addresses are assigned. We support dedicated 1-1 IP address modes (useful for customers firewalls), multiple routed blocks (for enterprise customers) and NAT.

The portal allows end customers to configure their devices, view performance and change IP address usage from anywhere. The portal also supports a reseller model, allowing third parties to create, manage and support their own customer base.

Compared to very high-end enterprise SD-WAN solutions, our management tools are simple. The solution has been designed around the needs of a typical SMB or small branch office, not the power user replacing MPLS networks.

Router Options

Our current range of SD-WAN devices includes;

  • A combined ADSL2+ / VDSL modem capable of aggregating connections up to 300Mbps
  • Both dual and triple-ethernet WAN enterprise grade routers aggregating connections  up to 300Mbps
  • A low-cost ADSL2+ modem capable of aggregating connections up to 20Mbps from TP-Link
  • A quad-ethernet WAN router aggregating connections up to 75Mbps from TP-Link

Integrated Solution

The software stack can be ported to most CPE devices running Linux 2.4.19 kernel or newer. It is a user-space application which doesn’t require any kernel modules that aren’t installed as standard and, depending on complexity, can be ported rapidly.

Common processors such as x86, mips, ARM processors are supported and our application typically requires 1.5Mbytes RAM and approx 700Kbytes of flash storage. The kernel version, RAM speed and CPU speed will determine maximum throughput.

The advantage of this approach is that existing customer CPE can be upgraded to enable SD-WAN functionality, resulting in low costs and no disruption to the end user.

Market

This solution is widely sold throughout the UK and US as Sharedband, a direct managed service to customers through an extensive IT reseller network and major operators such BT, Virgin Media and KCOM.

More Information

More information about our Sharedband solution can be found at sharedband.com