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How to manage network bandwidth with distributed ISP bandwidth

As enterprises grow, demand for bandwidth can increase exponentially. In this expert answer, Mike Chapple explains different techniques for managing network bandwidth with ISP distribution.

How can I distribute different ISPs to manage bandwidth?

There are several ways you can manage network bandwidth, but I must warn you that all of them involve advanced networking concepts. If you're not comfortable configuring routers and routing protocols, you're probably going to want to seek expert assistance implementing these scenarios.

The first option is to use a routing protocol, such as the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), to load balance traffic. If you wish to pursue this, I'd suggest reading the article Load Sharing with BGP in Single and Multihomed Environments from Cisco Systems Inc., which details the various scenarios and implementation plans. It's also possible to use BGP with other network devices, such as Juniper Networks Inc. routers.

The second option is to use Network Address Translation (NAT) to balance the connections. Again, this will require router configuration and Cisco offers a detailed tutorial that walks you through the required IOS commands.

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This was last published in July 2009

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