WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud



  • My company is trying to redesign our WAN connectivity. What we have today is 4Mbit HDSL (I'm based in Italy) and three x3550 M4 with vSphere.
    We want to move at least one of our backup to the cloud, and today we can't respect our backup window with just 4Mbits.
    I'm thinking about two alternatives:

    • go with a bigger network pipe, like 20Mbit Fiber-to-the-Home (reserved symmetric bandwidth) ~1200€/month;
    • drop the HDSL and go with just 2-4 aggregated ADSL (very poor upload, circa 256Kbit/each) and go with something like amazon snowball for the backups.

    I was also thinking about moving almost everything to the cloud, to almost completely skip our connectivity bottleneck (cloud VDI with zero clients); we already have VDI and thin clients in place for almost no reason (too few clients).
    But I don't think that this cloud alternatives can be cost-effective today, because we already have a lot of on-permise hardware in a good shape.

    What do you think about it? I'm not that experienced in the design of such environments, so any help will be appreciated!



  • 1200 a month seems really expensive for a meager 20mb symmetric connection. If you are getting Fiber service (or considering it) and are only offered 20MB is even close to fair?

    I'd really look for other carriers in your region.

    If you were going with ADSL (as consumer as it is) you could go with bonded ADSL to get better performance.



  • Do you have an option to get ADSL 2 you can get up to 12/3.5 Mb/ps



  • My experience only, YMMV:

    We just upgraded from 100/5 (download/upload) to 150/15. Cloud applications still suck. Fewer complaints from users. At this point there is no possible way for us to host our data in the cloud. I believe the bandwidth required is just far too expensive for our company.

    Edit: Canada, west coast, cable modem.



  • @DustinB3403 this company is based in the southern part of Italy, where the connectivity infrastructure is very poor. You can only get cheap business ADSL (70-100€/month, 7Mbit/256Kbit), costly HDSL (costly like that, and our provider is cheaper) or FTTH that goes from 8Mbit up to 100 or even 1000Mbit at an even higher price. The better and cheaper Fiber-to-the-Cabinet is not yet available in our zone. I've business contact with all the biggest provider reseller in our zone, I can assure you that this are the street price for connectivity in certain zones of Italy. Sadly.



  • @DustinB3403 said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    1200 a month seems really expensive for a meager 20mb symmetric connection. If you are getting Fiber service (or considering it) and are only offered 20MB is even close to fair?

    I'd really look for other carriers in your region.

    If you were going with ADSL (as consumer as it is) you could go with bonded ADSL to get better performance.

    Did you miss that he's in Italy?



  • @DustinB3403 said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    Do you have an option to get ADSL 2 you can get up to 12/3.5 Mb/ps

    How did you determine the availability of ADSL speeds without knowing his location?



  • @Francesco-Provino said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @DustinB3403 this company is based in the southern part of Italy, where the connectivity infrastructure is very poor. You can only get cheap business ADSL (70-100€/month, 7Mbit/256Kbit), costly HDSL (costly like that, and our provider is cheaper) or FTTH that goes from 8Mbit up to 100 or even 1000Mbit at an even higher price. The better and cheaper Fiber-to-the-Cabinet is not yet available in our zone. I've business contact with all the biggest provider reseller in our zone, I can assure you that this are the street price for connectivity in certain zones of Italy. Sadly.

    And Italy has been moving away from high speed Internet. Only country in Europe (one of only a few in the world) that is moving backwards on high speed adoption. Making this that much harder to figure out for the future as it works so much differently than it does in the rest of the world where you can assume that year after year things will get faster, cheaper and better coverage.



  • We need a lot more info about what the company does and how it works to really say if going to cloud makes any sense. But even in the US or Romania with massive WAN pipes at low cost does VDI normally make any sense. VDI is very expensive. Normally RDS makes way more sense than VDI, and even that remains rare.



  • @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    We need a lot more info about what the company does and how it works to really say if going to cloud makes any sense. But even in the US or Romania with massive WAN pipes at low cost does VDI normally make any sense. VDI is very expensive. Normally RDS makes way more sense than VDI, and even that remains rare.

    I know VDI don't make sense in our, it was a design mistake, but today is already on place.
    Its a fruit trading and production company, 20 employee (all on VMware horizon), 3 sites. They have ERP, heavy use of filesharing, mail with Gapps for business. Small db of ERP ( <10 Gb) and just 400Gb of shared files, nothing special. The on-permise part is hosted on three vSphere host with 64Gb of ram each and three Tb of storage. There is one central plant with the rack, air condition etc, the other offices are connected via VPN or via the horizon gateway.

    I was thinking about the possibility to move everything to the cloud to throw away the WAN bandwidth issue. It's a suboptimal solution from a design point of view, but maybe cost effective because we will get the cloud provider connectivity for clients also (not just for server) at no additional fee than the hosting. A pair of bonded ADSL is easily capable to sustain the data rate of many PCOIP connections.



  • @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    Did you miss that he's in Italy?

    No I didn't.

    @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    How did you determine the availability of ADSL speeds without knowing his location?

    These are standards, standards should be "standard" no matter where in the world someone is.

    @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    And Italy has been moving away from high speed Internet. Only country in Europe (one of only a few in the world) that is moving backwards on high speed adoption. Making this that much harder to figure out for the future as it works so much differently than it does in the rest of the world where you can assume that year after year things will get faster, cheaper and better coverage.

    Still completely backwards from convention, just because someone is in a specific part of the world doesn't mean they are actively going backwards. Besides maybe Iran.



  • @DustinB3403 said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    Still completely backwards from convention, just because someone is in a specific part of the world doesn't mean they are actively going backwards. Besides maybe Iran.

    But Italy IS specifically going backwards. They are losing broadband coverage and adoption.



  • @DustinB3403 said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    How did you determine the availability of ADSL speeds without knowing his location?

    These are standards, standards should be "standard" no matter where in the world someone is.

    ADSL is a technology standard, it does not dictate speed standards. There isn't a speed standard for ADSL. There are limits, not standards.



  • @Francesco-Provino said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    We need a lot more info about what the company does and how it works to really say if going to cloud makes any sense. But even in the US or Romania with massive WAN pipes at low cost does VDI normally make any sense. VDI is very expensive. Normally RDS makes way more sense than VDI, and even that remains rare.

    I know VDI don't make sense in our, it was a design mistake, but today is already on place.
    Its a fruit trading and production company, 20 employee (all on VMware horizon), 3 sites. They have ERP, heavy use of filesharing, mail with Gapps for business. Small db of ERP ( <10 Gb) and just 400Gb of shared files, nothing special. The on-permise part is hosted on three vSphere host with 64Gb of ram each and three Tb of storage. There is one central plant with the rack, air condition etc, the other offices are connected via VPN or via the horizon gateway.

    I was thinking about the possibility to move everything to the cloud to throw away the WAN bandwidth issue. It's a suboptimal solution from a design point of view, but maybe cost effective because we will get the cloud provider connectivity for clients also (not just for server) at no additional fee than the hosting. A pair of bonded ADSL is easily capable to sustain the data rate of many PCOIP connections.

    Oh okay, I think that I am getting a clearer picture. So the VDI is hosted at one office, but most users are remote from that office? Then yes, going to colocation, even colocation outside of Italy, would likely solve a lot of issues.



  • @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @Francesco-Provino said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    We need a lot more info about what the company does and how it works to really say if going to cloud makes any sense. But even in the US or Romania with massive WAN pipes at low cost does VDI normally make any sense. VDI is very expensive. Normally RDS makes way more sense than VDI, and even that remains rare.

    I know VDI don't make sense in our, it was a design mistake, but today is already on place.
    Its a fruit trading and production company, 20 employee (all on VMware horizon), 3 sites. They have ERP, heavy use of filesharing, mail with Gapps for business. Small db of ERP ( <10 Gb) and just 400Gb of shared files, nothing special. The on-permise part is hosted on three vSphere host with 64Gb of ram each and three Tb of storage. There is one central plant with the rack, air condition etc, the other offices are connected via VPN or via the horizon gateway.

    I was thinking about the possibility to move everything to the cloud to throw away the WAN bandwidth issue. It's a suboptimal solution from a design point of view, but maybe cost effective because we will get the cloud provider connectivity for clients also (not just for server) at no additional fee than the hosting. A pair of bonded ADSL is easily capable to sustain the data rate of many PCOIP connections.

    Oh okay, I think that I am getting a clearer picture. So the VDI is hosted at one office, but most users are remote from that office? Then yes, going to colocation, even colocation outside of Italy, would likely solve a lot of issues.

    Yes, VDI is hosted at one office, but is mainly accessed locally, and remotely by 4-5 user nowadays. So, going colocation will surely introduce some latency in their daily workflow…



  • @Francesco-Provino said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @Francesco-Provino said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    We need a lot more info about what the company does and how it works to really say if going to cloud makes any sense. But even in the US or Romania with massive WAN pipes at low cost does VDI normally make any sense. VDI is very expensive. Normally RDS makes way more sense than VDI, and even that remains rare.

    I know VDI don't make sense in our, it was a design mistake, but today is already on place.
    Its a fruit trading and production company, 20 employee (all on VMware horizon), 3 sites. They have ERP, heavy use of filesharing, mail with Gapps for business. Small db of ERP ( <10 Gb) and just 400Gb of shared files, nothing special. The on-permise part is hosted on three vSphere host with 64Gb of ram each and three Tb of storage. There is one central plant with the rack, air condition etc, the other offices are connected via VPN or via the horizon gateway.

    I was thinking about the possibility to move everything to the cloud to throw away the WAN bandwidth issue. It's a suboptimal solution from a design point of view, but maybe cost effective because we will get the cloud provider connectivity for clients also (not just for server) at no additional fee than the hosting. A pair of bonded ADSL is easily capable to sustain the data rate of many PCOIP connections.

    Oh okay, I think that I am getting a clearer picture. So the VDI is hosted at one office, but most users are remote from that office? Then yes, going to colocation, even colocation outside of Italy, would likely solve a lot of issues.

    Yes, VDI is hosted at one office, but is mainly accessed locally, and remotely by 4-5 user nowadays. So, going colocation will surely introduce some latency in their daily workflow…

    I would not go hosted then, that will make the WAN issues worse rather than better.



  • @scottalanmiller I agree. I'm curious, why do you think that the connectivity in Italy is going backwards? And what about ADSL vs pricey FTTH?



  • @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @Francesco-Provino said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @Francesco-Provino said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    We need a lot more info about what the company does and how it works to really say if going to cloud makes any sense. But even in the US or Romania with massive WAN pipes at low cost does VDI normally make any sense. VDI is very expensive. Normally RDS makes way more sense than VDI, and even that remains rare.

    I know VDI don't make sense in our, it was a design mistake, but today is already on place.
    Its a fruit trading and production company, 20 employee (all on VMware horizon), 3 sites. They have ERP, heavy use of filesharing, mail with Gapps for business. Small db of ERP ( <10 Gb) and just 400Gb of shared files, nothing special. The on-permise part is hosted on three vSphere host with 64Gb of ram each and three Tb of storage. There is one central plant with the rack, air condition etc, the other offices are connected via VPN or via the horizon gateway.

    I was thinking about the possibility to move everything to the cloud to throw away the WAN bandwidth issue. It's a suboptimal solution from a design point of view, but maybe cost effective because we will get the cloud provider connectivity for clients also (not just for server) at no additional fee than the hosting. A pair of bonded ADSL is easily capable to sustain the data rate of many PCOIP connections.

    Oh okay, I think that I am getting a clearer picture. So the VDI is hosted at one office, but most users are remote from that office? Then yes, going to colocation, even colocation outside of Italy, would likely solve a lot of issues.

    Yes, VDI is hosted at one office, but is mainly accessed locally, and remotely by 4-5 user nowadays. So, going colocation will surely introduce some latency in their daily workflow…

    I would not go hosted then, that will make the WAN issues worse rather than better.

    We don't know the current latency issue that the remote workers are currently experiencing. How can you say it will get worse? I suppose it could get worse for those who are at the same location as the main location, but considering the goal, it might be worth doing a trial hosted RDS solution, assuming your software will work in RDS instead of VDI.

    Scott's always talking about dumping technical debt. While your VDI might not be full on technical debt yet, RDS might just be worth the change.

    I suppose this all depends on what kind of connection you can get to the hosting company and the latency between you.



  • @Dashrender said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @Francesco-Provino said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @Francesco-Provino said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    We need a lot more info about what the company does and how it works to really say if going to cloud makes any sense. But even in the US or Romania with massive WAN pipes at low cost does VDI normally make any sense. VDI is very expensive. Normally RDS makes way more sense than VDI, and even that remains rare.

    I know VDI don't make sense in our, it was a design mistake, but today is already on place.
    Its a fruit trading and production company, 20 employee (all on VMware horizon), 3 sites. They have ERP, heavy use of filesharing, mail with Gapps for business. Small db of ERP ( <10 Gb) and just 400Gb of shared files, nothing special. The on-permise part is hosted on three vSphere host with 64Gb of ram each and three Tb of storage. There is one central plant with the rack, air condition etc, the other offices are connected via VPN or via the horizon gateway.

    I was thinking about the possibility to move everything to the cloud to throw away the WAN bandwidth issue. It's a suboptimal solution from a design point of view, but maybe cost effective because we will get the cloud provider connectivity for clients also (not just for server) at no additional fee than the hosting. A pair of bonded ADSL is easily capable to sustain the data rate of many PCOIP connections.

    Oh okay, I think that I am getting a clearer picture. So the VDI is hosted at one office, but most users are remote from that office? Then yes, going to colocation, even colocation outside of Italy, would likely solve a lot of issues.

    Yes, VDI is hosted at one office, but is mainly accessed locally, and remotely by 4-5 user nowadays. So, going colocation will surely introduce some latency in their daily workflow…

    I would not go hosted then, that will make the WAN issues worse rather than better.

    We don't know the current latency issue that the remote workers are currently experiencing. How can you say it will get worse? I suppose it could get worse for those who are at the same location as the main location, but considering the goal, it might be worth doing a trial hosted RDS solution, assuming your software will work in RDS instead of VDI.

    VDI over ADSL? Hell yeah it will get worse. Right now it is only a few people in remote offices. If the entire office did it, the remote people would have no difference or even improved, but the entire main office would suck balls.



  • @JaredBusch said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @Dashrender said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @Francesco-Provino said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @Francesco-Provino said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @scottalanmiller said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    We need a lot more info about what the company does and how it works to really say if going to cloud makes any sense. But even in the US or Romania with massive WAN pipes at low cost does VDI normally make any sense. VDI is very expensive. Normally RDS makes way more sense than VDI, and even that remains rare.

    I know VDI don't make sense in our, it was a design mistake, but today is already on place.
    Its a fruit trading and production company, 20 employee (all on VMware horizon), 3 sites. They have ERP, heavy use of filesharing, mail with Gapps for business. Small db of ERP ( <10 Gb) and just 400Gb of shared files, nothing special. The on-permise part is hosted on three vSphere host with 64Gb of ram each and three Tb of storage. There is one central plant with the rack, air condition etc, the other offices are connected via VPN or via the horizon gateway.

    I was thinking about the possibility to move everything to the cloud to throw away the WAN bandwidth issue. It's a suboptimal solution from a design point of view, but maybe cost effective because we will get the cloud provider connectivity for clients also (not just for server) at no additional fee than the hosting. A pair of bonded ADSL is easily capable to sustain the data rate of many PCOIP connections.

    Oh okay, I think that I am getting a clearer picture. So the VDI is hosted at one office, but most users are remote from that office? Then yes, going to colocation, even colocation outside of Italy, would likely solve a lot of issues.

    Yes, VDI is hosted at one office, but is mainly accessed locally, and remotely by 4-5 user nowadays. So, going colocation will surely introduce some latency in their daily workflow…

    I would not go hosted then, that will make the WAN issues worse rather than better.

    We don't know the current latency issue that the remote workers are currently experiencing. How can you say it will get worse? I suppose it could get worse for those who are at the same location as the main location, but considering the goal, it might be worth doing a trial hosted RDS solution, assuming your software will work in RDS instead of VDI.

    VDI over ADSL? Hell yeah it will get worse. Right now it is only a few people in remote offices. If the entire office did it, the remote people would have no difference or even improved, but the entire main office would suck balls.

    Did you read my whole post? I did suggest moving to RDS. But even given that - HDSL be good enough for his 22 people? I don't know anything the DSL technologies, so I was asking a question.



  • @Francesco-Provino said in WAN connection design: big pipe VS ADSL or… embrace the cloud:

    @scottalanmiller I agree. I'm curious, why do you think that the connectivity in Italy is going backwards? And what about ADSL vs pricey FTTH?

    Because studies show it going backwards 🙂 Broadband availability and adoption rates are heavily monitored by business and governments and Italy is. The biggest news in the world around that because it is the only European country moving away from Internet adoption - negative growth rates. It's real metrics from the ISPs, not an opinion.


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