WAN acceleration over Internet

totaram
totaram used Ask the Experts™
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Customer is connected to their DC via Internet. Is there a way we can support WAN Acceleration over Internet to their cloud? We are looking for a way to support Acceleration ,if it can be. Riverbed Steelheads can be supported for Both POP and Customer DC.

Site -- Internet 1G ---> Our POP ---> Customer Cloud DC
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David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
WAN Accelerators... There are many for sale. They all remind me of Snake Oil salesmen selling opium water as the cure for all ailments.

Most WAN Accelerators work by simply compressing data streams. All the de-duping marketing cruft they talk about is just marketing, as the TCP protocol handles all this. The compression is nonsense also, as generally this produces far more slow down than speed up, because of CPU requirements to compress/decompress, along with many of these Accelerators attempting to incorrectly muck around with over riding MTU settings.

A better/working approach is to consider data flows between 2x points.

For example, if you're running a Web server which must be accessed from slow clients, you'll fix this at your Web server side by using HTTPS + HTTP2 + Brotli compression + HTTPS tunings. This approach almost always produces higher speed Web serving than old HTTP ever could.

Suggestion: Open another question describing a specific protocol (like HTTPS) you'd like to optimize for clients with slow connections.
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
The biggest problems there  lots of LAN based protocols make assumption on expected latency.
This cannot be "simply" extended.   (if timeouts are short, re-transmissions will happen with growing distance).
I mean L7 assumptions not TCP. TCP is a very capable transport that allows automatic adjustment across a wide variety of network architectures.
(or L8  (aka human) assumptions).

Things that work "smooth" on a 5-10ms delay network work work sluggish on an added 10ms....
Also all kinds of Request / Response systems will make this noticable.  Where streaming data will continue with hardly a noticable delay.

HTTP/3 (aka QUIC)   might help a lot in the near future. otherwise follow Davids earlier advise.
In general, you should avoid sending data, avoid doing things and work on that. (anything not requiring bandwidth, etc is a win).
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions Consulting

Commented:
These mainly exist for people with WAN SMB shares for autocad that  don’t want to buy a storage appliance like panzura. Most of the world has simply gotten bigger less expensive circuits and used sdwan. No compression needed if you don’t have tiny links.
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Author

Commented:
All,
The question is whether Acceleration is at all possile w/ internet? With MPLS, I can see it as it is a wire or hard connection, but INternet is out in public , there is no single wire there??
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
MPLS is not a single wire as well.  (it can be a mesh..) it does upfront plan the most efficient routes. So no half way decisions any more.
same with internet.

Author

Commented:
Hi noci.
Mpls is on nailed down connection though, so acceleration is possible,, we know the end points.. In case of internet, we can't accelerate the the whole internet..
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Correct. You cannot manage all the intermediate points and/or create a shorter route and/or route across a bigger pipeline.
MPLS is the solution to that management problem.  In a way you commission the ISP to specifically design & build a "shortcut" for you.

Some protocols were not designed for longhaul networks.  Like there are trucks / containers to send stuff across the world, carrying 20 tons of French Fries by bike couriers wouldn't make sense for long distance traffic it does make sense in a big city though. As there you need piece meal distribution to a lot of small endpoints. SFTP/SCP are long haul transports, SMB is LAN distribution.
TimotiStDatacenter Technician
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
As I understand WAN acceleration can come in 3 ways:
-Compression
-Caching
-Multipath

I agree that compression is mostly useless, typically done on HTTP connections anyway, and you cannot really compress video/audio more.
Caching is only relevant if the clients request the same data.

Multipath on the other hand is relevant, basically bonding together multiple connections. I've seen different vendors doing it in different ways: TCP multipath, VPNs, etc.
You'd always need one box on each end.
You could think of it as a non-layer2 link aggregation thing.

Possible topology:
       client               your DC              client DC
     +-----------+        +-----------+         +----------+
     |           |---1G---|           |         |          |
LAN--|accelerator|---1G---|accelerator|---10G---| normal   |
     |           |---1G---|           |         | router   |
     +-----------+        +-----------+         +----------+

Open in new window

Most of the ones I've seen will work with broadband speeds on the WAN side, though, so bundle multiple ADSL links into a ~100Mb link or so.
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
You may want to look into Multilink PPP where you can connect an endpoint to the internet framework it higher then single line speeds.
MLPPP is not connecting accross the internet, it is connecting to the POP of the ISP.
Or try to connect to some GlassFiber network in your neighborhood. (or bring it there)...

The ISP has to still guarantee the aggregate bandwidth somehow.
If possible, then the ISP will advertise it. OTOH they may advertise higher speed then 1Gbps.
Mostly Using LAN protocols for long distance is not a bandwidth problem per se, it might have a bigger problem with latency.
Which is a function of distance, not bandwidth.  

Building more lanes in a road will not increase the speed of the individual cars driving there. (you can buy Ferari's, or Formula-1,  NAScar... ) even their speed will be limited. As long as there is congestions more lanes will work.It really depends on traffic patterns you have if it works or not.

Author

Commented:
So TimotiSt;
How can one bond 1G connections (as shown in pic) to bundle like 10G , is it possible w/ Accelerators?
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
That is ancient technology.. MultiLink PPP or Bonding aka Link Aggregation..
In both technologies you can connect multiple channels (for the latter ethernet) in one "virtual interface"...

The other partner needs to be able to handle Link Aggregation as well, and have a big enough pipe to / through the internet.

Author

Commented:
ok.. Yes.. I am very familiar with E1/T1 bonding using FRF.16 and thought something like that. But yes, LAP is another way of doing that for Ethernet.
TimotiStDatacenter Technician
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
This kit from Mushroom seems to be able to trunk individual 1Gb interfaces up to a 10Gb interface:
https://www.mushroomnetworks.com/brochure-truffle-ex/
Truffle EX Software Specifications
Max throughput: 10 Gbps (standalone) , 800Mbps (peered)
Base model: 2x 10 GbE fiber Ethernet Lan, 2x 10GbE fiber WAN & 10 GbE copper WAN
Note, I've never actually tested it.
There was another company in Ireland which seemed small and professional, their kit uses multipath-TCP to do the same; I'll try to find their name.
Main thing is, you'll need 2 of these devices, one on each end of the aggregations.
Network Engineer
Commented:
Riverbed Steel Head works over the Internet, as it builds a tunnel between the two Steel Heads in question.

People are also doing WAN acceleration between their site and SaaS providers, though that is probably going away with bigger pipes and use of SD-WAN. You will notice that the big two premise based WAN accelerator vendors, Riverbed and Silver Peak both have SD-WAN products, and the other various vendors were generally always trying to accelerate to a POP or some other provider.

WAN Acceleration was born in a time of highly inefficient LAN protocols and expensive bandwidth. They worked by overcoming chatty protocols, TCP tuning to overcome the long fat pipe problem, and by doing compression (even SMB, Exchange, and HTTPS traffic). The traffic being sent over the WAN has significantly changed. SMB2 and above are way less chatty. There is much more audio and video that can't be compressed, and web traffic is much more dynamic and resistant to caching and deduplication.

I used to get 3-10X bandwidth saving using Riverbed. I retired them with greater bandwidth connections.

I think a real question is what kind of traffic are we talking about (protocol, content, and volume)? Why is 1 Gbps seen as insufficient? If it isn't enough, why is the DC in the cloud? Was this not considered before moving to the cloud? How about multiple 1 Gbps connections, or a larger connection using a 10 Gbps interface?

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