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3 Ways to Have WAN Failover for Branch Continuity

David Rush

Downtime avoidance with 4G LTE comes in different shapes & sizes

In the year 2016, the debate surrounding failover is no longer about whether it’s important. (Everyone knows preventing downtime is a key aspect of protecting a company’s bottom line.) These days the bigger question regarding business continuity centers on which type of failover to utilize for your specific needs.

There are three main ways to set up failover through 4G LTE connectivity — each with its own unique merits in certain circumstances:

Overlay Failover

When downtime is financially and operationally unacceptable — which is always — many companies with hundreds or even thousands of locations use Cradlepoint ARC CBA routers to provide overlay failover. This device converts a 4G LTE signal to Ethernet to provide the location’s traditional wired-line router a second “wired” WAN connection instead of one.

In this scenario, the two WAN connections are always live, with the traditional router determining when failover is necessary. This is a major boon for companies that need reliable failover but don’t have the time, budget or need to completely overhaul their network architecture. Overlay failover is a simple, effective solution. Another cost benefit, if Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Manager is being used, is the ability to route Out-of-Band Management (OOBM) through a console cable connected between the CBA850 and the console port of the existing router.

Primary Router Multi-WAN Failover

At branches where the primary connect routers are from Cradlepoint’s AER Series and in vehicles with the COR Series, it’s the Cradlepoint devices that decide when to failover. AER and COR solutions have WAN Diversity, which is the convergence of 4G LTE, Ethernet (DSL, Cable, T1, MetroE), and WiFi-as-WAN in a single networking solution. These dual-modem (or 3 or more WAN source) devices allow for failover from one LTE connection to another LTE connection, or from wired line to LTE, then to the second LTE connection, WiFi, or any configuration the customer desires. In vehicles, the COR Series (with Dual-Modem Dock option for two LTE connections) facilitates LTE to WiFi failover, too. IT managers can select WiFi as the No. 1 modem priority, which enables WiFi-as-WAN to automatically take over whenever available and LTE to activate while on the road.

Router + LTE Failover

Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) enables a third failover option: Internet failover and router failover at the same time. VRRP is a layer 3 protocol that provides automatic default gateway selections on an IP network. In other words, if the main wired router fails because of hardware or software, the entire network automatically fails over to the Cradlepoint router — with the LAN and WAN uninterrupted.

Learn More

Read more about business continuity in our solution brief.