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MP-TCP link bonding protocol offers declining MPLS a much needed life-line

mp-tcp-link-bonding-protocol-offers-declining-mpls-a-much-needed-life-line

Recent work on a new approach to Hybrid Access emerging from one of the industry standards body is likely to be music to the ears of the major carriers who have seen a steady erosion of their market share by the more agile Internet service providers.

Despite the many benefits that an MPLS based VPN connection can offer businesses, particularly in terms of security and SLA guarantees, the major carriers have struggled to prevent customers opting to move some or all of their WAN architecture onto a low-cost, high-speed Internet link and VPN as soon as contracts allow.

To some extent this trend is an understandable consequence of the growth in the uptake of Cloud applications as the basis of corporate communications. Most network managers agree that MPLS is not ideally suited to handling large volumes of traffic and has led to network congestion and performance headaches for IT teams, for which just increasing bandwidth is not necessarily the solution. In addition there are still lots of businesses that choose a hybrid approach to hosting applications with some in the corporate data center and others in the Cloud. This means that moving to an all Internet infrastructure is not going to solve the problem in all cases either.

The obvious answer is to opt for some form of hybrid MPLS/Internet access ecosystem that can provide granular control of all traffic across the WAN and ensure that load can be spread across multiple links based on a range of business priorities and policies. While this approach is great in theory the reality can mean high capex investment in load balancing for a sub-optimal solution.

Application-aware policy-based traffic distribution means any given application/session is restricted to a single link’s bandwidth, which leads to the expensive MPLS being under-utilized without adding any link failure reliability. With cost-saving also a major factor for businesses looking for an alternative to MPLS it is easy to see why some companies decide to go for the pure-play Internet-based option, even at the cost of losing the reputed SLA and security benefits offered by MPLS.
However, recent exciting developments emerging from the Broadband Forum are promising to enable advanced hybrid access functionality to be embedded in the CPE, which is great news for carriers looking to be able to offer customers the type of services they need while retaining their private corporate VPN at an acceptable price-point.

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Packet-based traffic management is the optimum combination for hybrid access protocols

HybridAccess_Blog

As has been highlighted many times, a major focus of attention for vendors like OneAccess continues to be on working on innovations that ensure businesses have reliable high-speed access to their Cloud-based applications.

There can be little doubt that the Cloud is rapidly changing the fundamental nature of computing for businesses large and small. Analysts such as IDC are even going as far as predicting that terms like public and private clouds will eventually disappear from our vocabulary just becoming the de facto standard for business IT provisioning by as soon as 2020.

If IDC is right, the communications’ industry and its supply chain, over the next five years, needs to agree on the standards framework that will ultimately drive the innovation needed to ensure reliable high-speed Cloud access for all businesses and individual users alike. At the moment for some, having a connection that they can depend on can still be a lottery based ultimately on their physical location and local link options.

Application performance and availability are the major factors that are determining the rate of Cloud adoption across the board, with restricted bandwidth and traffic congestion often cited as among the primary reasons for delayed migration. If users cannot be guaranteed that they will not be faced with frequent disruptions and poor quality of experience (QoE) they are unlikely to fully embrace the Cloud in the time-frame that IDC suggests.

In cases where fiber has not yet reached the cabinet (nor is likely to any time soon) the only realistic and viable solution to overcome these objections is to find ways of efficiently aggregating multiple connections to boost the capacity of the available links. There are several multi-path protocols such as IFOM that help boost performance in the Wifi/3GPP mobile networks, but an industry standard approach is yet to fully emerge for the aggregation of Wifi, LTE, xDSL and even broadband satellite links between the CPE and a central hybrid aggregation gateway.

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Latest News

  • EKINOPS Hires New CTO

    EKINOPS (Euronext Paris - FR0011466069 – EKI), a leading supplier of telecommunications solutions for telecom operators and businesses, announces the appointment of Vincent Munière as its new Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Research and Development (CTO and VP of R&D). He will strengthen the EKINOPS technology vision, accelerate software innovation and lead the Group’s engineering and support team.

     
  • EKINOPS Announces Partnership Agreement with Lanner

    EKINOPS (Euronext Paris - FR0011466069 – EKI), a leading provider of open, future-proof and flexible solutions for the access network, today announces the completion of a partnership agreement covering North America and Mexico between EKINOPS and Lanner Electronics, the global leader in Whitebox Solutions™ for SD-WAN, uCPE, vCPE, and MEC platforms.

     
  • Robust profitability for EKINOPS in H1 2020: EBITDA margin over 14% despite a turbulent environment

    EKINOPS (Euronext Paris - FR0011466069 – EKI), a leading supplier of telecommunications solutions for telecom operators and businesses, has published its first half 2020 financial statements (for the period ended June 30, 2020) as approved by the Board of Directors on July 27, 2020. The statutory auditors have conducted a limited review of the first half financial statements and will shortly issue the corresponding report.

     

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