Failover lacks Awareness
Failover mechanisms only work when a primary circuit fails. On or Off, Up or Down, Green Light or Red Light, that’s it. Failover is exactly what it sounds like; when one circuit fails it starts using the other circuit. They lack any awareness of general network performance metrics like packet loss, latency, and jitter.
These are the issues that make using cloud apps like VoIP, SaaS, and VDI infuriating. If you’ve ever had a scratchy VoIP call, or extremely slow SaaS apps, or VDI ghosting, then you’ve experienced the result of poor packet loss, latency, and jitter on network connections. And your failover router could do nothing about it.
Bigleaf is better. Bigleaf monitors your circuit 10x per second. We actively measure packet loss, latency, and jitter. We constantly assess the performance of each circuit and route each of your applications across those circuits based on that performance and your applications’ requirements. We proactively move your traffic between connections when your circuit degrades. We don’t just sit around waiting for a hard failure.
Failover loses your IP Addresses
Most failover routers (with the exception of BGP on an expensive router using expensive fiber connections) are not able to maintain your IP address(es) when they move your traffic from one circuit to the other. As they move your traffic from the bad circuit to the good circuit, they are forced to use the IP address(es) associated with the new circuit.
Ten years ago, this was not a big deal. Downloading emails and surfing the web didn’t skip a beat when IP addresses changed. Unfortunately, the cloud is not so resilient. When you change an IP address during a VoIP call, you lose the call, which is not acceptable for most businesses. If you have migrated your entire office to VDI, you simply cannot afford to wait 10 minutes for your VDI sessions to reconnect. And if you are using Cloud-based Electronic Health Records, you cannot lose that data, period.
Bigleaf is better. Bigleaf provides your IP addresses, not your carrier. So, when Bigleaf moves your traffic from one circuit to another, your IP addresses don’t change. With Bigleaf, dropped calls, disconnected VPNs, and lost VDI sessions are a thing of the past. Nobody notices when one of your ISPs drops the ball.
Failover wastes Bandwidth
Traditional Failover solutions designate a primary and backup Internet connection. Due to their lack of control of IP addresses, they have to pick one of your two circuits to route all your inbound traffic to. That means one circuit, usually the larger of the two, is relied upon most of the time, and the other circuit just sits there waiting for the primary to fail.
By designating one circuit as primary and another as backup, Failover wastes a circuit you are paying for every month. If you think about it, traditional failover means you’re paying for a circuit you hope to never use.
Bigleaf does not waste your bandwidth, or your budget. While we encourage the use of 2 or more circuits per location, we hate the idea of customers wasting money on backup circuits. With Intelligent Load-balancing, Bigleaf uses all circuits based on their performance in real-time. There is no primary and backup — both circuits are used for what they are best for, at all times. With Bigleaf, you not only maximize the performance of your applications, but also your circuits and associated budget.
Failover doesn’t do Bi-directional QoS
Traditional failover is a function of a piece of hardware that lives exclusively at your premise. It does not have any control on your download traffic. Lack of control means lack of QoS, period.
Bigleaf provides bi-directional QoS over your broadband connections.
Failover is Too Complicated
There is a counterpoint to each of the arguments outlined above. People have been aware of these challenges and have worked to come up with ways to address them. The challenge is that each of these counterpoints is nuanced. Each is based on an obscure feature here, or a non-standard practice there. They are the things that one person on your team was able to implement, after a lot of trial and error, and it works some of the time.
Unfortunately, that person is not on the clock 24×7, and when one of those obscure features doesn’t work quite right, and your network is down hard, that person is unavailable. All of a sudden the money you spent on failover proves to be a waste. Relying on these strategies will eventually expose the flaws in the plans.
With Bigleaf you can relax. Bigleaf works right out of the box for every application, across every type of Internet circuit. There are no nuances, hacks, or obscure features. Additionally, Bigleaf is staffed 24x7x365 with people that are solely focused on Bigleaf and its customers. The only thing you have to do is order the service. Bigleaf takes care of everything else, every single time.