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Bonded ADSL Solutions

Posted on 2007-11-16
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
Hi

I'm continuing in my quest to provide a more resilient comms infrastructure for my medium sized business.  We currrently have a single 8Mbps ADSL line.  We host a number of customer systems and therefore need something that provides a good level of resilience.  Bandwidth does not seem to be an issue for us at present, although satelite sites can tend to run a little slow of VPN (I'm assuming this is due to restricted upload speeds of ADSL?).  I have ISA sat at the front of my network with a single static IP address at present.  My firewall router (with dynamic IP from BT) passes through all (allowed) traffic to my ISA box.

Leased lines are still pretty expensive, so I've been looking at the Bonded ADSL solution.  I don't know if that's the right solution for me.

Basically, there are managed solutions out there which cost about £500 to setup and £300 a month thereafter.  Alternatively, I could just get a second ADSL line (os SDSL) in and buy a dual WAN router which I understand will do the same thing for a one off cost of about £200.

I have a few questions really:
1. What are the differences between a DIY solution and the provided managed solution?
2. Does this sound like the right solution for me?
3. What other options are available and how much do they cost (very roughly)?
4. I'm still at the mercy of the BT exchange and probably the same circuit.  Can I tell BT / my other ISP to use a different circuit / card within the same exchange for my second line?

Hope that all makes sense and there's someone able to help.  Any other solutions and suggests you may have are greatfully received.

I'm a skilled IT professional but don't know a huge amount about the comms side of things outside of my LAN other than the basic ADSL routers etc.

Many thanks
Simon
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Question by:sbennetts
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Expert Comment

by:Booda2us
ID: 20298465
Hello sbennetts,
The DIY solution could very well be the answer,  You can build your own MLPPP router fairly inexpensively. Check out this site for free software and an overview:
http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/Internet/ADSL-Bonding-How-To-and-Review.html
a Bonded line will give you redundancy in case a line goes down, and lots more bandwidth, as should give faster speeds. (Assuming that BT has enough lines in your area) I agree that the slow speeds from the satellites are most likely from the asynchronous aspect. Have you considered SDSL? I hear that ADSL12.5 should be available soon..
I hope this helps...Booda
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by:sbennetts
ID: 20298554
Hi Booda, thanks for your response.  The link you sent, is making use of self built PC rather than the dual WAN routers you can purchase for around £200 now-a-days.

Any idea of the advantages or disadvantages of either solution?

For instance, this one:
http://www.retractacable.com/product_info.php?cPath=32&products_id=104

Thanks
Simon
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Accepted Solution

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getzjd earned 150 total points
ID: 20298679
Sonicwall TZ170 will allow you to run two lines.  You can either load balance them or load share them and it is not a bad firewall either.  Easy to setup. It looks as if the product you found would work as well.


To answer some of your questions:
1.  I do not like managed solutions for lower level solutions such as this.  If you want/need changes to be made you will have to open a ticket and wait.  All you will really need to do should you have problems is do basic trouble shooting... .i.e.  is your DSL line up?  No? Is it plugged in? Yes?  Then call telco provider.

2. For your price point, I would suggest two DSL lines from different companies or 1 DSL line and 1 cable modem line.  If you get two DSL lines from the same ISP, then you are still subject to a service disruption if that ISP has problems.  Better off having two Different ISPs

3.  At this price point you are right to go with DSL, Cable , etc

4.  If having two different ISPs is not an option, they will more than likely not be able to do much for you being such a small account.  Now if you had 50 lines, you may have some pull with them.


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by:sbennetts
ID: 20298759
Presumably these dual WAN routers don't care who the ISP is?

So I could use my existing BT line and any other one I choose to remove the dependancy on the ISP's infrastructure?
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Expert Comment

by:getzjd
ID: 20299026
No they do not care.  I see no reason why you cannot go with pretty much any ISP out there

As I mentioned , I would obtain a line from two totally different ISPs if possible and two different technologies such as Cable Modem and DSL.   We have that setup here at this plant.  Recently construction workers down the street cut all our phone lines including our T1 but our Cable Modem was still working and we were able to fail over to that.
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by:sbennetts
ID: 20299063
Thanks getzjd, my only trouble is, living in the deepest darkest depths of Cornwall, whether there are any cable suppliers down here.

Any idea how I can check on that?

Thanks
Simon
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Expert Comment

by:getzjd
ID: 20299173
unfortunately we are not even on the same continent.   You can call some of the other local businesses and ask who their provider is or start poking around on websites http://www.thinkbroadband.com/  there are some ISP search links on that page on the left

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Author Comment

by:sbennetts
ID: 20299184
Not even on the same continent?  The wonders of modern technology :-)

Thanks, I'll check it out and post back as required.
Simon
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Expert Comment

by:getzjd
ID: 20299199
It appears you are in the UK and I am in the US....   If my calculations are correct it is about 4pm there.  Quitting time for a Friday!  Enjoy your weekend
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Author Comment

by:sbennetts
ID: 20299212
Indeed you are correct.  Soon time to head to the pub :-)
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Assisted Solution

by:Booda2us
Booda2us earned 100 total points
ID: 20303695
I was thinking since you were an IT guy you could impress everyone by building your own MLPPP router.. Yes , the affordably of the dual wan routers (and warrantys) exceeds time and effort  and frustrations,to build one, at least for me. I didn't suggest using the cable ISP + BT together because I thought it was prolly an unlikely availibility . However I concur with getzid that it is the most desireable way to go.  Alas, I wish I could hoist a pint with you & getzid.....it's 2:30 am saturday,  I''ve been here at work since 3 pm friday and it's looking like 4 am before I can escape..
Hope this helps...Booda
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Expert Comment

by:www-ccsleeds-co-uk
ID: 20308851
Simon.

Spotted your post re MLPPP adsl. While I don't want to sound all sales pitch and you are indeed correct that a two line bond with a refurbished Cisco router setup is circa £500, we offer bonded ADSL for much less per month than the kind of figures you are suggesting.

We have two choices, either you take the lines from us and we provide an MLPPP logon (or per packet or per sessions if you prefer) and you provide the router, be it a Linux box (FSJ / home brew) or a Cisco, in which case we will provide the config too, or we offer either brand new, or warranted re-furbed Ciscos with or without full management.

To avoid getting slated for blatant advertising, details for contact are in my profile, along with site link too.

Drop me a mail / give me a call if you are interested.

http://www.ccsleeds.co.uk/mlppp.html
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