With more Internet-based applications, the current “Always on” mentality and the ever expanding BYOD evolution, bandwidth demands continue to grow. As such, internet access has become a critical resource for business operations. To ensure maximum uptime, many enterprises lease two or more public or private ISP links. A link balancer provides companies the opportunity to use these leased ISP links to their best advantage. Typically deployed in line between gateway router and firewall, a link balancer will distribute in-bound and out-bound traffic to and from multiple ISP links.
The network administrator sets policies for the appliance so when it receives a request, its traffic management algorithms take into account such things as client and end-user round-trip times and which ISP link has the most available bandwidth,… before completing the request. This technology will reduce the connectivity costs while increasing bandwidth and ensuring business continuity.
These advantages are also the main motives behind the latest link balancing trend: Hybrid WAN. Hybrid WAN makes it possible for a geographically distanced network to connect by sending traffic over two or more connection types. This concept gives organizations a more flexible and cost-effective way to connect their offices while still relying on dedicated links to send critical data. Moreover as branch offices rely more and more on real-time applications, they require additional throughput and connectivity. By routing this traffic over multiple links, enterprises can use the required bandwidth and reduce impact caused by geographic distance on application performance.