Why High Availability Routing is essential for Critical Communications Networks

Federal, state, and municipal governments, public safety agencies, utilities, service providers, and other organizations require High Availability routing (HA) in their transport networks. Loss of network services can equate to a severe impact on an organization, from loss of productivity and efficiency to loss of revenue and – in the worst-case scenario – loss of life. High Availability Routing configurations ensure critical applications management with maximum uptime for the network.

High Availability routing is one aspect of a transport network’s system reliability engineering. High Availability routing is accomplished using two redundant routers (primary and secondary), with the goal of ensuring the continuity of traffic forwarding in the event of any hardware failure. High Availability Routing has three core principles: (1) eliminate single points of failure, (2) ensure fast and reliable crossover (or failover) from one router to the other in the event of a system failure, and (3) detect and repairs failures if and when they occur.

Traditionally, HA router configurations required two separate routers, each of which has to be managed separately. This leads to unnecessary complexity due to the duplication of the router configuration management and monitoring efforts.

Implementing Aviat High Availability Routing – Maximum Availability with Minimal Complexity

Aviat's CTR 8740 HA microwave routerAviat’s CTR 8740 solution consists of two stacked and interconnected units that protect the network’s Data and Control planes against a single point of hardware failure. Once the two routers are connected and HA mode is enabled, the two units are synchronized via an encrypted channel, enabling them to operate as a single router instance with dual control and data planes.

The two routers logically appear on the network as one network element, with one IP address. This facilitates failover from one router to the other, and accelerates peering with the rest of the network at startup and after a network failure.

New software is loaded to the two routers via a single interface then activated in an orderly process. A Graceful Restart mechanism enables the routers to maintain traffic flow and prevent service outages.

The routers are also managed as a single entity by Aviat’s ProVision Plus web-based network management system (NMS), enabling customers to manage all Aviat networks through one screen for faster fault analysis and identification.

Each CTR 8740 also features a redundant power supply feed and redundant power supply card option, so if one power supply fails (external or internal), the other power supply keeps the router running. This eliminates a single point of power failure within each router for added resilience.

The Advantages of Aviat High Availability Routing

CTR 8740 High Availability feature delivers several key benefits to network operators:

  1. Greater scalability – Every router in a network must be aware of all other routers in the network in order to route packets properly via an optimal path within the routing domain. Because two Aviat routers in HA configuration act logically as a single element, this effectively doubles the number of routers that can be deployed on the network, enhancing network scalability and allowing more sites to be added to the routing domain.
  2. Lower management overhead – Both CTR 8740 routers in an HA configuration are managed as one, so management commands and software updates automatically flow to both routers, effectively cutting management traffic overhead and operator configuration actions in half.
  3. Easier software updates – Updates to the CTR 8740’s software loading system allow loading via a single interface to both units in the HA system. Separate software loading and activation phases for each of the two routers ensures hitless traffic flow is maintained to prevent service outages during software upgrades.
  4. Faster fault recovery – The CTR 8740 HA enables fast recovery from hardware component failures and, with Segment Routing, the routers can recover from external network failures, such as link and router failures, within tens of milliseconds.
  5. Topology flexibility – The CTR 8740 supports full network-side protection for ring, spur, dual-feed, and linear network topologies.

High Availability is a must-have for critical communications networks. By enabling two redundant routers to share the same IP address and to be managed as one router, Aviat’s CTR 8740 Transport Routers deliver better network protection along with improved network scalability and reduced management overhead.

Does the Aviat CTR 8740 HA router sound like a good fit for your network? Let’s talk

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How an Integrated Microwave-IP/MPLS Solution Reduces Latency

How an Integrated Microwave-IP/MPLS Solution Reduces Latency

The point of this post is to determine the amount of latency reduction possible with a one-box integrated microwave router solution when compared to a two-box (separate router + microwave) offering. By how much does the one box solution improve latency?

Latency is important to all network operators. The lower the end-to-end delay the better it is for all types of applications.

For example, latency is critically important to mobile network operators (MNOs) for LTE Advanced features like coordinated multi-point (COMP) and MIMO, which require extremely tight latency. CRAN architectures are also demanding tighter latency from the backhaul.

In addition, latency-sensitive applications like Teleprotection, SCADA, and simulcast in private markets such as public safety, utilities, and the federal government will greatly benefit from low latency network performance. For other customers, low latency is critical for synchronization and HD video transport.

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Getting it Done! Aviat & Australia Public Safety Networks

Getting it Done! Aviat & Australia Public Safety Networks

The public safety market has relied for many years on Aviat Networks to be a supplier of mission-critical microwave backhaul equipment. For example, since the introduction of the Eclipse microwave radio a few years ago, it has been received very successfully in the Australia public safety market. In the last five years, Aviat has sold and deployed thousands of radios (i.e., TRs) in the public safety and life critical radio ecosystem.

“The cutting-edge Gigabit Ethernet and IP capabilities of Eclipse were critical for Australia government agencies,” says Raj Kumar, vice president, sales and services, Asia Pacific, Aviat Networks. “As radio sites rolled out across Australia, Eclipse has enabled efficient deployment of multiple radio carriers in a single chassis—a mission-critical advantage for the simulcast trunking sites.”

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3 Ways to Get Smart About Nodal Microwave

3 Ways to Get Smart About Nodal Microwave

At a time in the not-so-distant past, there was only one way to implement microwave radio: one radio link per microwave terminal. Did not matter what type of link it concerned: protected, non-protected or multi-channel. From the advent of digital microwave radio in the 1980s and 1990s, terminals typically had no options for integration of co-located telecom devices. And to interconnect muxes or switches required external cabling and possibly a patch-panel.

Then in the early 2000s, so-called “nodal” radios came into vogue. Designed to address the drawbacks of the one-radio-one-link paradigm, a single microwave radio node could serve as a platform for multiple links. There were still limitations when it came to radio and switch interactions, but multiple sources of traffic could now be integrated and connected on the nodal platform.

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WLAN Provider uses Microwave Networking for Backbone


Austria WLAN provider NETcompany aggregates wireless traffic from hotspots at places like cafés. It then sends traffic to its CTR 8540-based backbone, which terminates at headquarters. Photo credit: Kieran Lynam / Foter / CC BY

In Austria, people love their coffee, and they love their Internet. WLAN provider NETcompany makes sure they get both, with high-speed wireless access via hotspots at cafés and other popular places with the help of microwave networking.

Serving a core business clientele of home and business customers, NETcompany offers wireless Internet connections in fixed applications. In addition, the company builds and provides wireless Internet access points, also known as wifi hotspots, to cafés, hotels and other mostly tourism-related establishments
—even campsites.

Around two years ago, Aviat Networks began working with the wireless Internet service provider to connect its point-to-multipoint base stations, which aggregate the business and residential wireless traffic, to its main communications infrastructure via a backbone based on Eclipse microwave radios. In addition, hotspot traffic is also transported over the backbone network.

Apparently, business has been increasing over the course of time. Thus, more advanced networking services and higher capacity are required to keep up with wireless Internet demand from the customers of NETcompany’s customers.

Therefore, NETcompany became interested in the Layer 2 capabilities of the CTR 8540 and its more robust Carrier Ethernet features. In addition, the higher QAM modulations supported by the CTR 8540 enable higher airlink capacities for aggregating traffic than are available in traditional microwave radio. Now the WLAN provider’s backbone is supported by a series of CTR 8540 microwave routers that deliver high-capacity backhaul capability.

This early CTR 8540 customer is already deploying high-capacity links in 2+0 configurations. Aviat continues to work with NETcompany and other customers with vertical applications. Read about other early CTR 8540 scenarios and let us know about your microwave networking application.

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