CeBIT 2011: Reliability through redundancy. Also in the Cloud.


Channel bonding provides high availability of Internet connection

Cloud Computing – the topic of this year’s computer trade fair CeBIT from 1st to 5th March in Hannover is on everyone’s lips. Whether named virtualization, software-as-a-service or remote desktop – the outsourcing of data and applications to external servers is known by many terms. The associated downsizing of one’s own IT infrastructure on the one hand means a set of advantages for business users and public agencies; on the other hand it brings about different risks. While the issue data security plays a central role, many users underestimate the meaning of a stable Internet connection for reliable operation of Cloud services.

In fact, Internet line failure has devastating consequences: Users are no longer able to access neither their saved data nor the applications needed. This results in deadlocks of essential company functions and in productivity loss. “Many companies are not aware of the fact that they are at the mercy of their Internet provider when using Cloud solutions,” Simon Kissel, CEO of Viprinet GmbH, explains. “And Internet providers offer additional connection reliability at very high prices,” Kissel continues. His enterprise found a way to increase the availability of an Internet connection to a maximum, at manageable costs.

The method is called channel bonding, and it stands for the deliberate combination of up to six different Internet connections from different providers and media into one single connection. Hereby, the risk of failure of the individual lines is distributed to the connection bundle – and thus statistically minimized. The use of two different ADSL connections combined with one 3G connection already enables an average availability of 99.9%. In comparison, the availability of a normal ADSL line warranted by contract is fixed at 97%, which means up to 260 hours of connection failure per year. Additional service level agreements to increase connection reliability cost enormous amounts of money; in the end though, they cannot provide technical protection from Internet lines breaking down.

With the help of the Multichannel VPN Routers of the German manufacturer Viprinet GmbH, Cloud users not only benefit from a stable Internet connection but also from the bundled bandwidth of all the Internet lines connected to it. Due to the modular design of the router, the line profile may be adjusted to changing circumstances swiftly and without failure. Lastly, the effective use of mobile broadcasting technologies like 3G/HSPA+, and soon also LTE, enables secure access to data and applications from home offices, road warriors or even in vehicles. Thus, the promise of location-independent use of data and applications given by Cloud solution providers becomes reality.

In addition to that, the technology of the routers contributes to an improvement of user comfort. Due to the integrated quality-of-service, the latency conduct of the Internet line used is enhanced. With that, frustratingly long holding times or lagging mouse arrows are things from the past. The bundling of customary consumer offers makes highly available connections much less expensive than using leased lines. This is not detrimental to data safety, on the contrary: For the bonding, Viprinet uses a worldwide unique VPN tunneling method, which ensures safety of all data by a highly secure 256-bit AES encoding.

“From the user’s point of view, our technology eliminates the weaknesses of Cloud applications,” Simon Kissel summarizes. “At the same time, we strengthen the advantages of such solutions like permanent availability of relevant information and applications for all connected users, no matter where,” he concludes.

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