V6.2.6 Feature Information for NetPilot and SoHoBlue units

This document decribes features in the forthcoming software version V6.2.6.

WAN Failover

Overview

This new feature provides the means to automate switching to a backup WAN port (typically connected an alternative internet access WAN service), in the event of failure of the primary WAN port internet connectivity. The feature also caters for automatic switching back to the primary port and its internet service when reliable connectivity is restored.

Practical examples include:

1. An organisation uses high-speed fibre connectivity as its primary service and NetPilot/SoHoBlue Failover WAN options are configured on a secondary WAN port connected to ADSL (which is lower speed but is lower cost and hence a candidate for emergency backup)

2. An organisation uses fibre or ADSL connectivity as its primary service and NetPilot/SoHoBlue Failover WAN options are configured on a secondary WAN port equipped with the new 4G/3G Dongle (again is lower speed but is low cost and again a good candidate for emergency backup)

More Detail

The NetPilot/SoHoBlue continuously tests the state of all WAN interfaces. If it notices a loss of internet connectivity on the primary interface, it will automatically switch to using a secondary interface. While using the secondary interface, the NetPilot will continue to test all WAN interfaces and will switch back to using the primary interface when it becomes available again.

In a scenario where there is a total connectivity failure on the primary interface, the changeover to the secondary interface will occur within 1.5 minutes.
The failover mechanism is compatible with the following WAN interface types which the NetPilot/SoHoBlue supports:-
• Ethernet Router (static address)
• Ethernet Cable/DSL (dynamic address).
• PPPoE / fibre broadband
• 4G LTE / 3G cellular modem

The mechanism has the ability to scale to any number of fall-back WAN interfaces – dictated only by the physical port configuration of the NetPilot/SoHoBlue unit type. The failover mechanism is independent of interface type, so if new WAN interface types are added in the future, the failover mechanism will be available.

If none of the configured WAN interfaces provide reliable connectivity according to the test, the unit will revert to selecting the primary interface as the default gateway. It will continue to monitor and test each WAN interface until connectivity is restored on one of them, at which point it will switch to using that interface, favouring the primary interface.

4G/3G WAN Connectivity

Overview

This new connectivity option has been primarily developed to provide on-demand internet connectivity via 4G (or even 3G services) for WAN Failover applications as discussed above. It is possible there maybe some specialised applications that require 4G as the sole primary connectivity mechanism – which is entirely possible to implement.

Practical examples include:
• An organisation uses fibre or ADSL connectivity as its primary service and NetPilot/SoHoBlue Failover WAN options are configured on a secondary WAN port equipped with the new 4G/3G Dongle.

More Detail

The feature is implements in two parts. A supplied hardware dongle needs to be attached to a USB port on the NetPilot/SoHoBlue unit. The dongle requires a SIM card (not supplied) for the 4G/3G service. The other feature element is a License key which unlocks the new software contained within release V6.2.6. The list price of the hardware + software combination is £150.

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