Re: Linux for T1 bonding ???

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On Tue, May 25, 2010 at 2:49 PM, jack craig <[email protected]> wrote:
> so far, t1 & cable modem are separate, discreet options.
> ...
> The cable connection rates are real low compared to our t1, i am not
> thinking
> we ought to get the cable connection and if its as fast as advertised,
> ditch the t1 we have now.


You're really comparing apples and oranges here. T1 is essentially a
set of 16-64 kbps connections bonded together to form a ~1 Mbps
connection, typically symmetric (up/down speeds the same) and provided
by "The Phone Company." As such, it's a well-known, mature, pretty
highly-engineered product that can be expected to deliver very high
Quality of Service (QOS) and can be contracted to have a particular
Service Level Agreement (SLA) that provides for certain uptimes,
response times, and penalties for failure to deliver service. But you
pay for all those acronyms.

A business cable service, while a step up from consumer-grade service,
usually doesn't provide the same level of quality nor reliability.
It's typically asymmetric (16 Mbps/2 Mbps, for example) and those
speed ratings may be "burst mode" ratings and not actually long-term
expected bandwidth. If you're providing some services to your
customers via your Internet connection, the QOS/SLA may be important
to you, particularly if you can place a value on your services in
terms of hard dollars lost per hour of downtime (or sluggishness). And
there are other factors to consider, such a latency (roughly, how long
it takes to start a transmission).  And cable plant installations vary
all over the place, from highly-reliable to highly-fallible. If you
know of other businesses in your area, you can get some sense of the
reliability of the local plant and the local Cable Guys. And you ought
to check on as well for reports from your

I'd inquire with the cable company what their SLA policies are, or
what might be available.

At typical US prices of $600/mo for T1 versus $99/mo for cable, the
face value of saving $6000 a year sounds attractive, but those savings
can easily be stomped on by a one-week-downtime.

On the flip side, if you're really just providing more bandwidth for
the employees to surf and play PacMan on Google, business-grade cable
can be a cheap investment.

You might want to consider paralleling the two services: use the T1
for the essential services and the cable for the office surfing.
Experience a downtime or two with each of them and determine what's

Finally, there are other options. We use a business DSL here in the
office for our highly-reliable static IP services, and a cable
connection for office surfing. Bandwidth isn't as great as a T1, but
costs are significantly lower. The two services are completely
separate and we don't route between them (other than via the
Internet), although we could cobble together some patch cables if one
or the other was down long-term.

It's worth shopping around and determining what's the right mix of
services for your situation.

Ted Roche
Ted Roche & Associates, LLC
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