Home Telecoms & NBN Fusion Broadband speeds private WAN rollouts

Fusion Broadband speeds private WAN rollouts

A new service from Fusion Broadband makes building private WANs quicker and cheaper.

Fusion Broadband has built on its bonding technology to offer customers a simpler and more affordable approach to private WANs.

"Fusion's proprietary and proven link aggregation (bonding) technology, node management and routing, allows organisations to build the most flexible private network possible. Fusion PWAN is more capable than MPLS and IPsec systems with options to increase speeds as well as build redundancy at any site by bonding multiple services from several carriers together. Users are not limited to a single carrier as they would be with an MPLS network," said Fusion Broadband chief executive Jason Maude.

"One of the key benefits of PWAN is its flexibility and ease of use, allowing users to choose how their network behaves and how each site connects to the internet. Configuration and set-up is easy; customers virtually just need to plug it in. Others have a user setup and configure system, which is great if you have an IT department, but not so good if you don't. Fusion is more of a managed SD-WAN service whilst also giving the customer control if they need it."

Maude told iTWire that Fusion could configure a customer's PWAN in a matter of minutes, and sites could be added in a matter of hours – basically as quickly as the customer could connect the hardware.

Fusion's bonding technology means PWAN can be used with links from multiple carriers, whether that is required to ensure redundancy or because not all carriers can serve all of the organisation's locations.

Importantly, the way Fusion handles bonding means that even if one link goes down, traffic is moved to another within 300ms so even services such as VoIP and RDP continue uninterrupted.

"Businesses big and small can very easily move away from carrier based Wide Area Networks that are restricted to very expensive links and inflexible feature sets. Our capability allows then to build higher performance Wide Area Networks that are more capable and more flexible," Maude told iTWire.

Quality of Service settings are under customer control. Users are able to choose the ports, IP addresses and protocol types based on their requirements. This includes the ability to prioritise traffic to and from hosted applications, or to ensure that time-sensitive traffic such as VoIP is given precedence over routine Web browsing.

The gateways also support compression (the effective capacity of a link can be as much as four times the nominal speed, depending on the type of data flowing) and encryption.

One early adopter of Fusion PWAN is scaffolding provider Mr Scaffold.

"We were using a Sophos UTM (unified threat management) gateway with remote encryption devices but we continually had issues with breakdowns and dropouts in connectivity, slow throughput rates and other similar problems," said IT manager Mark Gerrey.

"Another issue that triggered our initial investigations was at a remote site on Garden Island in Sydney Harbour where we couldn't get an ADSL connection. We had five people trying to use a single mobile device to connect to head office. It just didn't work.

"So we decided to transfer to Fusion's broadband aggregator and transition from Sophos as the encryption device to Fusion's encryption PWAN device. We did have a quick look at other solutions, but the low cost of Fusion's offering and its overall benefits far outweighed anything else we'd seen.

"One of the key benefits in using this technology is that we can continue to use any carrier, depending on the best mobile connection in the area. We do use Telstra, Optus and Vodafone and have all our ADSL connections with Telstra. It works perfectly.

"Rolling out Fusion's equipment and software across five sites in four states was quite simple. This is important as I'm the only IT asset for Mr Scaffold. Because we were trying to run the sites concurrently, there were a few headaches in the backward compatibility with the existing Sophos system to match in with what Fusion's private LAN gave us. Once we completed the total migration to Fusion's PWAN everything was fine.

"Productivity has increased dramatically in all our offices. Because we use a lot of calendar-based information, staff were continually waiting for the computer to update from head office. That waiting time has been reduced. The increased bandwidth has also enabled us to delegate numerous tasks to the managers at remote offices rather than it having to be done at head office, which also means we aren't double-handling things.

"Our primary Internet gateway is through the head office connection and because each remote site is now connected to the Internet, they are connected to our VPN and can start work knowing they are automatically linked to head office. They don't have to worry about the IT side of things at all. They just hop on to the computer and do their job.

"A major ongoing benefit from the IT support point of view is that we are now able to concentrate on the other aspects of our IT environment knowing that our communications backbone is stable. For example, if a problem comes up in one of our inter-state offices, rather than thinking that it could be a communications issue, I can now look beyond that and assess whether it is software- or hardware-related. Before, it was always my first thought.

"The versatility of Fusion's PWAN is also very impressive, which was highlighted when we created a new remote office with a direct link to head office. It took just one day for the Fusion equipment to be delivered and the next morning the remote office was up and running as though the employee was sitting in head office. That is a huge benefit."


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.