Multilink with Multiple Cable Modems

Discussion in 'Cisco' started by N. Hall, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. N. Hall

    N. Hall Guest

    Is there a way with any Cisco equipment to Multilink 2 or more cable modems.
    I have done it with T-1's, but never with cable modems.

    In my case, I could actually afford to put in 18 cable modem services (the
    cable company here is cheap) for the cost of the T-1 that I have now.

    I would like to multilink at least two cable modems together, even if the
    muxing isn't true, any little bit would help. This is a small time cable
    company, so BGP probably isn't an option, this is going to have to be
    something I do myself.

    Thanks for any advice.
     
    N. Hall, Mar 23, 2005
    #1
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  2. N. Hall

    Scooby Guest

    "N. Hall" <nospam5857> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Is there a way with any Cisco equipment to Multilink 2 or more cable

    modems.
    > I have done it with T-1's, but never with cable modems.
    >
    > In my case, I could actually afford to put in 18 cable modem services (the
    > cable company here is cheap) for the cost of the T-1 that I have now.
    >
    > I would like to multilink at least two cable modems together, even if the
    > muxing isn't true, any little bit would help. This is a small time cable
    > company, so BGP probably isn't an option, this is going to have to be
    > something I do myself.
    >
    > Thanks for any advice.
    >
    >


    First to answer your question. Not sure about Multilink as I don't tend to
    use that. But, you can easily utilize all the bandwidth by using a load
    balancing routing protocol.

    That said, I really don't like that set up. It may not be as attractive as
    it looks...

    Very likely, the business cost of a cable modem is not the $40 you would pay
    as a home user. I know with Time Warner it is not ($80-100 depending on
    contract). That is just for bare minimum speeds. Also, if you have a
    3Mx256k connection, the best you will ever have from one of these is 256k
    (on a single connection). Each end will only be able to upload at 256k.
    Yes, 18 of these is more than a T1. But, you have latency to consider.
    You'd be lucky to get 25ms or less, even with a single ISP, while a T1 will
    offer <1ms.

    Consider the fact that you don't really want to send your traffic across the
    ISP's network unencrypted, so you will need an appropriate vpn device at
    each location - and the added level of maintenance and points of failure.

    Bottom line... In some cases a cable modem/vpn solution is better than a
    private - due to the fact that it can serve your purpose at a lower cost.
    Even if you have to bond a couple together. However, if you are talking
    about critical business applications with higher bandwidth needs, I wouldn't
    even consider it. In the example of the 3Mx256k, you would need 6 to equal
    the bandwidth T1 and still only have best effort service with higher
    latency. Where I live, given the cost of business class cable modems, that
    would cost about the same or more than a T1.

    That's just MHO,

    Jim
     
    Scooby, Mar 23, 2005
    #2
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  3. N. Hall

    N. Hall Guest

    "N. Hall" <nospam5857> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Is there a way with any Cisco equipment to Multilink 2 or more cable

    modems.
    > I have done it with T-1's, but never with cable modems.
    >
    > In my case, I could actually afford to put in 18 cable modem services (the
    > cable company here is cheap) for the cost of the T-1 that I have now.
    >
    > I would like to multilink at least two cable modems together, even if the
    > muxing isn't true, any little bit would help. This is a small time cable
    > company, so BGP probably isn't an option, this is going to have to be
    > something I do myself.
    >

    Let me clarify a few things regarding my earlier post. I already have the
    business class cable modem service installed (for 1/18th the cost of the
    T-1) and the T-1 is still also installed there as well. I have a VPN tunnel
    from a Cisco 831 Router on the Remote side, into a Cisco 3005 VPN
    Concentrator on the other side. I have done extensive testing to compare
    the T-1 to the Cable Modem, and basically the cable modem provides roughly
    double the download speed of the T-1, and about half the upload speed of the
    T-1 (all measurements are over the VPN tunnel downloading and uploading
    files from / to a internal server).

    I had put a few users onto the cable modem service and they found it to be
    superior to the T-1, however now I have added more users and the slowness
    complaints have returned just like they did on the T-1.

    So, optimally I would like to get two cable modems installed, from may
    analysis this should provide roughly 6 mbps of downstream, and about 1.5
    mbps of upstream. Is there any VPN capable Cisco equipment that can
    multilink the two services together?

    My other less desirable option would obviously be to run two separate 831's
    with two separate networks and tunnels and load balancing them that way.

    Thanks.
     
    N. Hall, Mar 23, 2005
    #3
  4. N. Hall

    Scooby Guest

    "N. Hall" <nospam5857> wrote in message
    news:42418a01$0$3713$...
    >
    > "N. Hall" <nospam5857> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > Is there a way with any Cisco equipment to Multilink 2 or more cable

    > modems.
    > > I have done it with T-1's, but never with cable modems.
    > >
    > > In my case, I could actually afford to put in 18 cable modem services

    (the
    > > cable company here is cheap) for the cost of the T-1 that I have now.
    > >
    > > I would like to multilink at least two cable modems together, even if

    the
    > > muxing isn't true, any little bit would help. This is a small time

    cable
    > > company, so BGP probably isn't an option, this is going to have to be
    > > something I do myself.
    > >

    > Let me clarify a few things regarding my earlier post. I already have the
    > business class cable modem service installed (for 1/18th the cost of the
    > T-1) and the T-1 is still also installed there as well. I have a VPN

    tunnel
    > from a Cisco 831 Router on the Remote side, into a Cisco 3005 VPN
    > Concentrator on the other side. I have done extensive testing to compare
    > the T-1 to the Cable Modem, and basically the cable modem provides roughly
    > double the download speed of the T-1, and about half the upload speed of

    the
    > T-1 (all measurements are over the VPN tunnel downloading and uploading
    > files from / to a internal server).
    >
    > I had put a few users onto the cable modem service and they found it to be
    > superior to the T-1, however now I have added more users and the slowness
    > complaints have returned just like they did on the T-1.
    >
    > So, optimally I would like to get two cable modems installed, from may
    > analysis this should provide roughly 6 mbps of downstream, and about 1.5
    > mbps of upstream. Is there any VPN capable Cisco equipment that can
    > multilink the two services together?
    >
    > My other less desirable option would obviously be to run two separate

    831's
    > with two separate networks and tunnels and load balancing them that way.
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    >


    That does clear up some things. I am curious about one thing though....
    You said your bandwidth tests were over the vpn and you were getting 3Mb
    downstream. How does site A get 3Mb downstream when site B can only send at
    1.5? I understand it can get that from the internet, but not from the other
    site.

    Anyway, I believe Pix may do what you want. They are suppose to support
    ospf now. I think you are going the right way by doing the field test
    before making the executive decision to switch over.

    Also... considering that you really need to purchase both ends of the cable
    connection, 2 connections = 4 cable services. 18x a T1 seems really
    expensive. I'm curious what you are paying for a T1 circuit. How far apart
    are the locations? Are you crossing lata lines?

    Jim
     
    Scooby, Mar 23, 2005
    #4
  5. N. Hall

    John Smith Guest

    At the risk of not answering your question, can the ISP not be twisted into
    giving you a 12 meg download limit? after all cable will go to something
    like 34 meg.


    "N. Hall" <nospam5857> wrote in message
    news:42418a01$0$3713$...
    >
    > "N. Hall" <nospam5857> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Is there a way with any Cisco equipment to Multilink 2 or more cable

    > modems.
    >> I have done it with T-1's, but never with cable modems.
    >>
    >> In my case, I could actually afford to put in 18 cable modem services
    >> (the
    >> cable company here is cheap) for the cost of the T-1 that I have now.
    >>
    >> I would like to multilink at least two cable modems together, even if the
    >> muxing isn't true, any little bit would help. This is a small time cable
    >> company, so BGP probably isn't an option, this is going to have to be
    >> something I do myself.
    >>

    > Let me clarify a few things regarding my earlier post. I already have the
    > business class cable modem service installed (for 1/18th the cost of the
    > T-1) and the T-1 is still also installed there as well. I have a VPN
    > tunnel
    > from a Cisco 831 Router on the Remote side, into a Cisco 3005 VPN
    > Concentrator on the other side. I have done extensive testing to compare
    > the T-1 to the Cable Modem, and basically the cable modem provides roughly
    > double the download speed of the T-1, and about half the upload speed of
    > the
    > T-1 (all measurements are over the VPN tunnel downloading and uploading
    > files from / to a internal server).
    >
    > I had put a few users onto the cable modem service and they found it to be
    > superior to the T-1, however now I have added more users and the slowness
    > complaints have returned just like they did on the T-1.
    >
    > So, optimally I would like to get two cable modems installed, from may
    > analysis this should provide roughly 6 mbps of downstream, and about 1.5
    > mbps of upstream. Is there any VPN capable Cisco equipment that can
    > multilink the two services together?
    >
    > My other less desirable option would obviously be to run two separate
    > 831's
    > with two separate networks and tunnels and load balancing them that way.
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    >
     
    John Smith, Mar 23, 2005
    #5
  6. N. Hall

    Scooby Guest

    "John Smith" <> wrote in message
    news:d1s3pe$j1e$...
    > At the risk of not answering your question, can the ISP not be twisted

    into
    > giving you a 12 meg download limit? after all cable will go to something
    > like 34 meg.
    >


    This won't help. The limiting factor is the upload, since it is lower and
    this is an end to end solution. However, the cable company does probably
    offer higher upload speeds as well. He can, perhaps get a 2Mbx2Mb - or
    possibly more.


    >
    > "N. Hall" <nospam5857> wrote in message
    > news:42418a01$0$3713$...
    > >
    > > "N. Hall" <nospam5857> wrote in message
    > > news:...
    > >> Is there a way with any Cisco equipment to Multilink 2 or more cable

    > > modems.
    > >> I have done it with T-1's, but never with cable modems.
    > >>
    > >> In my case, I could actually afford to put in 18 cable modem services
    > >> (the
    > >> cable company here is cheap) for the cost of the T-1 that I have now.
    > >>
    > >> I would like to multilink at least two cable modems together, even if

    the
    > >> muxing isn't true, any little bit would help. This is a small time

    cable
    > >> company, so BGP probably isn't an option, this is going to have to be
    > >> something I do myself.
    > >>

    > > Let me clarify a few things regarding my earlier post. I already have

    the
    > > business class cable modem service installed (for 1/18th the cost of the
    > > T-1) and the T-1 is still also installed there as well. I have a VPN
    > > tunnel
    > > from a Cisco 831 Router on the Remote side, into a Cisco 3005 VPN
    > > Concentrator on the other side. I have done extensive testing to

    compare
    > > the T-1 to the Cable Modem, and basically the cable modem provides

    roughly
    > > double the download speed of the T-1, and about half the upload speed of
    > > the
    > > T-1 (all measurements are over the VPN tunnel downloading and uploading
    > > files from / to a internal server).
    > >
    > > I had put a few users onto the cable modem service and they found it to

    be
    > > superior to the T-1, however now I have added more users and the

    slowness
    > > complaints have returned just like they did on the T-1.
    > >
    > > So, optimally I would like to get two cable modems installed, from may
    > > analysis this should provide roughly 6 mbps of downstream, and about 1.5
    > > mbps of upstream. Is there any VPN capable Cisco equipment that can
    > > multilink the two services together?
    > >
    > > My other less desirable option would obviously be to run two separate
    > > 831's
    > > with two separate networks and tunnels and load balancing them that way.
    > >
    > > Thanks.
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
     
    Scooby, Mar 23, 2005
    #6
  7. N. Hall

    N. Hall Guest

    "Scooby" <> wrote in message
    news:f2c63$4241988d$a22770bd$...

    > This won't help. The limiting factor is the upload, since it is lower and
    > this is an end to end solution. However, the cable company does probably
    > offer higher upload speeds as well. He can, perhaps get a 2Mbx2Mb - or
    > possibly more.
    >

    You are right in that the problem is upload. The problem is that this is a
    rinky-dink cable company. Their service appears to be very reliable (we
    have a Fluke Optiview system monitor this link 24 x 7), however they have
    one service level, that's it (essentialy it looks like it is about a 3 mbps
    down x 1 mbps up connection). Obviously when I am paying 18 times more than
    what I pay them, essentially money is no object, and even if we tell them we
    are willing to pay more, they say they can't help us.

    So my dilema is that the only way I am going to get more bandwidth is to do
    something myself, like multilinking them together, or perhaps running two
    separate networks to the site (less desirable). My earlier tests of a few
    users proved that this upstream speed was acceptable, but with additional
    users now added to the link, it is no longer sufficient.

    The cable company charges $49.99 a month for this 3 x 1 service (no added
    cost because it is for a commercial use). The T-1 is about $950 per month
    because it is about 45 miles away and it jumps multiple carriers, that's why
    the difference is so extreme.
     
    N. Hall, Mar 23, 2005
    #7
  8. N. Hall

    John Smith Guest

    Hi,

    Good luck, sounds like a really good idea from a cost point of view. I
    guess you'll have to get extra ethernet ports and setup multiple vpn's then
    load balance across them. I'd be interested to here how successful this is.

    Regards
    Paul

    "N. Hall" <nospam5857> wrote in message
    news:42419f65$0$3708$...
    >
    > "Scooby" <> wrote in message
    > news:f2c63$4241988d$a22770bd$...
    >
    >> This won't help. The limiting factor is the upload, since it is lower
    >> and
    >> this is an end to end solution. However, the cable company does probably
    >> offer higher upload speeds as well. He can, perhaps get a 2Mbx2Mb - or
    >> possibly more.
    >>

    > You are right in that the problem is upload. The problem is that this is
    > a
    > rinky-dink cable company. Their service appears to be very reliable (we
    > have a Fluke Optiview system monitor this link 24 x 7), however they have
    > one service level, that's it (essentialy it looks like it is about a 3
    > mbps
    > down x 1 mbps up connection). Obviously when I am paying 18 times more
    > than
    > what I pay them, essentially money is no object, and even if we tell them
    > we
    > are willing to pay more, they say they can't help us.
    >
    > So my dilema is that the only way I am going to get more bandwidth is to
    > do
    > something myself, like multilinking them together, or perhaps running two
    > separate networks to the site (less desirable). My earlier tests of a few
    > users proved that this upstream speed was acceptable, but with additional
    > users now added to the link, it is no longer sufficient.
    >
    > The cable company charges $49.99 a month for this 3 x 1 service (no added
    > cost because it is for a commercial use). The T-1 is about $950 per month
    > because it is about 45 miles away and it jumps multiple carriers, that's
    > why
    > the difference is so extreme.
    >
    >
    >
     
    John Smith, Mar 24, 2005
    #8
  9. N. Hall

    John Smith Guest

    ps - as I understand it cable modems are based on ethernet technology not
    PPP so multilink is not an option. please correct me if i'm wrong.

    "John Smith" <> wrote in message
    news:d1t0m6$35g$...
    > Hi,
    >
    > Good luck, sounds like a really good idea from a cost point of view. I
    > guess you'll have to get extra ethernet ports and setup multiple vpn's
    > then load balance across them. I'd be interested to here how successful
    > this is.
    >
    > Regards
    > Paul
    >
    > "N. Hall" <nospam5857> wrote in message
    > news:42419f65$0$3708$...
    >>
    >> "Scooby" <> wrote in message
    >> news:f2c63$4241988d$a22770bd$...
    >>
    >>> This won't help. The limiting factor is the upload, since it is lower
    >>> and
    >>> this is an end to end solution. However, the cable company does
    >>> probably
    >>> offer higher upload speeds as well. He can, perhaps get a 2Mbx2Mb - or
    >>> possibly more.
    >>>

    >> You are right in that the problem is upload. The problem is that this is
    >> a
    >> rinky-dink cable company. Their service appears to be very reliable (we
    >> have a Fluke Optiview system monitor this link 24 x 7), however they have
    >> one service level, that's it (essentialy it looks like it is about a 3
    >> mbps
    >> down x 1 mbps up connection). Obviously when I am paying 18 times more
    >> than
    >> what I pay them, essentially money is no object, and even if we tell them
    >> we
    >> are willing to pay more, they say they can't help us.
    >>
    >> So my dilema is that the only way I am going to get more bandwidth is to
    >> do
    >> something myself, like multilinking them together, or perhaps running two
    >> separate networks to the site (less desirable). My earlier tests of a
    >> few
    >> users proved that this upstream speed was acceptable, but with additional
    >> users now added to the link, it is no longer sufficient.
    >>
    >> The cable company charges $49.99 a month for this 3 x 1 service (no added
    >> cost because it is for a commercial use). The T-1 is about $950 per
    >> month
    >> because it is about 45 miles away and it jumps multiple carriers, that's
    >> why
    >> the difference is so extreme.
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
     
    John Smith, Mar 24, 2005
    #9
  10. N. Hall

    Brian Guest

    It sounds like true Multilinking isn't neccesarily the goal here, more
    like load balancing. How about using a Fatpipe or something of the
    sort? http://www.fatpipeinc.com/warp/
     
    Brian, Mar 24, 2005
    #10
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