When one or many cellular connections are used across a network, they can be compromised by disruptions. Failover from wired to cellular, or from one cellular carrier to another cellular carrier, is still an excellent strategy for reliable connectivity. But today, you have more options, including WAN bonding, which dramatically improves speed and connection reliability for a range of connectivity needs in transportation, retail and more.
Digi WAN Bonding — a value-added service available with Digi Remote Manager® — augments your failover methodology by aggregating multiple connections to optimize connectivity using the best connection available. This WAN bonding method maximizes speed and throughput, reduces latency and optimizes performance. In this recorded webinar, we discuss the features, benefits and key use cases of WAN bonding, including quality customer Wi-Fi experience on transit systems. Watch the recording to learn about real-world applications, and what differentiates the Digi WAN Bonding solution!
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Follow-up Webinar Q&A
Thank you again for attending our session on WAN bonding with Digi and Bondix Intelligence. Here are the questions that followed the presentation and their answers. If you have additional questions, be sure to reach out.
Moderator: Mitch Sinon, Digital Marketing Manager, Digi International
- Nathaniel (Nate) Pleasant, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Digi International
- Martin Santner, Director of Sales and Business Development, Bondix Intelligence
Can the Bondix Linux server have two separate ISPs?
Martin: Yes. You can use multiple ISP uplinks on the server side. Of course, you need to make sure that either the domain name or the IP address you are using for the server is reachable over both ISPs.
And of course, redundancy is very important. We are also offering a way with every license where you have the option to have a fallback server, where automatically, if server number one is not reachable, you can also define a second or backup server in this.
Or even like our partner, Unwired Cloud, Unwired Networks is offering. They have an elastic network in the background so if a server has a problem, they will automatically redirect your connection to another one completely seamlessly. So, everything is possible. We always have redundancy in mind, especially on the server side.
Is the bonding server on Digi's side or is it at the customer's location?
Nate: The bonding server is either in a public cloud, virtual machine or VPS such as if you're setting up a server in Digital Ocean, AWS, Azure, Hetzner or any other VPS provider. Or it could be an on-prem data center, but either way it's either customer owned or you're using a partner server like Unwired Networks, where you don't have to manage the server yourself. In that case, you are more paying for that server-side service. Then you don't have to pay for the cost of maintaining that server over time yourself. Our Digi Professional services team can also step in, say, if you do have a need to install a WAN bonding server in your data center. If that's the setup you need, but you don't want to dedicate the time and resources to manage that yourselves, we do have our Digi Professional Services team, and they can assist there. But at the end of the day, those servers are all either customer-owned or customer-managed, or they're a partner solution like the one that we can give with Unwired.
Is this cost just the license for the server or does it also include the server hosting?
Nate: The pricing that's listed here is per Digi router device. So the only licensing cost for the Digi WAN Bonding service is on the device side to enable WAN Bonding on the Digi router and get that added as add-on subscription through Digi Remote Manager®. The server-side element does not include any additional cost due to Digi or Bondix. I mean, yes, so you have to install the Bondix S.A.NE server-side application on a Linux server. But the only cost there is the actual cost of the Linux server itself, whether you're running it on a dedicated hardware in a data center, or you're paying a monthly or yearly cost to a cloud service provider or Unwired Networks to host that server.
Is it possible to have ports open and forward to the router?
Martin: So, from on the server side, yes we can support port forwarding and I'm quite sure, Nate, that this is also has a common feature on the Digi devices.
Nate: Yeah, it is indeed. You can set up either a many-to-one or a one-to-one NATing for port forwarding rules. Any packets or ports that you want to forward to local client devices, whether it's something connected via Ethernet or Wi-Fi to the Digi router, yes, they can handle the incoming port forwarding to give you that access.
How many milliseconds of delay are added when Bondix is connected?
Martin: This is quite a good question. I think it all depends where your server is located. So, I can speak for Europe or for Germany that at least in Europe we are seeing something like 8 to 10 milliseconds that a server adds on in additional latency. But of course, if I use a server in the U.S., I will have a hundred milliseconds because all the traffic gets routed through the server. So it all depends where your server is located, but this is a guideline in the same country and Nate, you had quite comparable experience with local servers in the U.S. I think, in terms of latency.
Nate: Yes, you're a hundred percent correct.
As you can change WAN ports to WAN ports, can you go beyond four links in total?
Nate: With the Digi router, most of them have multiple Ethernet ports. Whether it's two Ethernet ports on it, like Digi EX50 or four Ethernet ports like Digi TX64, but each of those ports are individually controllable, so they're not bridged together from a hardware perspective. Now you can bridge them to create a multi-port LAN, but in general, each port is individually controllable. So you can take those ports that might by default be LAN connection for connecting local Ethernet clients to it. You can make those additional WAN ports, so you can then use those for bonding those multiple WAN wired Ethernet connections together. That said though, in total with the WAN bonding client S.A.NE technology, it is only four total uplinks that can be combined in a WAN bonded tunnel.
Martin: At the moment it's four bonded uplinks, but if there is a need to do more than four, reach out to Nate and the team and we will make it work for you.
How does Bondix deal with multi-network SIMs which are set to auto, and will they have jitter issues as they move between different networks?
Martin: So what we of course can't control — if you have SIM cards which are roaming in multiple networks and the SIM card is dialing into a new network and the modem is not connected, then you might have a short interruption, but what you saw, as I showed in my demonstration where I made the simulation where one connection was switched off or was disconnected, and it was routed over the next one. So we are completely seamless here. Of course, if both modems are disconnecting at the same time, what I would not recommend (and you should have them in different networks anyway), is that they are not disconnecting at the same milliseconds so you will not experience any jitter or disconnect even if one of your modems is changing the network.
How is this positioned versus competing bonding offers from Peplink and Sierra Wireless or others?
Nate: That's a great question. Digi WAN Bonding is not the first in market here with WAN Bonding service. Peplink SpeedFusion is another popular one. So if you look at the feature comparison of the WAN Bonding solution, you'll notice it's very, very similar. In fact, it offers many of the same benefits.
Now the difference, you'll see with Digi WAN Bonding is the pricing structure is a little simpler, where it's only the cost or license for Digi WAN Bonding for the device itself per device per year. There are no server-side cost elements to it. And furthermore, with our line of Digi products, we can go from a hundred-megabit license for the smaller products all the way up to Gigabit speeds with the new 5G capable cellular routers. So, you truly have a versatile range of products that can utilize WAN bonding and then also a simplified price structure, to make your life easier year over year with keeping that service up and running.
Martin: I would also like to add that, for example, the Sierra Wireless connection, I think you are referring to Airlink on Sierra Wireless. This is not a real aggregation solution. It gives you multiple links. You can choose multiple links, but a single application is not able to utilize the combined speed. What I can also tell you is that we will work together with the Digi team, and this is why we are so excited to work with you guys is we will add a lot of features and new functionalities over the coming months. We are working very closely with the Digi team which is focusing on the integration of our software. And we are listening to the features and the requirements of your customers. So, if you have a specific need, a specific project you would like to discuss, please get in touch with the Digi sales and technical team and I'm quite sure we'll find a solution together for your connectivity program.
If I am using a separate vendor, i.e., Velo and the Digi for cellular, do I need to connect all of my WAN connections to Digi?
Nate: We do have a lot of compatibility and documentation for setting up Digi routers with third-party appliances, whether it's a Velo Cloud device, SonicWall or Cisco, that might be doing some extra SD-WAN capabilities or just extra firewall appliance capabilities, or it might just be already installed at the site, and the Digi router is coming in to provide that extra network connectivity and reliability.
In this case, yes, you'd be combining and putting all the upstream WAN Internet connections on the Digi router in that case, so we can use those as a WAN bonding to combine those multiple network connections together. And you would then either put the Digi router mode in IP passing mode, if you wanted to skip over some NATing rules if that's needed for the Velo device, or you can just connect the Velo device via Ethernet to the Digi router’s LAN port, and it would just be the single Internet connection for the Velo. We can even set up some static IP so there's nearly no changes on the Velo device or other appliance that's installed onsite. It's just now it gets the benefit of having multiple Internet connections to it. It's just one connection to the Velo but to the overall behavior and performance, it gets that added WAN aggregation and WAN smoothing and other capabilities and features that come with Digi WAN Bonding.
Mitch: All right. Thank you, Nate and Martin. If you have any more questions that pop up here after the webinar is over, you can always submit the Contact Us form.