Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Myth of Real Bonding

Bonding has been the holy grail of Load Balancer. This term was used in the older days when a MUX (multiplexer) is used to bond multiple lines together from a single network provider.

However, it’s technically impossible in the multi-WAN, multi-provider setups. Recently, some readers emailed me about a device from Mushroom Networks which claims to be doing "real bonding". See attached advert from Google Adwords. I was so excited to find out. So I give them a call, and guess what. It's a hoax.

On closer look, the so-called real bonding technology is limited to HTTP request only. So I ask them if they can do bonding on FTP or SMTP or IMAP or just any other traffic... "NOPE". Hey! This is definitely not what bonding really is, it's just a router with a Download Manager Built-in! (DownThemAll is one which we covered earlier)

This HTTP active intercept at the router level could cause compatibility problems too. For one, what if a user runs HTTP on a port other than port 80, no "bonding".... What if an application (such as uTorrent) runs non HTTP traffic over port 80? What if a server restricts single connection to a protected/DRM content... God knows.

Be a smart customer and ask intelligent questions next time when someone claims real bonding again. At lease our informed readers, like yourself, should ask "Can it bond any Internet traffic? Or just some or one Internet protocol? Is there any chance of causing compatibility problem?"
Update: Due to popular demands, I have updated this article with the interesting ad. Guys, please stop emailing me for their name now. Thank you!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Life without Internet

What will happen if there is no Internet? Well, here is a nice preview that unimaginable disastrous dark days. I hope you won't have to go to the Internet Refugee Camps.

SouthPark - Over Logging

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Don't trust your ISP

A while ago, I successfully convinced my friend, John, over Georgia to get a multi-wan router. As always, I recommended him with my brand of choice, PePLink. His business internet is doing great for him after the installation. His business is very dependent on the internet. In additional to the usual stuff like emails and voip, he also uses a lot of SaaS (Software as a Service) like Salesforce, Google Docs, etc…

A few days ago, the disaster strike over the Georgia area. The Speedfactory ISP shuts down without notice. I give John a call, and he is very happy about my recommendation. He is able to continue business without affect by the internet downtime. While I know ISP going out of business is not usual, but this gives you an idea why a dual-wan or multi-wan router is necessary. Now he is joining me and recommends these multi-wan routers to his friends.