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Microsoft word - bbna faq 121010.doc

What does BBNA stand for? Broadband Bonding Network Appliance
What kind of BBNA devices are available? Currently, there are 5 models available, the
Truffle 5201G, Truffle 6401, Porcini 4421, PortaBella 2242, PortaBella 141 and PortaBella 141i
which differ in the number and type of WAN ports available and number of LAN ports
available, as well as other features. Generally, a BBNA device will aggregate all of the Internet
access resources present on the WAN ports and make them available on any of the LAN ports.
The wired WAN and LAN ports are Ethernet interfaces with RJ-45 connectors. Additionally,
wireless cellular broadband data modems may be plugged into USB ports on the BBNA devices
and be used as WAN Internet access resources. Here is a product comparison chart:
5703 Oberlin Dr Suite 208 | San Diego, CA 92121 | P:858.452.1031 | F: 858.452.1035 |
How are the BBNA devices configured? The BBNA devices can be configured and
managed through a web based GUI, which can be password protected. The GUI can be
accessed via the LAN ports or optionally from the public Internet through one of the WAN
How does a BBNA device aggregate bandwidth? The BBNA devices will make use of all
available WAN resources for devices attached to LAN ports. There are two possible operational
modes for a BBNA – stand-alone mode and peered mode. In peered mode, a BBNA peers with
a Bonding Proxy Server (or with a BPS in the cloud through our Broadband Bonding Service)
so that a data tunnel, called a Virtual Leased Line (VLL) is created between the two BBNA
devices. The VLL data tunnel uses all available WAN resources that may interconnect the two
BBNA devices in order to combine all of the available bandwidth. In this mode, each traffic
session may be split across the available WAN resources so that all of the available bandwidth
can be used by even a single traffic session, such as a VPN connection. For traffic streaming
from a video source, a similar tunnel that is specifically optimized for video streaming is
required and that technology is included in our Teleporter™ product line.
Even in the stand-alone mode, for HTTP (port 80) based object downloads, all available WAN
resources are simultaneously used, so that the data transfer rate of the object download is close
to the sum of the available bandwidths on the WAN resources. For example, with 3 DSL lines,
one at 6Mbp and the remaining two at 4.5 Mbps each, a total download speed for the file of
15Mbps can be achieved. In the stand-alone mode, non HTTP traffic is handled on a session
load balancing basis.
Can I stream video in the uplink direction with a PortaBella? Streaming live video in the
uplink direction requires certain technology to make sure the jitter and latency are suitable for
the video stream, otherwise the bonding techniques used in the data products would result in
unreliable and poor quality of video. Mushroom Video Optimization algorithms are
developed to address those type of video streaming applications and are available in our
TelePorter product line only and is not available in PortaBella.
For the non-HTTP load balancing in the stand-alone mode, what is the algorithm used?
We use a hashing function to determine an appropriate interface for a traffic flow, among all of
the active interfaces available. The hash key used is the source IP address together with the
destination IP address. In this way all packets for a given traffic session between a given pair of
end hosts will be routed through the same interface, which is important for some applications.
Certain popular protocols are automatically load balanced for different sessions on a round robin
basis over all available interfaces. These include FTP, SCP, and RSYNC.
5703 Oberlin Dr Suite 208 | San Diego, CA 92121 | P:858.452.1031 | F: 858.452.1035 | Is there a way to configure the BBNA devices to customize forwarding of specific types
of traffic to the various WAN interfaces?
Yes. The BBNA has a feature called Interface
Binding which does this. Through the GUI, the BBNA can be configured so that a packet flow
can be bound to a specified particular WAN interface under nominal conditions. A paket flow
may be specified by any combination of the source IP address, the destination IP address, the
source port, the destination port, and the protocol number. An Interface Binding rule specifies
how a particular packet flow is bound to a WAN interface, and the GUI allows for multiple rules
to be entered into a table.
Can each WAN interface be independently configured with a static IP address? Yes, each
WAN interface can support either a static IP address, DHCP for a dynamic IP address, or the
PPPoE protocol. One WAN interface can have a static IP address, another can use DHCP if
needed, etc.
Which destination IP addresses will be used by devices in the public Internet in order to
reach devices locally attached to a TRUFFLE BBNA?
Any of the IP addresses associated with the WAN interfaces can be used as a destination IP
address in order to reach a device locally attached to a TRUFFLE BBNA. This would be
accomplished by defining a port forwarding rule on each WAN interface which is to be
associated with the locally attached device. This can be used to increase the reliability of hosted
The BBNA devices also support operation with a Dynamic DNS service, so that a single domain
name can be associated with the multiple IP addresses that can be used to reach locally attached
devices. The Dynamic DNS service can be used to distribute incoming traffic load among the
available WAN interfaces, and to provide a mechanism to cope with WAN failures, since the
dynamic DNS service will track the state of WAN interfaces and will respond to DNS queries
accordingly with IP addresses corresponding to active WAN interfaces only.
In the “Pass-Through” mode of operation, external devices in the public Internet can use the
same destination IP address to reach local devices as was used before installation of the BBNA,
and there are no modifications or upgrades necessary in the local network to support the
installation of the BBNA.
If the BBNA is peered with another BBNA through the Virtual Leased Line (VLL) feature, then
the IP address of the remote BBNA can also be used as a destination IP address to reach locally
attached devices, if the BBNA is appropriately configured with a port forwarding rule.
What source IP address will be used for traffic generated by a device locally attached to a
BBNA in order to reach devices in the public Internet?
This will depend on how the BBNA is configured. If the BBNA is operating in stand-alone
mode, normally Network Address Translation (NAT) will be used and the source IP address
used for outgoing traffic will be the IP address associated with the WAN interface which has
been selected to carry the flow. Through the BBNA management interface, it is possible to
configure a policy so that only targeted traffic will undergo NAT.
If the BBNA is peered to another BBNA device, then normally NAT is applied for traffic
leaving the VLL tunnel at the remote BBNA device. If the BBNA device is peered to a BBNA
server with the Broadband Bonding Service (BBS), then typically we will allocate static IP
5703 Oberlin Dr Suite 208 | San Diego, CA 92121 | P:858.452.1031 | F: 858.452.1035 | addresses for you, and these will be used for the source IP addresses for traffic generated from
locally attached devices to a BBNA. Again, through the BBNA management interface, it is
possible to configure NAT policies so that only targeted traffic will undergo NAT. This provides
a high degree of flexibility, in order to upgrade existing systems while matching the current
architecture of your network.
Currently we have a server with a public static IP address that is accessible via the
Internet via a single Internet access line (DSL, cable, T1, or satellite). We would like to
add bandwidth and increase reliability with one or more DSL lines, possibly from
different carriers. Is this possible?
Yes, the additional DSL lines can be configured with static
IP addresses, and these will be distinct from your existing set of static IP addresses. As
mentioned above, our BBNA devices support in-bound load balancing via Dynamic DNS. Your
domain can be set up to be handled by a Dynamic DNS provider, that manages the binding and
translation of domain names to IP addresses. A set of IP addresses can be specified for a single
domain, and the Dynamic DNS service can provide load balancing and failover protection. This
will balance the incoming requests among all of the Internet access lines, as well as provide a
mechanism to recover from a failure of one or more Internet access lines when there is at least
one remaining active Internet access line.
How can one local server receive traffic from multiple Internet access lines, when each
Internet access line has a separate IP address?
The BBNA device can be configured to do
"port forwarding" as well as Network address translation. Specifically, an external IP address and
port number can be associated with a given private IP address, so that all incoming traffic to this
address and port number will be forwarded to the appropriate server with the given private IP
address. This is easily configurable in the GUI by creating an in-bound firewall rule.
We have issues with DNS reliability. Is it possible for BBNA devices to leverage multiple
DNS servers from different providers?
Yes, the BBNA devices make use of all available DNS
services, to provide improved reliability as well as improved performance.
We have an existing Internet access provider for our local network, and wish to add
additional Internet access lines. Will I need to change any of my existing IP address
assignments or firewall rules?
No, the existing IP address assignments and firewall rules can
remain the same. The entire network configuration and topology can remain intact, enabling an
installation with minimal network downtime. This is handled with our "Pass-Through" feature.
How does the "Pass Through" feature work? With the pass-through mode, the BBNA
device is installed in-line between the existing Internet access modem and the gateway
router/firewall. In this mode, the BBNA is in some sense invisible at layer 3 between the modem
and the firewall, and the modem is connected through WAN port 1. The BBNA simply needs to
be configured with the IP addresses of the router and firewall and the subnet mask. Additional
Internet access lines can be added on the remaining WAN ports. The additional Internet access
lines can have static IP addresses, dynamic IP addresses (DHCP) , or use PPPoE.
I have an existing server with a static public IP address through my existing Internet
access provider. If I use the Pass-Through mode, can static IP addresses associated with
the additional Internet access lines be used as aliases for the static IP address of my
existing server?
Yes, if the existing server has the same IP address as the gateway
5703 Oberlin Dr Suite 208 | San Diego, CA 92121 | P:858.452.1031 | F: 858.452.1035 |
My local network includes multiple public subnets which are currently served by a
single Internet access line. When we add additional Internet access lines, can we use the
Pass Through mode for the existing Internet access line?
Yes, in addition to the subnet
address of the gateway router/firewall specified in the Pass Through configuration set up, we
allow additional subnets to be specified so that devices in those additional subnets may also
benefit from the aggregation performed by the BBNA.
What is the VLL feature? VLL is a virtual high speed link between two BBNA devices, using
all available Internet access lines attached to each BBNA device. For example, if a BBNA is
attached to 4 DSL lines, each with an uplink capacity of 768kbps, and a downlink capacity of
6Mbps, and another BBNA has a broadband Internet connection with a downlink capacity of at
least 3Mbps and and uplink capacity of at least 24Mbps, then the two BBNA devices can
establish a communication channel with a capacity of 3Mbps in one direction, and 24Mbps in the
other. For example, this is an alternative bonded T1 line. Since the cost of DSL is typically much
less than that of T1 lines, the VLL can save corporations significant amounts of money for
recurring bandwidth costs. The Truffle BBNA includes VLL as a standard feature.
Can a BPS peer with more than one other BBNA device using VLL? Yes, a BPS (Bonding
Proxy Server) enabled with VLL can peer with multiple BBNA devices. For example, for an
enterprise with many branch offices, a BPS at a headquarters or data center location can
simultaneously peer with a BBNA at each branch office to form a star topology.
What are the configuration options for a VLL connection? Each VLL connection can be
independently configured. All of the WAN interfaces can be used in a VLL connection, or only a
subset as specified by the user in the GUI. There are two operational modes for VLL, "normal"
and "capture all". In the normal mode, a subnet address is specified at each end of the VLL
connection. Traffic appearing at one BBNA which is destined for an address within the subnet
specified for the other BBNA will be forwarded across the VLL connection to the other BBNA.
In the capture all mode, traffic appearing at one BBNA which is not destined for the subnet
specified for that BBNA will be forwarded to the other BBNA device. This is useful for
situations in which one of the BBNA devices is installed where there is a high speed Internet
connection, and there is a remote office with a BBNA which will remotely use the high speed
Internet connection at the first location via a VLL connection.
We have several users who wish to access the computing resources in our offices through
a VPN, from either a home Internet connection or traveling on the road. Does the BBNA
work with VPNs?
Yes, VPNs can be supported either transparently, or VPNs can be
terminated on a BBNA device. Currently, the BBNA devices support PPTP for terminating
VPNs. Alternatively, users may wish to use an existing router/gateway/firewall for VPN
termination, and in this case the BBNA passes through the VPN connections transparently.
How the bandwidth aggregation and bonding work with VPNs? If the BBNA device is
passing VPN connections transparently, there are two possible modes of operation. Without
VLL, different VPN connections will be handled via in-bound load balancing. The Dynamic
DNS feature can be used to achieve the inbound load balancing, or alternatively the users can
manually specify which interface to use via an IP address. This is a form of bandwidth
aggregation that is appropriate when it is expected that there will be many concurrent users and it
makes sense to assign all of a users traffic to a single WAN interface. In the second mode of
operation, VLL is used. Currently when VLL is enabled, the BBNA devices do not support
5703 Oberlin Dr Suite 208 | San Diego, CA 92121 | P:858.452.1031 | F: 858.452.1035 | PPTP termination, so VPNs are supported only transparently in this mode. This second mode of
operation has the advantage that the access lines connected to the BBNA are effectively bonded
together. In other words, even a single VPN connection can concurrently use all of the available
bandwidth on all of the Internet access lines. In practice, this can be very important when the
uplink speed of a single Internet access line is not sufficient to support a single VPN connection.
Do BBNA devices have support for Quality of Service (QoS)? Yes, the BBNA devices have
a QoS feature that supports VOIP, but can be used for other purposes as well. Without taking
proper measures, when Voice over IP (VOIP) calls (or other inelastic UDP traffic) are present
and other users engage in file transfer and other non-real time activities, the voice quality can
become unacceptable. It is not uncommon for users to dedicate access lines for VOIP use only,
to prevent this unwanted interference. With the BBNA VOIP QoS feature, it is possible to
concurrently use an access line for both VOIP and other non-real time traffic. The BBNA
achieves this by limiting the rate of the inbound TCP traffic on a WAN interface. By limiting this
rate sufficiently, enough bandwidth can be effectively reserved for VOIP and other real-time
traffic, which does not use TCP. The inbound rate of TCP traffic to or from a specific IP
address can also be rate limited. These features are configurable through the GUI.
5703 Oberlin Dr Suite 208 | San Diego, CA 92121 | P:858.452.1031 | F: 858.452.1035 |


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